Brian Beyke

Home Roasting Findings - Compare and Contrast

Brian Beyke


I am realizing as I start to roast from more regions that it is harder for me to tell just by appearance what stage the beans are while looking into my drum.  To a pro, that is obvious.  To a novice home roaster, it’s harder to pick up. 

I’m finding that I think the beans are darker upon looking in, but once they are out and cooled, maybe after sitting for a day, it isn’t really where I thought it could be.

There are a lot of things to notice and write down while I’m roasting, from what my thermocouple probe reads as the internal drum temperature, to the length of roast and sounds of crack stages, to the smell of the beans and lastly the color.  All of these things are pertinent to finding where the coffee profile will ultimately end up.

With my first bean I roasted, the Nicaragua, I made four different roast levels.  I was interested in getting in initially with a few other beans, so I’ve only gotten to the first roast of a Tana Toraja Sulawesi, Guatemala Antigua, Onan Ganjang Sumatra, and Dolores Merendon Honduras.  

When I noticed that several of the offerings I was able to get from Sweet Marias were also available from roasters around it made me want to try a new thing:

If I have a green bean offering, try to find roasters around who may also have that offering.  Likewise if I have a good coffee pass through, see if there are green beans to match it.

I was able to try Square One’s Tana Toraja Sulawesi in Mistobox, and I also have started to roast it myself.  I am also planning to try Wrecking Ball or Sightglass’s offering of it.  

I see a lot of benefits.  Similarly to my comparison of roasters’ Gaturiri, I get to see where various roasters find the “sweet spot” as well as seeing if I can get similar results myself.  I can see what constants run through them all.  (FYI I also noticed yesterday that Sweet Marias is now offering Gaturiri, so there will be more of that, sorry!)

More to come.

Co-host of the I Brew My Own Coffee Podcast and always has all the chocolate. I also love to play board games. Yea, let's go do that right now.