The Morning After: Time for Coffee! I opened the bottle and smelled the beans. They smelled a little bit more green than I prefer, as I expected, but I decided to grind them anyway. Upon grinding, they gave off a very bright, aromatic smell. I liked it.
I put them in the Krups Pro Aroma drip machine (which has an after-market SwissGold® filter instead of the provided "gold-tone" filter). The coffee was similarly bright and tasty. I'll probably try roasting at 22 minutes, but I'll keep this coffee in the light end of the roast spectrum. Next, I'll try something that should be at the darker, such as a Sumatra Mandheling or Java Jampit.
Well, the Zach & Dani's Roaster went back in January, within the 30 day return period. After a number of roasts, I just wasn't satisfied with the taste of the roasted beans. Since these were my good ones from Sweet Maria's (as are all of my coffee beans to date), this just wasn't a good show. The folks at Zach & Dani's took it back without any quibble or groan.
Later posts on the newsgroup alt.coffee indicate that the "baked taste" problem occurred in the cooling cycle, not in the roasting cycle. Many alt.coffee users were removing the beans as soon as the roast ended -- that is, as soon as it switched from heating to cooling -- and then cooled the beans themselves outside the Z&D roaster. That makes sense, as the beans were beautiful, but were still hot when the cooling cycle ended.
I've got my eye on other roasters now. I used the Home Innovations Precision extensively -- 6-8 batches per week. These things really don't have an unlimited life, so that's an issue I have to address, as well as the small batch size. [glimpse of the future -- I bought a Hottop and put the HIP on the shelf]
Hearthware is working on a new roaster that is supposed to be double the volume of their current roaster. It's been under development for w while and the release has been postponed several times. Currently, this is expected on the market in the September-November timeframe.
The hot new roaster on the market is the Hottop, which is from Taiwan. There is a US distributor now and a number of sellers, especially among the green coffee suppliers. The roaster is reviewed at Coffeegeek.com and Randy Glass's great Espresso, My Espresso site. This one is seriously on my wishlist. [update: I bought one; check the Hottop pages.]
Copyright © 2003-2006 Terry A. Stockdale