[Homeroast] City? City +? Full City?

Ed Needham beans at homeroaster.com
Sat Feb 20 12:04:34 CST 2010

If there is one man in America who knows the true answer to this question it 
is Don Schoenholt of Gillies Coffee in New York City.  I won't go into Don's 
coffee pedigree, but you can either trust me on this one or look him up. 
Gillies has been roasting coffee since 1840.  Here's what Don says about the 
City, Full City, Full City +, etc., quoted from an alt.coffee post:

"Newsgroups: alt.coffee
Sent: Monday, March 13, 2006 12:16 AM
Subject: Re: New York Coffee\

> Traditionally (post Civil War 19th Cent.) Coffee was roasted medium
> with the South (with the exception of New Orleans) and New England
> roasting cinnamon color, and New York roasting darker than the others.
> This roast was known as "City-roast".  Later, a darker version
> emerged and it was called "Full City-roast".  One hundred years
> later, the Full City-roast was borrowed by the original Starbuck's
> partner and roastmaster Gerald Baldwin to describe the dark Dutch roast
> that he had been taught by Alfred Peet at Peet's in Emoryville CA.
> Later, the publicly owned Starbucks changed the moniker to
> "Starbuck's Roast".  In New York the "City-roast", "Full
> City-roast" tradition continues, but with the quantifying of the
> specialty coffee craft and the advent and application of profile
> roasting, and colorimeter systems as Agtron roast nomenclature one
> hundred years from now may well be a number system.  The coffee should
> be just as good as you have a right to expect.  This may result in
> roast names that are easier to understand.  The tradeoff will be a loss
> of romance and historic lore of coffee.
> -i840coffee
> New York Coffeeman"

Straight from the Coffeeman's mouth.
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John A C Despres" <johndespres at gmail.com>
To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this 
list,available at http://www.sweemarias.com/maillistinfo.html" 
<homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com>
Sent: Friday, February 19, 2010 6:02 PM
Subject: [Homeroast] City? City +? Full City?

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

The HRO List has these divisions without temperatures but pictures as
Cinnamon roast just after 1st crack
New England Roast
American Roast
City Roast
Full City Roast just after 2nd crack

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

Here’s yet another site with variances: (This one is interesting with lots
of nice, seemingly accurate descriptions)

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?

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