[Homeroast] City? City +? Full City?

Doug Hoople doughoople at gmail.com
Sun Feb 21 00:09:09 CST 2010


Makes an interesting discussion, Ed.

I actually got in trouble a month ago for repeating exactly the same
information as Don did, namely that the current standard of Starbucks
dark-roasting originated with Alfred Peet.

I don't think that I was suggesting that Alfred Peet was a light-roast
advocate. It could be that he was still roasting darker than the standard
for the country as a whole in the 70s, which was, in fact, a lot lighter
than is commonly found these days (homeroasters excepted).

But I did read here that Alfred Peet was later quoted as saying that the
Starbucks-standard levels of roasting that were brought back into the
Starbucks-operated Peet's were darker than he thought wise, that he lamented
them. That, essentially, his earlier roasts, while not light, were not as
dark as those of his successors.

I'm not a coffee authority. I never knew or even met Alfred Peet. I don't
know Don Schoenholt. I wasn't in Berkeley in the mid-70s. I wasn't in
Seattle during the 70s or 80s.
I do know that a Sulawesi and other Southeast Asian origins respond well to
darker roasting in ways that many other origins don't.

Doug
On Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 4:41 PM, Ed Needham <beans at homeroaster.com> wrote:

> Correction, he was (and is) a world coffee man.  There is no one on the
> planet with a more comprehensive knowledge of the history of coffee than Don
> Schoenholt.  Anyone in the coffee trade will back me up on that.  I've sat
> at his feet and heard more than my mind can fathom about beans, countries,
> farms, trade, roasts, and more.  Alfred Peet and Don Schoenholt were
> friends.  Don was well aware of the roasts coming out of Peets roasters.
>
> There's not a reference anywhere I could find referring to Peet as an
> advocate for light roast.  He was Dutch, and his coffee was a much darker
> roast than America was used to, which was not a burnt roast but a rich, full
> roast to maximize the caramels, the chocolate undertones and the nuttiness
> of a full roast.  Most coffee Americans were used to was a cinnamon light
> roast, and had little of the deep roasty flavors I personally enjoy.
>
> I'm not guessing at what I'm saying either.  I was there.  I began a
> coffeehouse in 1977, and I was well aware of the trends in coffee at the
> time.  Again, you can research it if you want, but if Don says it, I'm
> taking it to the bank.
>
> You may want to reference this article for a full picture of the coffee
> scene at the time.
> http://www.hospnews.com/images/Nov07web.pdf
>
>
> *********************
> Ed Needham
> "to absurdity and beyond!"
> http://www.homeroaster.com
> *********************
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Doug Hoople" <doughoople at gmail.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: Saturday, February 20, 2010 5:53 PM
> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] City? City +? Full City?
>
>
>
> Hi Ed,
>
> Thanks for this. Gillies is one of the places I'd get my coffee when I was
> living there in the 70s and 80s. It was before the specialty coffee
> revolution and they were one of the few "old-line" suppliers left.
>
> I also don't doubt that Don Schoenholt is a true authority on some aspects
> of coffee history. His explanation of how the term "City Roast" came into
> being is interesting and, possibly, might even be true.
>
> However, his explanation of the origin of Starbucks dark roast, is
> second-hand (he was a New Yorker describing a West Coast phenomenon) and
> wrong.
>
> "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."
>
> This is the received wisdom, something I had also heard and believed, but
> it's false.
>
> With thanks to Starfinder Stanley, whose father was an early Peet's
> customer, we've been able to learn that Alfred Peet, contrary to popular
> belief, was a responsible roaster whose coffee was much more popular before
> Starbucks bought him out and brought in their dark-roast techniques.
>  Alfred
> Peet was said to have mourned the introduction of heavy dark roasting as
> the
> in-house standard. It's speculated that Starbucks got the tradition of
> roasting that dark from the fishermen of the Pacific Northwest fleet, but
> they absolutely did not learn it from Alfred Peet.
>
> Doug
>
>
> On Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 10:04 AM, Ed Needham <beans at homeroaster.com>
> wrote:
>
> 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.
>>>
>>> <SNIP>
>>
>> -i840coffee
>>> New York Coffeeman"
>>>
>>>
>> Straight from the Coffeeman's mouth.
>> *********************
>> Ed Needham
>> "to absurdity and beyond!"
>> http://www.homeroaster.com
>> *********************
>>
>>
>>
>> ----- 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
>> 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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