Papua New Guinea, Full City Roast

Thanks to the FreshRoast Plus 8 that Emily got me for Christmas, I’ve begun roasting my own coffee.

It’s far cheaper than buying whole beans. So far, I’ve been getting beans from the same place that Emily got the roaster: Burman Coffee Traders. My last shipment ended up being $15 for three pounds of green beans. I also hear that Sweet Maria’s has an inventory that’s worth exploring, and it doesn’t seem much more expensive.

Of course, one doesn’t get into home roasting just because it’s cheaper. 🙂

I started off with a pound of Ethiopian Harrar that came with the roaster. The results with that were widely varying; I was trying to learn how to listen for the first and second cracks, and experimenting with roasting outside. Two big lessons: first, roasting coffee stinks. It smells like…well…burning beans. It’s a cloying odor which starts to turn smoky at the end. Second, roasting in cold air will make for poor consistency and underroasting. I’ll try roasting outdoors once it’s warmer out, but for now, I’m relegated to the bathroom. With the exhaust fan running, the rest of the condo is (mostly) unafflicted by the odors of the beans.

The bag of Papua New Guinea beans that I’m working on now is yielding much better results. The past couple of roasts I’ve taken just a little past the beginning of the second crack (full city roast). So far I’ve been pleased with the espresso that they make; it’s far less acidic than the preroasted beans that I’d been using heretofore. I think I’ll probably try a darker roast (maybe shoot for the end of the second crack) next time, and see how that contrasts with the city roast. I like smokiness and earthy flavors in coffee; I suspect that bringing out the roast character will help with that.