Brian Beyke

Home Roasting Findings - The Roast Stages

Brian Beyke

I decided to explore the realm of home roasting.  So far, it’s actually been a great experience.  I love watching the beans through all the different stages of roast - from green to what ultimately ends up packaged and awaiting my brewing.  

As I attempt to understand for myself how one determines the “roast stage” the coffee bean sits on (As is better pictured and described on Sweet Maria’s site: I noticed something that at first seems obvious: the coffee profile changes depending on your end roast level.


I started off with a coffee from Nicaragua: a nice medium coffee that can end (suggested) anywhere between City + and Full City +.  

I batched 4 roasts of this coffee, increasing in the roast level with each one.  The first batch seemed a little inconsistent in color, the second possibly just reaching City, the third more than likely City+/Full City, and the fourth ending somewhere around Full City +/Light Vienna.  

My notes on the brews of all the coffees were all over the place.

Batch 2:

V60 | 34g © to 453g (w) | 3:50 total time

Light in body and taste.  Fruitied aroma.  Golden raisin.  Very present acidity that eases as the cup cools.  Easy to drink.

Batch 3:

Clever | 34g © to 493g (w) | 3:30 then drop

Dried fruit in the wet aroma.  Nice body.  Spice present, maybe cinnamon raisin bread in the aroma and taste as well.  Rounded, acidity more muted.  Cup didn’t change much throughout but did lose some of the spice and just kind of “relaxed”.

Batch 4:

Clever | 34g © to 494g (w) | 3:40 then drop

Cocoa in the dry aroma - maybe a little sweetness.  Brewed aroma almost tropical fruits - mango maybe?

Spicy cup, but not over-the-top dark blend spicy.  Always has a tad bit of fruit notes in there.  Can’t find the suggested “brown sugar sweetness”  Once cup cooled there was still a slight toasted marshmallow taste.  Fruity tastes of possibly apple and pear hints, slight sugary sweetness, but all that only in the aftertaste.  Savory cup.

Now having an understanding of how different brew methods can alter different notes of the coffee, it gets taken even further with now being able to alter the state of the coffee even prior to reaching the brewing device.  I was able to find which roast stages yielded an enjoyable cup, and where the coffee seemed to stand out more than the others.  Still, in retrospect, it really just blows my mind how much there really is this thing called coffee - from bean to brew.  

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.