After so much pleading with others to post their roast curves along with tasting notes, I thought it was time for me to ante up. Beware this is long, and take my amateur tasting notes for what they’re worth… perhaps very little
The subject is this Guatemala Antigua Luis Pedro Zelaya crown jewel from Royal. It’s moderately priced, and of today some is still available.
Royal’s tasting notes show the sweetness meter nearly pegged at maximum! I like Guatemalans and Bourbons in general, and always strive for sweetness, so took a small risk and laid in a 12 lb. supply, hoping to eventually dial in some great profiles.
Here are four roasts. Except as noted, each started with a cold roaster, 20 minute preheat at 210C, and 1 lb. batch size. The general strategy was a first minute at P7 for a sort of mini-soak to avoid overheating the drum, then high power through yellowing. Reduce power before FC. Minimize use of fan, just enough to remove most of the chaff.
The first try has a drop temperature of 215C for a “medium” roast to establish a baseline:
The bean turned out to produce relatively little chaff, so fan could be kept quite low throughout. Throughout all of this I’m ignoring the nasty BT-RoR spike around FC and trusting the smoothly decreasing IBTS-RoR. The flick at the end got me by surprise. Tasting notes (7 day rest): Dry aroma is strongly molasses, changing to vanilla brown sugar when wet. Hot cup has rich body with cane sugar and red apple with light herbal bitterness. Good medium roast.
The second try was a lighter variant, 212C drop. In an attempt to eliminate the flick I cut power and increased fan at the end of the roast, and dropped 10 seconds and 3C earlier. The overlay is the 215C baseline roast.
Notice that the weight loss decreased from 13.4% to 12.7%. Tasting notes (7 day rest): Hot cup is dominated by sweet light brown sugar and clean orange juice, with hints of dark chocolate, Nice rich smooth body, very low acidity. No off-putting bitterness. Plenty dark. Cooling strengthens sweet orange juice. Great cup
The thiird try was a darker variant, 217C drop. This one was the second in a back-to-back roast, which is rare for me. I added beans when the bullet announced “charge”, and kept power up after yellowing, riding through FC at P7 instead of P6, with power cuts and fan increases at the end of the roast similar to the 215C baseline profile (overlay).
Notice that in spite of a very different preheat regimen, the first part of the roast followed the baseline quite closely, suggesting that 20 minutes preheats the drum pretty adequately. The higher RoR after FC allowed the roast to reach 217C with only an extra 15 seconds of development compared to baseline, yielding only 13.6% weight loss. Tasting notes: (day 4) dry aroma of molasses, wetting adds hints of cardboard. Hot cup has dark brown sugar molasses with stewed peach. Mild bitterness. Very good, chuggable. (day 15) chocolate, red apple, mild orange peel and pecan skin bitterness, good sweetness. Needs stronger brewing now. Very good, chuggable
The fourth try was the lightest yet, 208C drop, attempting to follow Royal’s roast curve a little more closely and strengthen sweetness even further. The baseline for this roast is the second roast (212C) above, which is used as the overlay. The strategy was to try P9 to shorten the drying phase, then cut power more aggressively just before FC and drop just before that pesky flick.
I was surprised that adding 90 seconds at P9 appeared to have zero effect on the first part of the roast. The more aggressive power cuts directly to P6 and then P5 lowered the RoR nicely post-FC. I dropped this roast with 20 seconds and 4C less development time than the 212C roast. There were several snaps of FC in the pan, and the beans appearance was quite mottled. Strangely, weight loss increased slightly to 12.9%, maybe due to using P9 early? Tasting notes (day 7) Sweet cane sugar dominates. Brighter and more acidity than prior roasts, with lemon added to green apple. Cleaner, clearer body. Hint of caramel, especially in cooling. Suprisingly different than 212 roast. EXCELLENT light roast.
In summary this is a very versatile bean. My preferences are shifting toward lighter, sweeter roasts so the last one was for me the best. There are so many more variables to adjust and play with, much more fun experimentation to do. Hope this is at least entertaining if not useful.