First roast - Help appreciated

Hello, been lurking here for the past few weeks trying to pick up some tips. This is my first time roasting after 3 seasoning roasts. I’d appreciate any form of feedback. I had trouble hearing first crack. I thought I heard cracking early on in the 7th minute of roast. I marked it towards end of 7th minute. Will cup sometime tomorrow or day after.

Ethiopian Washed - Nensebo Refisa
350g green weight, 310.1g roasted weight
Aiming for a light roast

My questions:
2. Is my drop temperature at 195.5 C concerning? I was expecting FC at 200.
3. Marking yellow is so subjective. I ended up doing so around the 165 C point. I have a feeling I hit that temp a little too soon in roast?
4. Can you help provide any constructive feedback (or you can roast my roast…)? Appreciate any advice or changes I can make for my second roast.

Images - first one is me cracking a seed open. Seemed consistent throughout?
Second one is of overall roast.


First off, welcome to the community! On to your roast – that’s a pretty nice first profile. It’s always hard to tell roast levels just from a photo, but those look like a nice light roast, which is what you were aiming for, and 11% wl is about right. On to your questions:

  1. a deviation of 5°C isn’t abnormal – where did you get your expected FC temp? I get mine from a test roast (or two) that is my benchmark for milestones. A washed bean should have pretty distinct first crack, so you’re probably right there.

  2. I agree that yellowing is subjective. My subjective call there is even earlier, but I’m not a professional. As long as you’re consistent between roasts, that’s the main factor.

  3. In terms of roasting your roast, without actually tasting, the only thing I have to go by is your profile, and common wisdom is to go for a steady decline, which you’ve nailed. The only thing that concerns me there is that you’re diving towards 0 RoR, which kind of means you didn’t have any control at that point. If you wanted to extend further into 1C, that’s not easy to do with such a low RoR, but that’s just me, perhaps.

As you allude to, the proof comes in the cup - I hope you love it! I’ve got many hundreds of Bullet roasts under my belt, and I’m still learning (and loving) every roast.

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Let us know how it tastes! I have quite a lot of that bean to roast. I’ve been dropping it around 202-205C after FC. Heavy, heavy bergamot.

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Thanks! Appreciate the thoughtful response. Learned a lot. Yes I can see your point on hitting 0 RoR.

I thought I read somewhere that FC is usually at the 200 C mark. Makes sense that it would be dependent on the bean type among many other factors. I had my drum speed at D9 throughout. I was thinking perhaps if I throttled it down to D7 (or dare I say D6) at about 180C, that could help me detect FC better.

Planning on it. Though I may not be able to offer great descriptors. Don’t know what bergamot tastes like… :slight_smile:

Do you enjoy the coffee? Outside of cupping, what brew method are you using?

Oh my goodness I’ve been enjoying the coffee. I almost exclusively brew espresso, though I often give roasted coffee to family or friends for pour-over. I’m enjoying learning the various regions, and enjoyed discovering and exploring natural process beans. I have been exploring the light → medium roast spectrum for espresso. The lighter end is definitely trickier to get right as espresso, but when it works, it’s magic. Being in full control of the roast, the beans, the grind, brew temp, dose, pressure, etc., is overwhelming, but also a lot of fun.

I roasted some of this same coffee from Sweet Maria’s over the weekend. I think you might have pulled the roast before you even hit first crack. Yes, you should see first crack right around 200°C. That holds true for most coffees.

Mine started first crack at 392.5°F (200.3°C). Here’s my profile (not the greatest, I probably should have left the fan at F4 when I lowered it at ~6min, but I wanted to stretch the roast a bit, and it was looking like it was going too long at that point):

I have 20 years of roasting experience, but I’m new to the Bullet. However, I can say for certain that first crack started when I marked it. You should try going longer on your next roast with this bean.

ETA - Photo of my beans after the roast. A nice city/city +.

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I do quite like this coffee. I’ve brewed it in a v60 and as espresso around 2:1 into a room-temperature cortado-sized cup (got that tip from a Tim Wendelboe podcast).
This was one of my first post-seasoning roasts:

when I thought you were supposed to stand in front of the roaster and sniff the exhaust and pull the trier and push buttons constantly. The coffee was still outstanding.
Since then, I’ve been using a recipe, which is pretty stress-free. Last roast I ended at 203 and I feel like I could drop even lower.

I’ve been marking FC at 196-197 (apart from my first roast which I wouldn’t trust). It depends if you mark when there have ben a few cracks or when it’s steady. You’ll get a louder FC at a lower IBTS temp if you have a more aggressive profile.

I wouldn’t say yours is under-roasted if it tastes good to you.

(I like the embedded roasts in the forum but wish they’d show the bean weight.)


Got a chance to cup today. It was about 17 hours after the roast. Cupped against another Ethiopian natural I purchased from a roaster. Surprisingly, the beans from my first roast held its own. I would describe taste as grapefruit and citrusy. No concerns with vegetal flavor. Beans had good visual cues that it went through FC. Rounded, and seed crack was ‘deep enough’.

I got a chance to do my second roast this afternoon using a recipe based on my first roast. I was trying to achieve a few things:

  1. Slow down time to 165C - my yellow marker (first roast was 4:05)
  2. Reduce steepness of RoR decline
  3. End with higher temp

The adjustments weren’t enough and didn’t do much different than first roast.

  1. Got to 165C at about 4:17
  2. I’m hearing outlier first cracks at ~7 minutes when temps are low 180s. I marked it similarly to my first roast when temps are high 180s. The roast went on to 197C, 11 minutes. The temperature did not increase much in last 2-3 minutes.

Still a little puzzled at the low FC temp, but already thinking about adjustments for my next roast (maybe a 20sec soak at P3)! Will welcome any suggestions.

You really should just try getting it up to ~215°. I cannot believe you’re getting into/through first crack if you’re finishing at 197 °, unless your sensors are way off.

ETA - Sorry, that came off a little curt. All I’m saying is, you’re not going to know, FOR SURE, if you’re actually hitting first crack like you think, unless you do a roast past where first crack would normally occur.


I’m hearing outlier first cracks at ~7 minutes when temps are low 180s. I marked it similarly to my first roast when temps are high 180s. The roast went on to 197C, 11 minutes. The temperature did not increase much in last 2-3 minutes.

Did you ever get a phase with a strong FC (rapid loud cracks)? I feel like your profile just needs much more heat (i.e. move the power changes later in the roast curve). 11 minutes is very long for a light roast IMO; could get “baked” coffee. If your roast is stalling, just add way more power, then try to figure out how to avoid it on the next roast.

(Might be worth buying some cheap beans to figure out your base profiles. I see a lot of complicated profiles, but I’ve kept mine quite simple. D9/F3 throughout and only one power change.)

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Thanks for the suggestions. Got my 3rd roast in today. Adjusted my recipe to add in a soak to delay time to 165C. Success! Got there at about 4:38. Added more heat in the beginning as was suggested.

Total roast time was 10:43. Got to the 196C IBTS temp at ~9 minutes. Ended roast at 201.5C. WIth the ambient sounds (roaster + fan), I can barely hear anything. I was imagining cracking like sounds at 160C and again at 196C. At this point, I’m going to see if there are methods to amplify FC sounds.

Probably going to make small tweaks for next roast. Will give it a little more power. Targeting 10 minute roast and low 200s drop temp.

ETA - Sorry, that came off a little curt. All I’m saying is, you’re not going to know, FOR SURE, if you’re actually hitting first crack like you think, unless you do a roast past where first crack would normally occur.

No worries! The candor is great and good suggestions. I had the same issue in my 3 seasoning roasts where I simply could not clearly identify FC. I’m going to get another roast in perhaps targeting a 205C drop to be sure.

I’d target 210-215° just to be sure. Don’t worry, that’s still a city roast, plenty light, and even if you go further, it will still taste fine. :+1:

Congrats on your first roast! As others have mentioned, the important thing is that you like what’s in the cup.

Some green coffee that you roast may not have a distinctive FC that you can pick out. Usually that’s not the case with a washed Ethiopian coffee, but there are always exceptions.

As you’re just getting started, it’s worthwhile to explore different roast levels. One thing that I and others here have found useful is to take Morten Munchow’s free Bullet course on CoffeeMind. Buy 5-10lb of an inexpensive coffee, and do the exercise in the class to learn how your particular roaster works. The key here is to work out how get to the roast color that you want, such that your coffee is roasted evenly (no tipping or scorching, and the color is uniform throughout the seed if you cross-section it). Temperature is just a proxy for color, and you can actually roast to different colors at the same end temperature depending on how you manage your development phase.