Where do you order your coffee beans?

petra_gwMay 22, 2013

After yet another stale, yucky bulk-bin cup of coffee hubby and I have decided to look for a mail-order source of beans. We live in the boonies and the nearest large city is well over an hour's drive, so it's not practical to go there often. There are so many coffee mail order places out there, I'd rather get some personal recommendations before we jump in. And a place with reasonable shipping rates as well as great coffee beans would be even better. :o)

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I have just become a coffee drinker so I'm certainly not knowledgeable about coffee. But I was gifted with tips and suggestions from our Cooking Forum friends here and in seeking out what would satisfy my needs based on those suggestions, I ordered from CoffeeAM. My order was received quickly and the flavor of the beans delivered what I was looking for to make flavorful iced coffee. BUT, what does this novice coffee drinker know.

Here is a link that might be useful: CoffeeAM

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 5:06AM
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Have you thought about getting green (unroasted) coffee beans, roast and grind them yourself? My neighbors roast their own and make really great coffee. I understand green coffee beans last longer than roasted in storage. The old saying "fresh is best" seems to apply to coffee beans as it does so many other foods. They purchase their green coffee beans from a local restaurant supply company who's claim-to-fame came from roasting and grinding coffee. The trick is finding your favorite roast and a bulk coffee roaster. Some people use a popcorn air-popper.

I'm a tea person and only occasionally drink coffee.


Here is a link that might be useful: Bean Central Coffee - Nashville, TN

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 5:08AM
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Assuming you wish to go the traditional route, may I suggest Peets Coffee in California. Mr. Peet and Mr. Starbuck started selling coffee together. They separated many years ago and Peets went in a more upscale direction with fewer sites. They now have an online site. They make a serious effort to only deliver freshly roasted beans. Each bag is coded with the roasting date. Unfortunately, they are expensive although not absurd.

I actually find that COSTCO provides excellent coffee beans that nearly match the quality at Peets at a much lower price. You would not get the fresh guarantee and I know nothing about the online turnover. I just checked their site and was surprised that they seem to carry all of their regular 'Kirkland' brands of specialty coffees. They also carry Mayorga brand which is very good but more expensive and a whole bunch of other brands that I suspect are lower quality. I was surprised to see that the Kirkland bags were listed as 3# bags. These coffees were indeed sold in 3# units two or three years ago, but they changed packagers or suppliers and now sell in two pound bags. I learned this by calling COSTCO during the temporary disappearance of specialty coffee and was able to talk to their coffee buyer! I wonder if they have a special deal online or if they mis-marked the quantity.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 8:37AM
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love Duncan Coffee out of Houston. . . great selection. . .teas as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Duncan Coffee

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:28AM
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We drink Peets too!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions, much appreciated!
Cherigw, thanks for the link. We're in TX too which should positively affect shipping. :o)
Mustangs, I wonder if there is a difference re. which beans to use for hot vs. iced coffee. Will have to read up on that. I know there is a cold-brew method which makes a coffee concentrate that can be used for iced coffee or hot.
Grainlady, I actually came across a website called "sweet Maria". They specialize in selling green beans to people who roast their own. We discussed that as well, but will have to read up more on it. It does sound ideal to be able to roast your own.
Chas, we've tried Peets before and both found it to be quite bitter. Might have been the dark roast and will be sure to try them again, maybe with a medium roast. As for Costco, the nearest one is well over an hour's drive away, so not really doable too often.
Compumom, missed your post when I replied, I am a slowpoke this morning due to stale coffee. :o) 2 endorsements for Peets, we'll definitely have to try it again.

This post was edited by petra on Thu, May 23, 13 at 11:21

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:18AM
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We buy our beans at Costco. Love the Espresso Blend from Kirkland in the red bag. But if you can get a hold of some of their Rwanda(brown bag) it is truly great haven't seen it in a couple of years. We tried the Guatemala but didn't like it tasted earthy.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:20AM
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petra, I have started roasting my own green beans, it's much cheaper, easy to do and makes great coffee. My favorite so far is Costa Rican, but I've had Columbian and Hawaiian that were pretty darned good. I didn't care for the Brazilian or the Mexican, as CLBlakey mentioned, they tasted earthy.

I started roasting coffee with the hot air popcorn popper with instructions from Cook's Illustrated, it was easy and the coffee was really good.

Elery bought a small home roaster for about $150.00 and now I put the coffee in the top and push the button. 7 or 8 minutes and the coffee is roasted, cooled and ready to sit on the counter overnight to "off-gas". Next morning, into the Chemex. As a result, Elery has started drinking coffee again, the stuff I'm roasting doesn't seem to get his acid reflux all in a twitch as long as he sticks with just a cup or two.

If I don't roast my own, I get coffee at Sam's Club, I can get locally roasted Paramount for $13 a three pound bag, their breakfast blend is pretty good.

I do buy green beans from Burman Coffee in Wisconsin and it's where we bought the roaster too. It's right next door to Michigan, so the shipping is less and it's small enough that you get to talk to a real person if there's a question or a prolem.

I've also found green beans at the Mediterranean Market in Grand Rapids in their bulk food section, $4.99 a pound, which is similar to the stuff I get from Burman's, minus shipping, so if you are near a bigger city, you might be able to find some.

The good thing is that green beans keep for 6 months or so but if they are roasted they get stale quickly, so you can store the green beans without the quality issues of storing roasted coffee.

If you go to a coffee shop or restaurant and have coffee that you really like, ask. They will usually tell you what coffee they serve and where to get it, some places will even sell it to you.

Whatever you decide, good luck. If you find one you like, you're all set. I don't care for the darker roasts or the bitter coffees, so roasting my own is perfect. I also found Peet's to be a little bitter and Starbucks tastes scorched, so everyone likes something different.

Annie (drinking my THIRD cup of Costa Rican coffee roasted about 3 pm yesterday)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:14PM
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I live in coffee paradise, (PNW), where there is a great roastery on nearly every corner. I don't care for Starbuck's coffee beans and I think there are many superior brands (altho they do make a good latte). One that is highly regarded and has a wonderful mail order service is here in my town...Batdorf and Bronson. I'd encourage you to try it. Coffee comes in sealed bags and is bagged immediately after roasting - I believe you can order it custom ground and sealed, as well. They have great customer service and you can get advice about which roast to order. I like the blends myself and the Dancing Goats blend is very popular.

"Do you know how coffee was discovered?

Legend has it that in about 800 A.D. an Ethiopian goatherder named Kaldi noticed his goats dancing around a shrub with bright red berries.

Kaldi deduced that these berries were causing this strange (but fun!) behavior in his goats, so he decided to try them for himself.

Kaldi then experienced one of the worldâÂÂs first caffeine buzzes as the berries contained what we now know as coffee beans. Some local monks got word of the buzz and started popping coffee berries to stay awake during nightly prayers."

Here is a link that might be useful: Batdorf and Bronson coffee

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:15PM
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If you don't know what "your" coffee is you need to experiment. Even after 40 years of coffee drinking, I finally found a coffee I liked. Dark, medium or light roast - bitter, strong, mild, sweet, flavored, high, medium, low acidity? There are so many choices. You might want to get some samplers so you can try many different kinds of coffee until you find your coffee.

Water makes a big difference - warm tap water, the kind that comes from the cold water faucet in Texas, doesn't make good coffee. Ozarka bottled water is a better choice.

After much experimenting, I use Brazilian Bourbon Santos (brewed in Poland Spring water) , a very smooth, low acid coffee, and it mixes well with other coffees to make a nice blend.

Good luck

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:01PM
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Before we settle on Peets Mocca Java, we sampled 1/8th of a lb or 5 or 6 different beans. We didn't like many due to bitterness or acidity, this one worked well for both of us. Somedays I still dilute a bit-- either with milk or hot water and we always use filtered water and the french press. Your mileage may vary. However we do buy the beans ground at the Peets store. I wasn't a fan of the grocery store blends.
While in Tucson recently we tried and liked Arbuckle's freshly roasted ground Ariosa coffee. I bought a couple of bags of the Mexican coffee and mixed with the Peets is a delightful evening treat. For breakfast I prefer the unflavored coffees.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:34PM
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I have to give a shoutout for my home town's coffee: Community Coffee, roasted in Baton Rouge. For decades they've been providing coffees to most of South Louisiana (yes, including New Orleans), and their Red Bag Dark Roast is my go-to coffee. Great balance of rich roastiness and flavor without much bitterness. I buy it online for my office.

Their traditional Dark Roast is probably their biggest seller, but they have a bunch of other coffees available too. Many of their coffees are available both preground and as beans.

Here is a link that might be useful: Community Coffee

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:52PM
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Annie, thanks so much for the info! It does sound like roasting your own would be well worth it if you don't have access to good roasters or coffee shops which sell quality beans. And I am really jealous over your freshly roasted Costa Rican brew. :o)

I also read some scary info re. mycotoxins in coffee. Supposedly, 97% of grocery store beans are contaminated because of the way they are processed. The amount in normal coffee consumption is not enough to do serious damage, but can cause cognitive problems, memory loss, loss of concentration, foggy thinking, fatigue, etc. Purchasing green beans from a responsible source and purchasing single-source coffee appears to be much less risky.

Olychick, thank you for the link. And thank you for the coffee discovery story, hadn't heard that before. :o) I wonder how the guy decided it tastes better roasted and brewed.

MomJ, my favorites are Sumatra Mandheling and Organic Peruvian medium roast and hubby likes most dark roasts. Have been able to find them freshly delivered in the bulk bin at the local grocery store and they've been wonderful. But since last year, they taste very stale. Maybe they've changed producers, who knows. As for water, we have very hard, strange-tasting water. So we use bottled spring water for coffee and even cooking.

Compumom, there's no Peet's store nearby, only the grocery pre-packaged Peets. Sounds like it's better to skip unless one can get the fresh beans.

Arley, we've tried Community Coffee (both with and without chicory) and didn't care for it. But I know lots of people who love it, so you are in very good company.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:52PM
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Mail order from Peet's, the beans will be freshly roasted. Peet's is the best, and that goes back to many years ago when we were both in grad school in Berkeley.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:41PM
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I just received my first sampler from SweetMarias.
And had recently picked up a BackToBasics popcorn popper at a yard sale for 2 bucks, never used. Makes great popcorn in 2 minutes. Odd to discover it also does a good green coffee roast. Not tried it yet because of timing but have the beans in the freezer for now.
I'm content with Costco coffee beans. We like the Mayorga organic but toss in some of the others on occasion. And mix them. The water, the grinder, and the method all play a part. Chemex is what we've decided we like the best.
We will be at the cabin this weekend and i'll grind enough for a few days. Just not the same with that horrid old elec drip coffee pot. Might have to get a french press or something better. Really makes a difference and will be reminded once again tomorrow morning...might as well be folgers instant.

Here is a link that might be useful: green coffee

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 9:49AM
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Sushi, definitely considering ordering straight from them.

Sleevendog, we gave up coffee makers long ago. We use a filter with filter paper and pour the hot water straight on the grounds. into my trusty Waechtersbach coffee pot. :o) Even with stale beans, still much better than coffee machine coffee.
I hope you will report back when you get a chance to roast the green beans!!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 10:11AM
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CLBlakey: The brown bag Kirkland was one of those that I saw at the online COSTCO. You might want to go for it. I haven't seen it at a store since the changeover to two pound bags.

Petra, I had assumed that you had no access to good local coffee. I wasn't even suggesting that you get Peets at a store although that should save a shipping charge. And those store packed bags are dated too. However, I would doubt that they would be as fresh as a bag shipped directly to you. I am also confident that most of those northwest coffee providers are excellent. I was simply concerned that their turnover would be lower than Peets particularly for the milder roasts that you prefer.

I still think COSTCO is a better deal. One thing that gives Peets an impression of quality for in house service is that they brew and serve their coffee at double strength: yee-hahh!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 12:34PM
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Petra,if you decide to go the order route, I can't say enough about the customer service from Duncan. Once (late at night)I mistakenly ordered ground v. whole bean. Called them the next morning and they made the change in my order with no questions askesd, no delay. Another time, they sent my order with caffinated beans when I had ordered de-caf. When it arrived, I called and she said they would resend and I could keep the first order (6 lbs) and give it to my "caffine" friends or she would send me a postage-paid mailer to return it. I gave to friends and hopefully they got some orders from that "good-will" gesture. Have been ordering from them for probably close to 12 years. . .and these are the only two mistakes!!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 1:33PM
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Sleevendog, please don't freeze your green coffee! It won't do it any good, and the moisture produced when it thaws could damage the flavors. Treat it like dried beans, keep in a cool, dark place away from moisture and strong smells. You should roast it within 6 months or so, but you can keep it even longer without a problem. It won't get moldy as long as it's not wet--but the flavors will be less nuanced if you let it get too old.

Have fun roasting your own. It's really the best way to go if you don't have ready access to fresh roasted.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 4:46PM
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We are long time Peets devotees, from when I first lived in Berkeley in the 70's. Peets started there. A few years ago, we discovered a little roaster in Richmond which is two towns north of Berkeley. Catahoula Coffee. He roasts all the beans himself on the shiny roaster in his coffee shop, and he names his main roasts after his dogs. We drink Lola and Butkus. You can order from his website. Here in Portland we have Stumptown, the local indie roaster, which is excellent too and they sell online. We also have Trailhead Coffee Roasters who use fair trade beans and deliver locally on cargo bicycles, which sounds all hippie but their coffee is excellent too. They don't sell online though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Catahoula

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 6:01PM
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sleevendog, I agree, please do not freeze the beans. Renee (beantheredunthat) used to post here and she had a coffee shop, her husband did the roasting of the coffee beans.

She told me to never, ever, EVER refrigerate or freeze beans, keep them at room temperature to avoid compromising the flavor or the quality of the beans.

They'll stay good in an airtight container for several months, long enough to roast and drink it all, if you don't order 50 pound bags or something.

Have fun roasting that coffee. As I mentioned, I use a Chemex, the coffee is really good, just a glass carafe and a filter, pour the water over the grounds and let it trickle down. Very low tech but it does take a few minutes.

Petra, here's a link for my favorite, a locally roasted blend by the Paramount Coffee Company. I like the Breakfast Blend, but the Ann Arbor Blend is milder. I usually got the Breakfast Blend because it was available at my local Sam's Club.


Here is a link that might be useful: Paramount Coffee

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 11:11PM
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aack!...good thing i don't have the room in my freezer. : 0
haha. Actually i roasted last night. Just half a bag (and put the rest in the freezer...
(just the rest of that bag) oh well.
Been reading over at coffeegeek this morning about roasting.
I'll give it another go today since the weather here is awful. Not going to the mountains today as a predicted rain mixed with snow is forecast!

Back to the op about ordering beans on-line...
One of the recommended places must have a sample selection i would think.
Then, once you find what you like, a membership of sorts. Sending to you monthly.
Fortunately we have both agreed on a chosen method and bean. That did take a while.
My husband does like an expresso on occasion so we do have a stovetop italian one.
Freshness should be important. From the Catahoula link,
"Please Note: Catahoula Coffee does not have coffee sitting on the shelves waiting to be purchase. I roast what is only needed for the Café, Wholesale and especially YOU! Catahoula will ship internet orders Monday - Friday if a complete order is fresh and available. "

Roasting your own is not for everyone. I'm just a curious type and had to give it a go for fun. Hearing that second crack and the scent was bizarre and earthy. (stove vent on full blast). Definitely a learning curve but already know what i need to do differently...needed a few more minutes for a darker roast and cooling down quickly. I'll be on the lookout for an elec popper at yard sales...

Here is a link that might be useful: popper roasting

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 9:01AM
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Well, hubby has been doing some more research and is shopping around for a roaster. Annie, what brand do you have? Sounds like you are happy with it?
Chas, maybe double-strength will save the store beans we still have. :o) Might have to try that, can't hurt.
Cheri, that sounds like a really good company. There's not much good customer service left out there. Great products and great customer service, you can't beat that.
JohnLiu, thanks for the link. I love their statement that they don't have beans sitting around on the shelf. Very reassuring and makes me want to buy some.:o)
Sleevendog, have you sampled the Maria's beans you roasted? If so, how did they turn out?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 12:38PM
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Thanks Chas, I didn't know to order it online

Rats!! only from US Costco :(

This post was edited by CLBlakey on Sat, May 25, 13 at 19:20

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 7:18PM
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Petra, we have the FreshRoast SR500, it got really good recommendations on line and we bought it from Burman's because they had the best price.

They also have great service. The day it came, we unpacked and the glass canister that holds the coffee while roasting was broken. I called and they didn't even question, just promptly sent me a new one. It came the next day. And as a double bonus I never got the computer "press 1, press 2", I got a real person who was in Wisconsin, picked up the phone after two rings and was actually helpful.

So, I buy my coffee from them. I like them, that matters to me as well as having good coffee.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 9:30PM
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Indeed, there is nothing like starting your day with a cup of java brewed with your own coffee from raw green beans.

Of course you need to have a way of roasting beans. Machines ranging from $10,000 to $10 used popcorn popper are available to get the job done.

I have an electric convection toaster rotisserie oven, so I just put two cheap 8" diameter strainers together and a few other parts, and I got myself a very practical coffee roaster which can reliably roast up to two pounds of beans with no chaff flying all over.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 9:49PM
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That is lovely. Of course my husband now wants to build one of those for our wood fired grill rotisserie.
Our fresh ground was wonderful this morning. I brewed two pots of chemex...I have 5 of those puppies collected off e-bay. (back-ups). The smaller one i brew my tea in but did a small pot of our fresh roasted, Colombia Inza de Cauca, with proper study and roasted to a rich dark roast. Ran it outside and sifted the chaf. Also cools it down quick.
This batch i had some oils surface. No way did i think it would be so good. Smooth and rich like milk chocolate with a bit of honey fruit. (we drink our coffee black)

CoffeeGeek has some roaster discussions. Some think the affordable roasters use similar technology to air poppers...My husband thinks we have an old air popper in the barn boxes from years ago. I'll have to look for it for another test run.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 10:19AM
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sleevendog, the ony reason the roaster is more convenient at all is because it cools the beans, whereas with the popcorn popper I was putting a metal colander in the freezer, then dumping the hot beans into the cold colander and tossing them until they cooled to just warm. Other than that, the popcorn popper worked just fine.

Oh, the roaster does do twice as much coffee at once, but it only takes 10 minutes or so with the popper...


    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 6:33PM
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I buy my beans from Raleigh NC's 'Larry's Beans'. Fair Trade is important to me. When you get on their email list they do offer free shipping pretty regularly and have other special prices for featured beans.

Their decaf choices are exceptional, with many flavors/origins, where most coffee roasters offer, like, uh duh, only one - generic ordinary.

They even offer a decaf espresso - totally wonderful - a quasi-moron that tastes so good that even my picky ' full flavor only non-decaf ' connoisseur DH says is like what we drank in South America near the coffee farms.


Here is a link that might be useful: Fair Trade Coffee Beans

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 9:58PM
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Annie, thanks for the info. Burmans sounds like a really great place to order from. Good price for the roaster too!
Dcarch, leave it to you to come up with an alternative. :o) How does it work, does it just sit there and you have to periodically turn it?
Sleevendog, I want a cup of your coffee. :)
Nancedar, thanks for the link. I try to buy shade-grown organic, looks like they specialize in that as well.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 10:38AM
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"----Dcarch, leave it to you to come up with an alternative. :o) How does it work, does it just sit there and you have to periodically turn it? ----"

It fits my toaster oven's rotisserie turner. The rotisserie motor turns it at the perfect rotational speed, and the convection roasts the beans very uniformly.

Works very well.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 11:00AM
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"----Dcarch, leave it to you to come up with an alternative. :o) How does it work, does it just sit there and you have to periodically turn it? ----"

It fits my toaster oven's rotisserie turner. The rotisserie motor turns it at the perfect rotational speed, and the convection roasts the beans very uniformly.

Works very well.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 11:01AM
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That's pretty ingenious and I wish we had a rotisserie. Alas, it's just a plain convection toaster oven.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 11:05AM
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So interesting to try roasting. I've read to give most beans a few days rest and not cover tightly to off-gas. We went through our first two batches within three days so i need to let the next rest and compare.
We did end up going out of town despite the snowy temp and did notice, when returned, a slight scent of the 'burning oil' mentioned in the roasting lesson i posted above. But i have the nose of a blood hound. We will be roasting outside from now on.
Curious if the sr500 roaster gets smokey. It must if roasted just past the second crack.
Years ago i brought home a bag of green from a Guatemala trip and we just stared at them for a while...if i only knew then what i know now... an air popper was only a few feet away...

Here is a link that might be useful: SR500 roaster

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 11:41AM
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Sleevendog, the SR500 doesn't seem to actually "smoke", but it does emit a smoky/roasty aroma, you can definitely tell I've been roasting beans.

The darker I roast the beans, the smokier the aroma, of course. To me it seems a bit like popcorn popping, not unpleasant, but a bit like scorched toast, kind of smoky.

I don't get nearly the smoke with the roaster that I got with the popcorn popper, but I didn't find it offensive, so that didn't matter.

Oh dear, that is a sad, sad story, I'd still be crying over those Guatamalan beans!


    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 7:20PM
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Oh no, what did you do with the beans? I wonder if they could still be used to grow coffee plants or if the processing renders them sterile.
I remember reading about a very old lady who had grown a coffee plant from a berry and had it for years and years. Eventually, the plant grew into a large tree and flowered and produced berries. The coolest thing was that she had always had it in an apartment. But I guess since lots of coffee plants are shade grown they probably don't require a lot of light.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 5:32PM
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We roasted again tonight. That sweet smell !. Did it outside just out the kitchen door while i cooked a salmon dish. DH found a hot air popper downstairs and i have no idea where it came from. (must have come from a yard sale) and we are not 'hoarders', lol. ...i remember my college popper having a yellow top. Anywho, it was a delight. First batch we let it go 11 minutes. The second just 8 as it was still hot...i'm sure we will burn this thing up but i would not roast a third batch in one event. Worked really well.

The Guatemala sack of beans? I have no idea. Might be in one of those 20 kitchen boxes when we moved and never cared about, lol. I returned to simplicity and did not want elec appliances any more. No toaster or elec coffee pot...knife skills and basic fresh food seasonal. My meditation time and cooking is a form of therapy for us now. Where we share our day and make a nice meal together.
Moved from a big NYC loft to a post and beam 'treehouse' north of the city tucked in the forest. Roasting beans is just another pleasure like my first few balls of fresh mozzarella.

This post was edited by sleevendog on Thu, May 30, 13 at 22:04

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 10:01PM
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Don't get me wrong - we adore Peet's, but their specialty has always been dark-roasted coffees. We get the French or Italian in a just-up-from-powdered-Turkish grind, brewed through Chemex filters.

I long ago broke the Chemex glass pot and realized it's the filters and the cone shape that make the difference. A cheap plastic cone works just as well, but the Chemex bonded filters are a must. Compare side-by-side with a paper filter and you can tell the difference immediately. We filter into a vaccuum pot if we're not going to drink it right away; it holds it very well for about 4-5 hours.

On the Left Coast we are passionate about coffee and Starbucks fans are regarded with smirks.

As you enjoy medium roasts with a lower acidity than dark roasted coffees - and many people do, I do myself on occasion - I'm wondering if you have tried the national brands of Chock Full o'Nuts (which ranked quite high in a Fine Cooking taste test a few years ago) and....Dunkin' Donuts.

DD is making big ripples in the San Francisco Bay Area with a report by a Millennial blogsite that was just published yesterday. They included DD for a joke in a taste test against three of the highest-regarded new artisanal coffee roasters (so new they are post-Blue Bottle, who has gone from coffee cart to Establishment specialty in less than 3 yrs).

DD came in second - no small feat! I've had all three artisanal coffees, and they're very good indeed. The short column from Eater SF is linked below.

(btw, PS to johnliu - we loved Stumptown on our 2010 swing through the PNW. Have heard good things about Catahoula in Richmond. Do you have access to Highwire in Oakland? They're doing some good blends over there)

Here is a link that might be useful: DD embarrasses Bay Area foodies

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 1:30PM
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jkom, congrats to your DD, that's impressive!

Well, we took the plunge a couple weeks ago and bought a Behmor 1600. The order included 8 pounds of green coffee beans from various countries. I can't believe the difference in the taste of fresh-roasted vs. older. It's a whole new coffee world. :o) The Behmor has automatic settings, so no worries about over- or under roasting. The smell while roasting isn't that impressive, but the beans after roasting, wow!! Especially a few hours after, and by the next day. Also, when brewing, the coffee grounds foam up, almost like the head on a good beer. I wish we had bought this thing ages ago.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 7:01PM
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jkom, I still have the Chemex, it's a miracle I haven't broken it, but I agree with you on the filters, they make a difference. We just decant into a Thermos vacuum bottle that Elery's son brought home from Kosovo when he was wounded there. Not fancy, but it works for us.

Petra, I knew you'd love it. It's a whole different coffee, isn't it?

So far I'm like the Columbian and the Costa Rican best, some Hawaiians. I'm one of those middle of the road medium-roast people, I guess, most beans seem to taste good to me at that degree of roasting.

The grandkids just left from a two day visit and Makayla is loving playing "coffee roaster". She just roasted me a nice batch of Rwandan beans, another new variety for me, so we'll see tomorrow morning how that is.

I'll be thinking of you, Petra!


    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 8:45PM
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Annie, you sure are right about that! So far, we've tried an Ethiopian coffee called Yrgacheffe Kochere. Hubby did that as a light roast and a medium roast, both very good though I prefer the light. Then, a Terrazu organic Microlot from Costa Rica. Very good as a medium. We do a quarter pound at a time at different roasts to see what tastes best. It's amazing how the coffee notes come through much more at a lighter roast. The order came with a $20 coupon, so there's some Blue Mountain or Kona on the horizon. ;o)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 8:58PM
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Quite the eye opener isn't it? We have been grinding a couple times a week and also do two batches of the same bean and take them both to the second crack, so rather dark but take the second a bit further to compare. I did not expect at all the diversity in flavor AND all of them have been so smooth. We did take notes at first thinking we would find one preferred over others, but we have liked them all so far....on our fifth country now. Our sample order from SweetMaria's is 8 varieties.
We use chemex and this all started when ordering my filters and saw the green bean sampler...
Have noticed also the more than usual 'bloom' during the first pour. We first wet the filter, heats and sterilizes the pot, and gives a few seconds to bring down the temp.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 6:40AM
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Sleevendog, it sure is! We haven't used a coffee machine in years so the difference in the bloom (learned something new from you :o) is easy to observe. The foam is at least three times as high as in store-bought beans.
The Behmor has a P1 setting which takes it just beyond first crack, depending on the type of bean. Very nice and darkish brown, but not too dark. And so smooth, it's even wonderful black. We've done one with the P2 setting which is about second crack, that one was good too but we both like the lighter roasts better.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 1:05PM
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I agree, I also get a nice bloom, I have to be careful not to fill the filter too full, I've gotten overflow by not paying attention.

I have found that I'm not particularly fond of Mexican or Brazilian, so far, they have "earthy" undertones which to me taste dusty.

This morning's cup was Rwandan, roasted to just under second crack. Very nice, and roasted by my 9 year old granddaughter, so that makes it better.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 8:28PM
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You have your granddaughter well trained. :o)

It's amazing what a difference the size of the batch makes. Hubby roasted 1/4 pound of the terrazu to just beyond first crack. It was really, really good, so he roasted half a pound of it the same way. Tasted completely different, and not nearly as good. I guess there's quite a learning curve when it comes to roasting.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 4:11PM
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