What's Your Favorite Coffee Roaster Up To?

What do our favorite coffee roasters get up to when they're not firing up beans for our enjoyment? Well, if it's Dean Cycon of Dean's Beans, it could be just about anything... and it will almost always be fun. I'm on the Dean's Beans mailing list to keep up on new coffees and good deals, and because every once in a while, they send out something cool, like this video of Dean getting down with a group of their coffee partners in Papua New Guinea:

Check out the low-tech and very cool percussion instrument -- yes, those are bamboo logs and sneaker inserts! Talk about ingenuity!

In other news, my shipment from The Captain's Coffee arrived this afternoon. It contained 2 pounds of Demorcratic Republic of the Congo Kivu 4 Special Prep and 1 pound of Elsavador, Cerro Las Ranas. The total cost, including shipping was $20.92 -- and the computer generated invoice had a hand-written, personalized note/signature from Denny & Priscilla. Do I have to even mention how much I love coffee people?

So. I couldn't wait, and couldn't be bothered with setting up the camera to video the first roasting. I did, however, take photos:

Coffee roasted this afternoon

The beans on the left are the Congo. The beans on the right are the El Salvador. The Congo is roasted to just about second crack. The El Salvador is roasted about 2 minutes into second crack.  I roasted boh in my handy-dandy $5 popcorn popper. I've got a third batch of the Congo roasted a little lighter. I'm going to roast a 3rd batch darker so I can experiment a little with blending different roast levels of the same coffee.

Luckily, I have plenty of Dean's Beans Ring of Fire (which, btw, includes coffee from Papua New Guinea -- neat little coincidence)... so I'm not TOO tempted to brew up a cup and try it. 

So far, I can say that a) the Congo beans are very chaff-y. There was a relatively higher proportion of cracked beans in the roast than I expected, especially at such a light roast.  The first batch reached first crack pretty quickly -- about 4 minutes in (for reference, I'm roasting really small batches -- about 1/2 cup). The aroma is light, woody and cinnamon-y -- we'll see how it stands up to a darker roast.

The El Slavador -- oh, my. The beans roasted beautifully -- nice and even, little chaff, about 7 minutes to first crack -- which was wonderfully easy to hear. The aroma -- about 3 hours post roast in a closed jar -- is so rich and deep that you almost don't even feel like you have to drink it to enjoy it. 

I'll try to set up the camera when I roast up the next batch so I can share, and of course, I'll share the results when I finally get to cup it.

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