E-Learning Suggestions

As I await delivery of the bullet, I have been perusing the topics here and what’s limitedly available on Youtube. While I have been roasting on a DIY 2.5kg fluid airbed roaster for around 9 years, I’m learning just how much I don’t actually know about the roasting process and profiling. I am looking for E-Learning specific suggestions,

Already mentioned here in the forum are Hoos’ Vimeo webinar for $100 and the SCA Roasting Foundation with Munchow ~$300. After spending $3500 on a roaster and having opened the worlds smallest roasting business (unofficially), I’m open to pay-to-learn.

I plan on watching Hoos’ webinar as it is available now and will consider joining the SCA event, but timing is difficult if the event is not recorded and available afterwards.

Apart from those two, does anyone have any further suggestions on internet based learning curriculum? I would prefer bullet specific, but if it’s primarily theory based, I would assume that overall the roaster isn’t as important.

Thanks!

In one of the Aillio newsletters there is mention of some courses by CoffeeMind.

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That’s the SCA next month I mentioned.

I think one of the ones mentioned offered by CoffeeMind is a free one in addition to the SCA one.

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As you say, having invested that much in a roaster, it seems churlish to begrudge spending half a sack of beans on someone like Rob. I think you’ll find it was worth the time and money; he is also open to email questions (within reason!) if you attend his class or replay.

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I’m about to wrap up CoffeeMind “Bullet Roast Profile Design Basics” class. As you’d expect for a free course, it doesn’t go super deep, but it’d be a great start if you’re just getting up and running with your Bullet.

Morten’s roasting theory is based on controlled experiments to identify what he believes are the most important roast parameters. According to him, there are only two that you need to focus on - degree of roast and development time. Anything else either depends on these, or has far less impact on how the coffee cups.

There’s not really much material that’s Bullet-specific. The lesson ends with a practical exercise meant to help you understand the thermal characteristics of your roaster so you can better understand how to create and modify roast profiles. I just got my order of sacrificial greens for this purpose and hope to give it a go this weekend.

That’s exciting!

I just took delivery of the bullet yesterday. I’m going to do the free coffee mind lesson and also the paid Hoos lesson. I understand that they are competing theories but I’ll see what sticks

Thanks @john_l for the thoughts on that course… I’ve been meaning to do it just to see what his take is. I have Rob Hoos’ book and have read it, but I think I need to go back to re-read it again now that I’ve got about 80 roasts on the Bullet under my belt.

You liked the book and found it informative?

I read it over a year ago when I was less experienced with the concepts (previously roasted on a FreshRoast with no software no way to measure temps easily) so it was hard to grasp then, but hopefully a re-read now I’ll get it better. There are others here who have read it so maybe they’ll chime in. Additionally recently Aillio published a Q&A newsletter article with Rob on small batch / sample roasting - take a read of that to get a feel for how Rob explains things.

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I have Rob’s book as well and recommend it. As the title suggests its focus is adjusting the Maillard and development phases of your roast to achieve flavor objectives.

Morten Münchow summarizes his approach in that intro class with a driving analogy - first step is learning how to drive your car, second is learn the world that you’re driving in, and then you’re ready so start in one place (some varietal of green coffee) and drive it to some other particular place (a roasted coffee that meets the taste prefs of your customer). I’d say that Rob’s book focuses squarely on the second part of that approach - there’s a lot of comparative analysis of coffee where Maillard time and development time are skewed around a baseline.

One notable aspect of all of this theory is that it works best in a commercial setting where you’re buying and roasting a GrainPro or more of the same green. You can then order and roast samples to see what you want to purchase, sacrifice some of what you ordered doing what Rob and Morten describe to achieve the desired profile, and then you amortize that learning across all your remaining coffee.

As a hobby roaster I’m buying at most 5# of a green, and I’ll never see that same coffee again. I have a lot to learn still about the general qualities of different varietals, but at some point I’d like to try what Rob describes in his small batch article to see if it’s possible to do some sort of roast profile tuning with a single pound of coffee (3 150g roasts). It’d be great to see this technique further refined and documented for the Bullet - I’d buy that book :slight_smile:

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I hope you mean “car”? :wink:

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yeah that makes no sense whatsoever does it :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

fixed it now!

About Rob Hoos classes: both are well worth taking advantage off, I took part in both at the time and keep going back to my notes. Rob is simply incredibly helpful and an amazing person full of insights!

About Morten Münchow: I did this class as well; it is less hands-on than Rob and a lot more “academic” if this sums up his approach (he actually has a science background!) which is reflected in the manner he instructs. His multiple questions test is a great idea at the end of each segment, which primes your mind with the knowledge that needs to be absorbed in a short time span.

Last, have a look at the various webinars from Roast magazine which are great: again Rob Hoos but also Anne Cooper and Nicki Amouri.
(I remember Cropster having some interesting webinars also, but can’t recall a specific one anymore.)

In addition and although not an online source: if you can afford it, purchase the “Book of Roast” by Roast magazine;–in my humble opinion you will not regret it and every roaster can only benefit from it.

Hope this helps you a bit further :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks!

I looked at the cost of the “Book of Roast” - yowza. What about it do you feel makes it a “you will not regret it” purchase? Interested in learning more what you got out of this tomb of a book (500 pages?).

Parting from the principle that any well-founded information can only enhance and expand one’s horizons resulting in additional knowledge and experience, have a look at the content page here:

The resources and information are endless: be it i.e. green bean defects and their impact, storage conditions and associated issues, science essays by J. A. Rivera (whom I deeply respect), and last but not least, it informs you factually by busting certain myths and/or half-truths you read about online …

I have invested only in the essential in terms of equipment, certain courses and then roasted greens until I dropped … still learning (it is an endless process with each new crop), but I do not regret for an instant reading the book and will for sure go back to it many times over, until every single aspect of coffee has been digested. :nerd_face:

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