reflections on my debut with roasting

November 11, 2011

reflections on my debut with roasting


I was lucky enough that when I was just getting into espresso my wife gave me an iroast 2 as a gift.  I googled user advice and found some on Coffee Geek and plugged the profile in and plugged the machine in, tossed some beans in and hit roast.  I stopped the roast at the moment the beans got to the color I wanted and waited for them to cool.


I tossed the beans in the grinder a little later and was amazed at how great the coffee was on my first run through.  There was a lot more I would later learn through roasting, but some of the things I learned were in some sense wrong.  For example, I learned that I was an amazingly gifted roaster.  It turned out that was not the least bit true.  I just was suddenly drinking fresh coffee.  Before that I had been buying my coffee locally and there was no good, fresh coffee available locally at that time.  Sure Whole Foods stocked some great roasters like Counter Culture and Intelli, but what I had never paid attention to was that the roasted on dates were 9 months old. There were two local roasters, but the truth is they were not very good.  


None the less for months the best coffee I could find was my own.  Then I discovered the joys of mail order coffee (such as Roaste, although Roaste did not exist yet then).  The coffee that I could order by mail was fresh and well roasted and suddenly I was no longer such a gifted roaster because master microroasters with good, fresh beans could do much better than I could.


Perhaps someone with more skill than I had could match them, and my roasts were not bad, but I was not on par with the likes of Paradise or Klatch.  


On the other hand I had a blast and learned a ton about coffee this way.  I will continue to rast for both of those reasons.  Perhaps some day I will catch up with the roasters I admire and perhaps not, but in the mean time I will order most of my beans through places like Roaste and roast a few of my own to continue my journey.

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