[Homeroast] City? City +? Full City?

Gail C Sorrells gailcs at peoplepc.com
Fri Feb 19 17:44:12 CST 2010

John A C Despres wrote:
> Here are some questions that I'm wondering about.
> What do you label your degree of roast? How do you know? When do they occur?
> There are several different lists of when a certain degree of roast is
> reached and they don’t match.
> Sweet Maria’s list is as follows also with pictures as reference:
> City + roast at 435°F, about 25 seconds after end of 1st crack
> Full City roast at 444°F about 25 seconds after 1st ends
> Full City + at 454°F about 1:50 after 1st ends
> http://www.sweetmarias.com/roasting-VisualGuideV2.php
> The HRO List has these divisions without temperatures but pictures as
> reference.
> Cinnamon roast just after 1st crack
> New England Roast
> American Roast
> City Roast
> Full City Roast just after 2nd crack
> http://www.homeroasters.org/index.htm
> Kenneth Davids has this list in his book Home Coffee Roasting
> Cinnamon roast below 400°F
> New England at 400°F
> American at 400-415°F
> City at 415-435°F
> Full City at435-445°F
> And also from Sweet Maria’s, this list at the bottom of the page
> George Steinert's Degree of Roast/Temperature chart:
> Early yellow at 327°F
> 1st Crack Begins at 401°F
> 1st Crack Under Way at 415°F
> City Roast at 426°F
> City+ at 435 °F
> Full City    446    °F
> Full City+    454    °F
> Vienna (Light French)    465    °F
> http://www.sweetmarias.com/roasting-VisualGuideV2.php
> Here’s yet another site with variances: (This one is interesting with lots
> of nice, seemingly accurate descriptions)
> http://www.cofei.com/categories/degree-of-roast-temperature-description.html
> My concern is communication amongst us home coffee roasters. My Full City +
> may be your Full City. Yet your Full City may come after 2nd crack and my
> Full City is before 2nd is remotely near.
> Which labeling system do you use? Is there yet another guide you go by? How
> can we better communicate our roast degree to one another?
> Some of us are able to determine bean temperature while others know the drum
> temperature only. Stating the temperature of when your roast ended is of
> great importance to some while it means nothing to me as there’s no way for
> me to know.
> All of this occurred to me this afternoon while chatting with the owner of a
> USRC. He knows as much as possible about his roasts, while I know exhaust
> temperature and time. Of course, these are both usable factors; I can base
> roasts on the information and then measure the bean temperature with an IR
> thermometer immediately upon pulling the drum. That could be great post
> roast information like recording the weight loss; there’s no way I can know
> it before the roast ends in my Gene Café.
> So, what do we call our roasts? How and why?
> John
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Hello, you ask some very cogent questions! :)

IMHO you are leaping from the "science of roasting" to the "art of 
roasting". You see, everyone and anyone has their own definitions of 
what are the different levels of roasting. The only constant seems to 
the the much darker, ie. French to Italian roasts. Vienna is considered 
Light Vienna or First City+ or Vienna and or First City ++. Depends on 
who you read.

I use the Behmor 1600 and perform a modified P2, by opening/closing the 
door at the height of roasting.
I cannot tell you spceifically what level of roast I achieve: The center 
of the bean is open, there is little visible chaff, and the chocolate 
aroma is always well noted, and the color is a rich brown. ( My rich 
brown may not be your rich brown. Art of roasting)
The moisture content loss is usually equal to 15% to 18% with an ave of 
16-17% moisture loss. I weigh the green beans then re-weigh after roasting.

For me the determining factor is in the cup: Do I have a wondrous Bloom? 
Is the aroma Chocolately? When the beans are ground do they release a 
pleasing coffee aroma? Finally, does the first sip say AWWWWWW!

Then I simply enjoy!
Monica Gail

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