[Homeroast] Quest M3 Arrives, Is it worth it?

sci scizen at gmail.com
Wed Dec 15 17:54:07 CST 2010

Thanks so much Tom for the kind of deep insight probably only you could
I agree the bean in the roaster is the biggest factor. After roasting that
'07 IMV last week that truth is all the more vivid to me. It was still an
amazing cup, blueberry still alive.

I liked Allon's analogy with cameras. As a photographer, I understand fully.
If you're going to take photos of a once in a lifetime event, you want a
good camera. Like all here, I have lots of home roasting devices. But when
you have a killer bean, like Aida's Grand Reserve, or a fancy gesha, or that
batch of  '07 IMV, you don't want to risk it in an air popper (or the B1600


> ________________________________
> From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee <sweetmarias at sweetmarias.com>
> To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list,
> available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"
> <homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com>
> Sent: Tue, December 14, 2010 9:48:58 PM
> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Quest M3 Arrives, Is it worth it?
> I appreciate this conversation and have been holding back from weighing in
> here.
> People are entitled to their opinions, and home roasters have never held
> back. I
> look at each roaster as something unique, each with ups and downs. I think
> you
> can get good roasts in many of these machines. There was a real change
> around
> here when I decided I could no longer roast all my samples on a home
> roaster.
> The volume of samples was just too great, and I needed a multi-barrel
> roaster
> that could roast and cool at the same time. But I still use most all the
> roasters (I even have a Poppery 1 on the bench, across from a vintage? 3
> barrel
> electric Probat and a 3 barrel Gothot gas roaster). I do not "profile"
> sample
> roasts - it's a straight line from start to finish, within a range of about
> 9-11
> minutes, with minor adjustments in a session if I find the roast times
> creeping
> up or dropping off. I use the green coffee batch size to adjust the roast
> as
> well. If I roast a batch in the Quest (or the Poppery 1 for that matter, or
> I
> Roast or Behmor or Hottop) I don't expect it to be better or worse. I
> expect it
> to be slightly different, that's all. We compare roasts regularily- I did 6
> separate batches of a decaf arrival in the Probat (imagine how much time it
> would take in one behmor!) and we did a Behmor batch as well. Behmor cupped
> quite favorably. My Probat allows me great control, as the quest m3? does,
> as
> well as much greater opportunity to ruin the coffee as well. In not of this
> are
> we talking about larger batch roasting, which we do a bit of in the L-12
> Probat,
> and on that we use several basic adjustments to air and gas during the
> roast.
> The key on the L-12 is to have it properly installed, and very clean
> ducting
> because it has low air flow. I think the L-12 roasts are nice, but I feel
> that
> the critical factor is what you are putting in, the coffee. I can say for
> sure
> that i MIGHT like an L-12 batch of a particular Kenya, but it will have a
> different taste profile than my sample roasts. Usually I produce many
> sample
> roasts of each coffee, and if I toss one L-12 batch on the table with these
> many
> sample roasts, I guarantee you I will find one of the sample roasts I like
> better.
> My point is this; It might seem that it's about the machine, and the
> operator.
> True, it is. But you have no chance of quality without putting in good
> ingredients, and without targeting a specific end point. With small (home
> roast
> size) batches, I get many snap shots of the same coffee, and several
> seconds
> difference in degree of roast is where some coffees can really shift.
> Getting
> really good at targeting that roast degree is difficult; doing it in a
> Behmor is
> even harder. That (and cooling within the same space you roast in) are my
> gripes
> with most home roasters, and those factors make a difference in successful
> results. To a large degree, other differences are secondary. If a Behmor no
> longer meets your needs and a Quest might, fine. That would be like me at
> the
> point I found I could not possibly produce enough samples in a home
> roaster. A
> Quest is not a Behmor. A Quest is not a 3 barrel Probat nor an L-12. All
> are
> tools with different capabilities. It depends on what you are trying to do
> with
> them. The thing I find endlessly amusing is that you can produce AMAZING
> coffee
> in an air popper.
> There is not one right way. If you spend 4x as much money, you can still
> produce
> horrible coffee. People do it every day on $250k of roast equipment. With
> care,
> and accepting some limitations, a $2 thrift store find can result in great
> coffee.
> Anyway, just trying to chime in with some perspective from a different
> place...
> now I am going to go roast a Guatemala sample in the Behmor!
> -- -Tom

More information about the Homeroast mailing list