Coffee Stuff

>> Sunday, February 24, 2019

I've really gotten into coffee the past year-ish, so I decided to add a coffee section to my site. I'll be the first to admit, I'm still a bit of a coffee newbie, and my coffee knowledge isn't anywhere near the level of my brewing knowledge. I found with my homebrewing hobby that it really helped to document recipes, notes, mishaps, etc. So I'm thinking a similar approach should help as I work towards increasing my coffee knowledge.

The story of how I got interested in coffee is kind of silly, but keep in mind I was raised in the Mormon church where coffee is just as, if not more taboo than beer. One time when I was a kid, my mom accidentally bought coffee ice cream. I remember telling my mom that the ice cream tasted funny, kind of burnt. Fast forward to adulthood and I never really had an interest in trying coffee (still clinging to my Mormon upbringing) but my lovely never-Mormon wife drank it all the time. Fast forward a little more to when I started getting into beer, I'd often comment to my wife about how I really enjoyed the roasty toasty notes in stouts and porters, and she'd always point out that those flavors were very similar to coffee. On a trip to SoCal about three or four years ago, I ordered a pint of Naughty Sauce from Noble Ale Works. Naughty Sauce is a golden milk stout infused with coffee and I absolutely love it. So long story short, beer kind of gets credit for getting me into coffee.

For Christmas in 2017, my wife bought me a Whirly-Pop coffee roasting kit from Morebeer. Kind of like with homebrewing, I was hooked and I was able to roast some really tasty coffee. Now I should mention, I prefer iced coffee with milk and some sweet cream. My daughters like to tease me that I drink "white girl coffee". I don't like it too sweet, but I definitely do like a touch of creamer. And it doesn't matter if it's the middle of summer or the middle of winter, I prefer my coffee iced.

As I said, my wife bought me a Whirly-Pop coffee roaster and they work great, plus they're a relatively cheap way to get into coffee roasting; kind off the equivalent of the starter beer brewing kits. There are some downsides though, such as it can be challenging to get consistent repeatable results. Also, you have to crank the handle during the entire roast so as not to scorch the beans. Being the geeky guy I am, I motorized mine which improved the experience quite a bit and let me focus on the roasting process rather than cranking the handle.

Fast forward to Christmas 2018, and my wife surprised me with a Behmor 1600 Plus coffee roaster. I've roasted a couple batches so far and I'm super pleased with the consistency of the roast between batches, and how evenly the beans in a single run are roasted. This got me to thinking, I should document the process for each batch so that I can hopefully repeat the results on a regular basis.
Here's my first documented "roasting profile" for the Behmor 1600. This one is a Full City Roast based on one outlined on Sweet Mariah's website. I just used the following roast for Sumatra Wet Process Gunung Tujuh.

This variety is described as follows:
City+ yields a sweet foundation of burned sugar and caramel/toffee, a yellow custard note, dried apple, tamarind, a basil hint, and a vibrant rindy orange flavor. A clean, wet processed Sumatran coffee. City to Full City. Good for espresso.
Here's the roast process I used:

# Description Time Behmor Button(s)
1 Pre-heat without drum for 1 minute 1:00 1 > P1 > Start
2 Install drum loaded with 8 ounces of green coffee
3 Begin Roast 20:15 1 > Start > P1 > D > P5
Press + button to max time
4 Reduce power to maintain temps around 310F
Fully yellowing
13:45 P2
5 Increase power to maintain temps around 320F
Barely tan
12:45 P5
6 Reduce power and slow drum 10:00 P3 > D
7 Cool at end of first crack
First crack started ~7:30
4:30 Cool