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Coffee Roasting diaries

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I’ve started roasting my coffee and I needed a good place to put my notes on my roasts. So, I figure, why not here? While I learn to roast, I’ll be posting my notes on this blog.

A few notes about my coffee setup. I grind using a KitchenAid Pro Line burr grinder. If you brew your coffee using a consumer automatic drip coffee maker, a $20 blade-type grinder is probably good enough for you. These blade grinders, however suffer from two problems: control and heat. Because the beans sit inside the grinder alongside the ground coffee, you don’t have the control to get a consistent grind. While you grind whole beans you’re also re-grinding grounds, creating ground coffee that’s not the same all the way through. And the constant friction from contact with the whirling blades, combined with the heat from the motor heats the beans slightly—just enough to cook them a little more. If you’re going to make espresso or use manual brewing like a french press, you need a burr grinder.

I tried a couple of budget burr grinders (Cuisinart and Capresso but they weren’t able to get a fine enough grind for my espresso machine. I was in Williams-Sonoma and they had the KitchenAid for about $100. I’m very happy with it so far.

For brewing I use a Briel Lido espresso machine daily. It works well (for two years now) and I’m quite happy with it. It’s not very automatic and requires a fair amount of fiddling to make good espresso, but I like it quite a bit. I also use a Chemex when I’m wanting brewed coffee, especially when entertaining.

For roasting, I’m using a $15 Chefmate hot air popcorn popper from Target (can’t find a decent link) with the air roasting method described by Sweet Maria’s.

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