I’ve long been a lurker in this forum, so I thought I’d press myself to start contributing a bit more. I’m finding that roasting is a far more demanding hobby than I initially anticipated, but rewarding as well. Anywho…
Anyone possibly purchased the Guatemala Xinabajul green beans from Sweet Maria’s (here)? I took a random chance on it several months ago (when purchasing other coffees), and am just now getting to roasting it. I’m surprised at how quickly I was able to find a rather enjoyable Medium Roast. Here is my profile:
I call it Guatemala Espresso as I started with one of the Espresso Roast profiles, and tweaked it a few times (hence the 1.2, and the “hot c” for a hotter temp nearing first crack than previous attempts). Despite this roast profile being originally purposed for Espresso, I’m finding that it provides a really great pour over as well. The medium roast provides great body and mouth feel–stopping the roast earlier wasn’t to my liking. I’m planning to try modifying different aspects of the roast to see if there’s more flavor that can be tickled out, but thus far I’m already very satisfied.
Anyone else have this coffee? Curious what other discoveries people have made with this particular bean.
Hey, it’s great to see more people contributing, please keep it coming! Some advice: once you get a general layout of the temp profile it’s easiest to increase that flavor by either extending the time you hear from 1C to drop and playing with the fan trying general profiles eg flat, slowly decreasing, slowly increasing. Also something that will help without doing much is shortening the cool down. It seems to be that the machine doesn’t cool down to room temp, as would be ideal. But keeps the beans fairly warm. Since the general consensus is to cool down beans no faster than 2min and no slower than 3min I usually put a 2min cool down and then let the beans come down to room temp on my table/counter/desk.
I don’t have the bean but if it’s still available when I’ve gone through 10lbs of Ethiopia, I’ll give it a try. With this profile are you getting more of the floral notes or the chocolate/caramel?
Just read your post, thanks for the response. I’m having a little trouble understanding what you mean though–you mention “…extending the time you hear from 1C to drop and…”. I’m not quite sure I follow what you mean by drop?
With regards to the flavors–I’ll admit that I often have trouble picking out the hints and notes of flavors that are often advertised for various coffees. To me, the total mouth feel of the coffee seems far weightier in my impressions of most coffees; although a freshly pulled espresso shot does tend to bring out flavors in coffees I’d never notice otherwise. I tried paying further attention to my taste of this profile today, and although this is a medium roast (hence the “roast” flavor being very present), I don’t recall tasting something as dark as chocolate or caramel. There may have been a bit of fruitiness in there (perhaps some sort of berry?). I’m sure that’s not a very helpful answer, but I’ve always had difficulty in tasting most of the “notes” indicated by most roasted and unroasted coffees.
1C is “First Crack”, it is when the bean makes a loud cracking sound. “Second Crack” is low in volume but still pretty distinct it sounds like breaking a lot of little twigs. “Drop” is referred to when you hit the cool down button before the roast has finished, it’s called drop because drum roasters lift a panel covering the roaster and the beans drop into the cooling tray. Just like “pulling” an espresso is to referred to the old lever espresso machines that barita’s in Italy would literally pull down the shot of espresso.
When to call the start of first crack is debated but nobody really cares as long as you are consistent and say when you call it so other people know; when you started your timing at the first sound or when the beans sound in chorus aka a “rolling 1C”. I go with the former because the “chorus” is very small because of the low bean count (or maybe i’m not heating the beans in unison well enough shrug). And I have found that tastes best for the profiles I use.
Flavors aren’t really a hide and seek game, when the bean is roasted to its preference based on it’s variables (origin, varietal, altitude, processing, age, etc.) they will be distinct. If your taste memory isn’t great then it will just taste like something but if you have no flavor it’s considered “hollow”. It’s like eating anything foreign…But essentially if you are not tasting the flavors listed on the coffee bag then you are not roasting that coffee to how the person you are buying from roasted their test samples, what they put on the bag is the best that THEY were able to achieve. You could do worse, or better. Like learning to pull espresso, roasting has a learning curve. How well you use the scientific method/empirical based evidence, with a control, to compare and note and labeled adjustments gets you over the hump much, much, much, much, faster. Ideally now I would suggest that forget the notion of coffee for flavor/enjoyment you are trying to figure out what does what. If you want your cake and eat it too it’s going to take longer…just saying…look up SCAA cupping protocols, and no one says you cant drink a good cupping.
Your roast flavor is coming from the amount of energy you are introducing to the beans in the beginning. I feel like if I were to explain where you are going wrong it’s not going to help. Understanding how the variables play with each other during a roast helps understand what you are doing (obvi duh) but since each bean; even two varietals, on the same farm, from the same season, will need to be roasted differently. (or not) But the point is that it’s based on your experience and judgement. I just like roasting a chicken, spend some time I have talked about many of the concepts around this site and I created a Library called Fruit for Thought that lists many resources across all levels of academia.
I leave you with this for now:
Chocolate is a wonderfully complex mixture of flavor, if you made a tea with freshly ground/well roasted cacao beans you will notice that the “chocolate” flavor is similar to the “coffee” flavor (bland). The real excitement is the different flavors that come together. And depending on the roaster and brewer can be amazing or bland. Ex. “This chocolate tastes like nuts and drying grape jam.”
If you make a pie crust you are cooking the dough to make “pie crust” flavor, You do not eat the pie crust for the “toast” flavor you toast the dough to get “pie crust” flavor.