[Homeroast] hmmm, another coffee scam???

JanoMac janomac at gmail.com
Mon Jun 21 16:06:48 CDT 2010

All you need to do to reduce destruction (i.e. removal or oxidation) of many
of the antioxidants found in coffee is to roast lighter than the near
Spanish roast found in most of the commercial enterprises. That single
factor (profile of roast) could be almost entirely responsible for any
perceived difference. Hmmm...

I got it! Let's all agree to share the patent what USED to be called a
"City+" roast and we'll rename it and either sell the rights or pursue
litigation of any entity using this roast without permission and appropriate
(make that: "exhorbitant") royalties. We can advertise our product to be
heathful, using the latest data published via web health food sites, run a
few lab trials, and then sit back and enjoy an excellent cup of coffee,
individually prepared from gently and properly roasted, "best in the world"
beans acquired for us by our host. Hey...we can cut Tom in on this, too, and
call it the Sweet Maria Process (Registered Trademark, patent pending,
etc.). What do you all say? Any attorneys here that wish to draw up the

But let's follow Kirk's (that's me) even more sketical argument:
HPLC (High Performance [sometimes High Pressure] Liquid Chromatography) can
be extremely sensitive and differentiate an enormous number of different
compounds found in a mixed sample of liquid-- depending upon the way the
user has set it up. Its definitely a "you only get what you are looking for"
analytical method. That is, a practitioner does NOT simply set up an HPLC &
run it willy-nilly. I do caffeine and acetomenophen (Tylenol [registered TM,
and all that legal jazz) with high school biology students each year. The
set-ups used for the (very) water soluble caffeine and the less soluble
acetomenophen are quite different. We even do it wrong on purpose to
demonstrate what happens when the wrong system is used to find the desired

So, part of my skepticism comes in the HPLC testing done for (by?) the
Asantae coffee folks.

Was the same method (timeline, reagents, pressure, column matrix, etc.)
used?  It is common to "lie" with HPLC in bogus phramaceutical "studies"
[often done in Europe & Asia by so-called "natural" medicine interests...I
fear we may have this in the USA, too) by running one set of samples with a
water-based mobile phase and another with an alcohol-base (often methanol)
and "comparing" the results. Of course, if you want to extract,
differentiate,  and visualize more organics in your propriatary blend, you'd
use an organic mobile phase and compare to the other stuff with which you
used water to extract the compounds. If you were looking to boost the
mineral component to yours, you'd do the opposite. Science doesn't lie, but
scientists sometimes do....they are people too, just like everyone else.
What has sometimes been done by ne'er-do-wells is a switch of columns
between runs. Old vs. new columns can produce widely variant results...and a
charlatan can capitalize on that difference to their own advantage.

But let's say that the same organic or water-based solute was used on the
same properly maintained and rinsed columns. If you start with a charcoal
roast (say, like: *$'s French Roast), you would expect to have fewer complex
organics making it through the HPLC when compared to a lighter roast. Wow!
Now that's big science, indeed! [cynical laugh]. The long-chain organics
from the lipids will now be short-chain oils. Long-chain starches and other
polysaccharides will now be carmelized to shorter-chain sugars. Lots of
stuff will have been simply turned to ash.
...and by the way: Ash is not a particularly potent anti-oxidant.

How about the results from different premium blends of coffee (it was an
averaged result, after all)?
It seems to me that one of the very reasons for success by any of the larger
(so-called) "Premium" companies is that they take a big batch of relatively
inexpensive coffees, and both blend and roast to achieve a uniformity in
which essentially all "origin" flavors are lost or so masked as to make the
coffee "generic" across their market area and across the entire year
regardless of the season. This consistency may be good business, but makes
for mediocre -- or at least, relatively uninteresting, certainly uninspiring
--coffee flavor.

So...could this "hype" be true? Sure. Their coffee may, indeed, have more
antioxidants. Whoopie! I would drink my good coffee if it had NO
antioxidants. Heck, I'd probably still drink it if it were "mildly" toxic.
But I will maintain that any of this vendor's health claims or any increased
amount of anti-oxidants will not be because of any "special," or "powerful"
roasting process.

I've been around this list a while. I don't write often, but watch out when
I do.
I hate it when science is co-opted to aid charlatans or marketeers.

(resident protector of good science and enemy of pseudoscience and marketing

On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 2:12 PM, Edward Bourgeois <edbourgeois at gmail.com>wrote:

> This was a comment just put on my blog site:
> """ I found a VERY great coffee: premium taste, new and HEALTHY
> powerful roasting, they worked 7 years on it and there are 3 patents
> on that coffee, bio, normal price like other bio coffees, fair trade,
> 3-5 times antioxidants than green tea, people are totally excited
> about this coffee, I confirm everybody I give it to try says the same,
> business is exploding in the US, people feel more energy and feel so
> good, you can also easily earn money with it from home. Reason: it is
> a VERY simple product that EVERYBODY wants. And coffee is the second
> commodity in world trade in value after oil. Here are the coffee links
> and please give me feedback, thx Chris:
> http://www.asantae-coffee.blogspot.com/
> http://www.asantae-coffee.com/ """"
>  Geeez, should I stop buying from Tom and Maria and get with the
> future?????
> --
> Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
> Amherst MA.
> http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
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