I am relatively new to roasting and have been rolling through mostly Uganda Bugisu beans as I learn the nuances of the Bullet. I have had some really good results, but I find myself a little overwhelmed when I hear others speaking about different beans and how they behave throughout a roast. Is there a good resource to use when approaching a new bean? I understand that there are certain things I can measure on my own, such as density, moisture, and size, but I’m looking for a book or reference source for overall known behaviors. I hope this makes sense, and thank you in advance!
Welcome! There’s certainly a lot of material (and conflicting opinion) on roasting so it’s a nigh impossible task to make sense of all of it at once.
A lot of users here have good things to say about the approach CoffeeMind (Morten Munchow and friends) advocate for learning the capabilities of a roaster, and then using that roaster effectively.
The reason is that they use scientific techniques that rely on trained taster perception, which has shown that a lot of conventional wisdom about roasting has very little effect on cup quality.
They have also done a lot of roasting on the Bullet, making a lot of what they’ve found immediately applicable to other Bullet owners.
You may still be able to access their promo class using the code from the Aillio newsletter at: Aillio News: Taking you to Roasting School.
Do the class first. You don’t necessarily need to buy 10kg of cheap coffee to do the full power roaster characterization; you can read some about others’ exploits in that area in this (long) thread: 900g Full Flame test - #42 by krame
Try roasting what coffee you have using this approach. Don’t fret over Instagram-worth ROR curves, just trust what the cup is telling you. Make sure you’re brewing the coffee the same way you’d get good results from your favorite professional roaster, and make sure to give the coffee a few days to rest (longer for some varieties that need more time, like those from Ethiopia and Yemen).
After that, start going back to all those other details about the bean parameters you mentioned (as well as altitude, processing, etc etc) and have fun with your failures and successes!
Thanks for the thorough response! I have gone through the Munchow courses, as well as Rob Hoos’ on demand videos. They are incredibly helpful. I was looking more for a resource for how to approach different roasts, considering specific bean characteristics that come from altitude, processing, etc. I think I found what I was looking for in Kenneth David’s book 21st Century Coffee. I’m also waiting on Book of Roast from Roast Magazine, which I think will be useful as well.
Again, I appreciate your response. It was also very helpful!
My 2 cents… I keep it as simple as possible and have settled on 2 roast “recipes” (it’s actually hand written down) and adjust accordingly if I want to get it to a darker roast or not. The 2 “recipes” main difference is based on batch size - 500g or 1kg. My “experimenting” have found that when I try to factor in too many variables it gets muddy unless you have a ton of time to religiously collect data and cup and take notes - me, I don’t have that time (I tried but gave up). I think you’ll find many of us do try to keep it simple, but there are a couple (search the forums threads) who do nerd out even more with adjusting to bean characteristics as well. No one answer for sure in this journey!
Cool! Didn’t know where you were starting from other than “relatively new to roasting”.
I’ve not seen any really great one-stop treatment of how to tailor roasts based on cultivar, processing, etc, so if you find that 21st Century Coffee does a good job of that I’d love to hear about it!
My approach is very much like what @blacklabs describes. I have a pretty standard profile that I roast with (240C PH, p6-p5-p4 for a 455g batch). If it’s a less dense bean I might reduce the PH a bit, and if I find that the roast proceeded a little slow for my liking (based on the cup result, more than the graph), I might do p7-p6-p5, or raise the PH on the next pound of that coffee.
It helps immensely that I don’t have an incredibly discriminating palate