Coffee roast no. 2

Half a pound of green coffee doesn’t last that long, especially when you consider that it loses weight in the roasting process! Fortunately, I don’t rely exclusively on coffee I’ve roasted myself, so after I used up the beans from my first home-roasting run, I went back to store-bought for a few days.

Last weekend, I found myself with a little spare time, so I got out my heat gun and the other half-pound of green coffee I’d picked up, to take a second shot at it. Trying to make the process go a little faster than last time, I held the gun closer to the beans, and stirred them less vigorously in the early stage of the process, and was rewarded by watching them move quickly through the yellow and light-brown stages.

Once they hit brown, however, it became apparent that the colouring wasn’t as even as last time. I still couldn’t hear the first crack, which I’m choosing to blame on the combined sounds of the heat gun’s fan and the beans being stirred. I kept going for a little while, trying for a slightly darker roast, but it seemed to stall. Eventually, after seeing no real change in the beans for a few minutes, I decided to wrap up.

The first roast was all about watching the stages of the process. This time, I wanted to exercise more control over it, but felt like I didn’t really achieve that goal. It’s hard to draw any real conclusions, though, because I changed one major variable at the outset: the beans. These beans were from Colombia (another country our local roaster doesn’t source from), while the fist batch was from Kenya. I’m not sure how differently different batches of beans respond to the process, and I’m not experienced enough to adjust my approach as I go.

So the next step is to buy a larger quantity of beans from one origin, then roast several successive batches to see if I can get a better feel for it before I start branching out.

What’s your favourite origin for coffee beans?

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