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    Trying to get my act together for some home roasting again. Need to get a Sweet Maria's order together. Any recommendations in the world of greens?

    Lately I've been constructing my standard lattes every morn out of these beans:

    http://www.noblecoffeeroasting.com/s...p?productid=65

    I've gotta head into town to pick my bike up from a service so I'll probably swing through the roastery and pick up a S.O. as a little treat. I've been on a little of a rant with these guys. They charge $13 for 12 oz.'s and with very limited distribution I keep finding bags of their coffee on shelves or coffee shop counters that are two weeks old. That needs to be bargain bin material at that point.

    Traveled through PDX a few weeks ago and stopped here:

    http://stumptowncoffee.com/

    Best latte I've had to date. We've got a local shop using their beans, but I don't know if they'll sell them by the pound. Might have to pop in and inquire. I've been thinking about a machine upgrade as well. I saw a NS Oscar go by for a great price on coffeegeeks.com in the last few days. It would have matched my grinder. The Le Lit from First Line is probably my first choice for a new machine. The PL-41 with the PID might earn a spot under the tree this holiday season. How's everyone else doing?

  • #2
    Next time you're in Portland and you have some time check out Mr. Greenbeans up on north Mississippi. A wide selection of green beans and nice, knowledgeable people to do business with. I'm 3 hours away but now they are always on my list of places to stop when I'm in Portland.

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    • #3
      Been pulling shots on my Alex Duetto II with a Super Jolly grinder. Its been a fantastic setup. As far as roasting goes my local roaster is so good I haven't even considered it. Milwaukee has lots of roasters but http://anodynecoffee.com/index.php is the best.
      Aaron
      DrRoadrash
      Board Certified GOMER Fixer

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      • #4
        Originally posted by telorti View Post
        Next time you're in Portland and you have some time check out Mr. Greenbeans up on north Mississippi. A wide selection of green beans and nice, knowledgeable people to do business with. I'm 3 hours away but now they are always on my list of places to stop when I'm in Portland.
        Thanks. 1234.

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        • #5
          Matt, you're in Oregon now?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Danno View Post
            Matt, you're in Oregon now?
            Yes. Just moved this summer.

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            • #7
              If you don't mind doing a little electrical work, its pretty easy. The PID kits from Auber are pretty nice. I learned quite a bit from a Gaggia Classic with PID. Pretty unforgiving with the small boiler and all but I really did do pretty well after making some pretty bad espresso for months.
              Aaron
              DrRoadrash
              Board Certified GOMER Fixer

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              • #8
                okay, so what's the minimum set up (simplest) to roast my own beans?

                I don't mind spending some money on decent cooker...we probably use 1-2# per week, got a local roaster who will me gree beans.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nurse Ben View Post
                  okay, so what's the minimum set up (simplest) to roast my own beans?

                  I don't mind spending some money on decent cooker...we probably use 1-2# per week, got a local roaster who will me gree beans.
                  Your best bet is probably to peruse coffeegeek.com

                  I use an old popcorn popper from a thrift store. You have to hack it a little by removing a fusible link designed to turn off the heating element when it gets too hot. It works like a Sivitz air bed roaster holding the bean mass up away from the metal with hot air. Gives the coffee a very bright flavor. You can't really adjust the temp unless you use a dimmer which I haven't experimented with too much. I bought a new 5 gallon plastic bucket and some fine metal screen to rig up a cooler. It's important to move the beans to a cooler immediately or they'll continue to roast and get darker than you like. I drilled a hole in my bucket and put the hose from my shop vac into it. The mesh is secured around the opening of the bucket and the beans sit on the mesh. I usually hold my hands over the beans to tighten the suction and cool them faster. I probably only had about $20's in the whole deal and it works pretty well. I'd say that considering the deal I get on really high quality green beans from Sweet Maria's that I can rival the best local coffee for about half the price. Down side is that I can only roast about 6 oz.'s at a time. I've also used a heat gun and dog bowl quite a bit and that's an effective method. Harder to replicate something you like though.

                  The Behmor 1600 gets good reviews for a home roaster.

                  I was considering making my own with one of the RK Drums - check their site out too.

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                  • #10
                    NB, I've been home roasting now since the previous century and I'm currently very happy with an Stir Crazy/Turbo Oven set up which fajimr on the old site turned me onto. Parts (at retail) cost about $100 and there's some "building" involved. The thrift store popcorn poppers (Poppery I, not Poppery II...) are a fine starting point and (with the easy mods) which Matt suggests could probably "rule the roast," as they say. I've used a few of the commercial home roasters over the years but they all have issues over time. Currently I do a shop-vac cooling thing in an extra Behmor basket. Because I roast for a couple of "customers" I really like being able to do a bit more volume. The SC/TO allows up to 500g/1lb at a time... I've never PIDed a roaster, but it can't be that difficult...

                    Matt, you might want to ask your local roaster if they would sell you greens. My guy here in Tahoe sells me his stuff for @5/lb (more for some really tasty lots...) but you can get it directly from one of his importers even cheaper-- http://www.bodhileafcoffee.com/ Click on the home roaster shop... At the quantities I'm doing the shipping adds up... The price per pound the importer is offering (but no volume discounts, it appears) seem really good...

                    Current extraction (uh oh, geek word alert...) is NS Appia 1. Grinder is a commercial Italian job (Bregant Opel, often found rebranded as La Pavoni Zip). I got both really inexpensively... These things come up with regularity on craigslist, as do the even more finicky small commercial machines, like the Gaggias. With a temp control (PID) the small machines work quite nicely. IMO, there is a lot of opportunity in the used market from people who tried to make $$ but didn't get very far or just never spent the time needed to dial in their home machines. Grind control and dosing (a scale...) are more important than the espresso machine itself, of course...

                    OK, there's the short answer... Wouldn't want to obsess over equipment (and technique) too much...

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                    • #11
                      I regret never taking fajimr up on a shot at his place. I used to drive through SLC with some regularity and he once sent me a PM inviting me for a coffee. Unfortunately it was always in the middle of a heinous drive and I never could manage to make a stop. Thanks for adding to the thread Clydesdad. I started it for you!

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                      • #12
                        I've had good luck with thrift shop, goodwill, yard sale hot air popcorn poppers. Cost was anywhere from free to $3. I've picked up several, mostly poppery II models...one popcorn pumper. Usually 5 to 6 minutes and I have a pretty good full city to full city + roast which, I think, lets me taste the bean not the roast so to speak. I can roast enough for almost 14 days in about 20/25 minutes including clean up. I only need a dose in the mornings so I only need about 3/4 lbs to get me thru that time period. Yeah, I'd like to get a fancy roaster that could roast a larger amount but right now I can't justify the expense since what I have is working fine for me. I'd suggest trying the popcorn popper method first just to see if the process is something you really want to "invest" in. I don't see myself ever going back to store bought roasted coffee as long as my roasters are working and I have a source of green beans.

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                        • #13
                          I put my machine up after I got an Aeropress, though still using the Rocky for grinding, electric hot water pot, really simple to make two lattes every morning, heat the milk in the microwave until "frothy", then plunge and go.

                          I have a popcorn popper, so I may try it out assumin it's one of the "okay" models.

                          I like the rotisserie roaster, that might be pretty nice over my little gas grill

                          So how do you know if your green beas are "high chaff"?

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                          • #14
                            I forgot to mention in my last post that the popcorn poppers I use haven't been modded and they work fine. I picked up a couple that did not get hot enough to crack the beans but hey, they were only $3. They got redonated. Sweet Marias was my source for info on the popcorn popper method of roasting and I've purchased a grinder and dripper from them. Never heard of high chaff beans. My chaff goes in the compost pile.

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                            • #15
                              I am assuming the high chaff question comes from something on the RK Drums site?

                              The chaff tends to separate from the bean and fly around the room when you're roasting. I always used a garage or outside space so it never really mattered, but it is kind of messy. It can burn too. I'd imagine most people just take their chances that it won't really start a fire in the roaster, but you could keep a spray bottle handy. You do occasionally hear about fires in roasters, but that's usually when people are roasting really dark, like French Roast. Second crack gets pretty crazy and if you don't pull the beans from the heat they will burn.

                              This is a pretty good chart: (notice the imminent fire category)

                              https://www.sweetmarias.com/library/...e-degree-roast

                              I have noticed little bits of flaming chaff fly around the garage, but it's kinda like tissue paper, and I don't imagine it's burning very hot. I never had it make a burn mark on anything or cause any problem other than having to sweep it off the floor and brush it out of my hair.

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