[Homeroast] Is it just me?

miKe mcKoffee mcKona at comcast.net
Fri Mar 5 23:07:14 CST 2010

If relying strictly or primarily on bean "color" as the determining factor
in degree of roast then yes, there is indeed a deficiency, a lack of
understanding, in what Tom provides on his roast pictorial page. 

"Visual examination during roasting is 'just one of the ways' to determine
where the coffee is in the roast process. By itself, it is of limited use.
When complimented by the audible cues (first and second crack) and the
aromas of the roast process, it is extremely informative. Beware that coffee
is more about exceptions that rules; Sumatras often look like they are in
the City roast while in fact they are into 2nd Crack. On the other hand,
there is an occasional coffee that over-represents the degree of roast, that
looks darker than it truly is, such as some Kenyas and St. Helena (and some
would say that dry-processed Brazils are in the category too). Dry-processed
"natural" coffees do not roast to an even color, so it is hard to judge the
median color of the batch to determine the degree of roast. And none of
these factors necessarily have a bearing on the quality of a raw coffee:
quality is determined in the cup!" 

And further:

"The important thing is here is to see the transformation the coffee goes
through as it roasts and what look, color, bean "size" and "surface
texture", corresponds to the degree of roast."

Tending to rely primarily or even strictly on the bean color during the
roast to determine roast level is normal early in roasting Journeys, but it
is faulty. As Tom points out by itself "it is of limited use".

As far as terminology usage such as City++ etc. goes, their usage is to a
degree subjective versus a system like Agtron. But the more experienced
gained discussing roasts the less variance in meaning is found.

That said read my sigtag, it isn't just a saying. The more I know about
coffee the more I know I don't know.

Slave to the Bean Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee

Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.

Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archives

> -----Original Message-----
> From: homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com 
> [mailto:homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com] On 
> Behalf Of Ryan M. Ward
> Sent: Friday, March 05, 2010 7:28 PM
> To: homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Is it just me?
> "How do you propose a home roaster (who also does NOT happen 
> to be a chemist) determine sugar caramelization or organic 
> converted to carbon percentages? I do hope you jest. If 
> someone can't figure out how to communicate roast levels with 
> the tools Tom's provided there's something very cognitively wrong..."
> I think this issue may now be dead in the water and lost in 
> technicalities, my fault. My original question, and follow up 
> elaborations were never meant to be applied directly to the 
> home roaster. I would never presume that a home roaster has 
> the interest, training, etc... in chemistry to make analysis 
> of organic compounds within coffee a practical or feasible 
> way to determine the best ways to roast coffee. I was simply 
> asking if the industry had set standards. 
> In regards to the following comment:
> "If someone can't figure out how to communicate roast levels with the
> tools Tom's provided there's something very cognitively wrong..."
> My perception of the origination of this discussion follows 
> from the following:
> 1) A lack of consistent usage of a naming convention- 
> particularly to the symbols c++ and Full City Roast
> 2) The fact that the color images provided by SM are monitor 
> dependent and although are helpful, cannot be relied on 
> rigorously (Please note, Tom, I do appreciate your providing 
> that image and I do use it in my home roasting, my comments 
> should be interpreted as statements of the limitations of 
> technology, not a lack of appreciate for a service that you 
> have provided to us free of charge) 
> Now, besides the articles which I have found on the Sweet 
> Maria's this picture considered in our present discussion is 
> the only "tool" which I am familiar with from Sweet Maria's. 
> Given these facts, I believe you have accused everyone 
> participating in this discussion, who have posted legitimate 
> questions- including myself, of having cognitive deficiencies. 
> Is this what you mean to suggest?
> -- 
> Ryan M. Ward

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