[Homeroast] Definitions and Agtron > hazmat blends of *$

Ryan M. Ward silvercro_magnon at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 8 17:45:25 CST 2010

Ah, that clarifies it for me. Thank you.
Ryan M. Ward

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> From: mcKona at comcast.net
> To: homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> Date: Mon, 8 Mar 2010 14:22:32 -0800
> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Definitions and Agtron > hazmat blends of *$
> I mentioned it but seems to have been missed. To clarify the Agtron system
> is used to measure/name/specify the roast level, as determined by the
> "ground" coffee. Not the whole bean unground. Also the system is profile
> independent, couldn't care less about how it got roasted. Except for
> uniformity in the color of the grounds.
> The Agtron Spectrophotometer system is not a tool for developing or
> evaluating profiles, simply final roast level. However, Agtron has expanded
> to offering Coffee Roasting Control Systems. Based on Carl Staub's
> groundbreaking "Kinetic Roasting Method," Agtron Inc. developed two
> electronic roasting wizards that can be fit to existing roasting equipment.
> Oh, they also have a spectrophotometer specifically designed to address the
> special requirements associated with evaluating color changes relative to
> the frying process of French Fried Potatoes. (I suspect developed at the
> request of MickyD's?) And another one evaluating color changes during tomato
> maturation. And yet another used extensively in a large variety of food
> products like; flours, spices, grains, nuts, cereals, sugars, snack foods,
> baked goods, etc. They are also used for pharmaceuticals, plastics,
> chemicals, paper and other industries.
> Back to coffee. As far as any "Industry Standard" naming conventions with
> any sort of associated detailed roast parameters there are none as far as I
> know. Some loosely most of the time agreed upon terminology is about it.
> Hence you'll see meaningless (marketing) roast terms like "Bold Roast",
> "Deep Roast", "Premium Roast" or yeah "Espresso Roast".
> Slave to the Bean Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
> http://www.NorwestCoffee.com
> URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:
> http://www.mckoffee.com/
> 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
> http://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/ 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com 
> > [mailto:homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com] On 
> > Behalf Of Ryan M. Ward
> > Sent: Monday, March 08, 2010 1:32 PM
> > To: homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> > Subject: Re: [Homeroast] hazmat blends of *$
> > 
> > 
> > Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to suggest that we should 
> > all got out and buy Agtron systems- that would be sort of silly. 
> > 
> > I think that I should back up a bit and explain why I became 
> > interested in this topic in the first place, that may clarify 
> > where I am coming from.
> > 
> > Personally, I am a Mathematician(Well, technically a 
> > Mathematics graduate student), which means that I am very 
> > focused on Logic and definitions. This is just how my life 
> > runs. In Mathematics, we have to take some abstract concepts 
> > and define them very clearly in a way that one can perform 
> > logical arguments on. Sometimes things that seem very obvious 
> > or intuitive are actually the hardest to define. 
> > 
> > Example (I am starting to get a little OT, I promise I will 
> > come back soon and make my point clear):
> > Consider a collection of objects which has nothing in it. 
> > This, in set theory, is called an empty set(pretty 
> > descriptive name huh?). Well, the description above is not a 
> > very workable definition mathematically. It's hard to do math 
> > on it even though its point is rather clear, so we use a 
> > better definition:
> > 
> > Definition: The empty set is the set of all elements which 
> > are not equal to themselves. 
> > 
> > This definition is very strange but surprisingly is very workable. 
> > 
> > Now, back to coffee. My interest in this topic arose out of 
> > the motivation I have outlined above. Has the industry 
> > established a formal definition, based in rigour and physical 
> > properties, for different roasting profiles. If such a 
> > definition exists, I am sure there are implications that 
> > trickle down to the home roaster but my original inquiry was 
> > simply whether such a definition exists. Mike then 
> > established that the industry uses color and a spectrometer 
> > to establish uniformity in roasting profiles. I assume that 
> > temperature is also controlled in this process. To summarize, 
> > I was simply asking if such a thing exists. I think we can 
> > all agree that if you throw some beans into a Behmor and 
> > roast for 2 seconds you certainly do not have a Full City 
> > roast, right? Well, this leads me to suspect that some kind 
> > of definition exists- even if a loose one. 
> > 
> > Now, regarding eggs and steak the same, equally valid 
> > question can be applied: Does an industry standard definition 
> > exist which clearly defines what an over easy egg is, or a 
> > medum rare steak is? I have no idea, when I am eating an egg 
> > am I focused on this question? No, of course not, I am eating 
> > an egg. Now, if I were to open up a high end French 
> > restaurant which caters to the egg connoisseurs, would I care 
> > then? Of course, I would be researching it like crazy, and 
> > then once I had mastered the ability to created the egg of 
> > definition, I would butcher the recipe and add my own 
> > personal signature to it. If I was feeding egg snobs, I would 
> > hate to listen to them complain about how the eggs florentine 
> > dish that I fed them wasn't even really eggs florentine 
> > because I forgot X, Y and Z. I probably would not care so 
> > much if I was having friends over though.
> > 
> > Now, one last thought and then I will quit. I never meant to 
> > personally establish what that definition is. A formal 
> > definition can be sufficiently loose to allow for a wide 
> > range of variation. I could see a definition for an over easy 
> > egg as being an egg fried on both sides. The reason I 
> > question a color based definition with coffee roasting is 
> > that the surface can brown at a different rate than the 
> > center based on ambient temperature. This is why I feel that 
> > any definition based on color needs to at least account for 
> > temperature controls. In short, such a formal definition does 
> > not have anything to do with extreme repeatability, other 
> > than the fact that such a definition would allow "extreme 
> > repeatability" to occur should one choose. 
> > -- 
> > Ryan M. Ward
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