View Full Version : Coffee

Michael Weber
06-16-2015, 1:16 PM
While at Sam's club I got on a whim some single source coffee beans (Peru) branded Mount Comfort. Opening them up this morning to try them I see the beans are a light brown color. When I ground them the resulting grounds were the color of oak sawdust. Resultant brew was nearly tasteless. I generally get French roast beans and I guess I just thought all roasted beans were black. Is it possible that these beans were just dried but not roasted? Is it possible to roast or re-roast these in an oven?

roger wiegand
06-16-2015, 1:26 PM
You can roast them darker (a cast iron frying pan is good) but it probably won't improve the flavor. Unroasted beans are tan to faded green, this is probably just a light roast. I find South American coffees in general to be rather bland, compared to coffee from Indonesia and environs.

If your Costco sells Peet's Major Dickason's blend give it a try. It is roasted very dark, but has none of the burnt flavor common to many french roasts or Charbucks products. The major part of the blend is from Sumatra.

Brian Hale
06-16-2015, 4:14 PM
Yes, you can put them in a pan, flame on high and roast them. When coffee is roasted it goes through 2 distinct phases, 1st and second crack and it sounds like yours has just made it though 1st crack. 1st crack sounds just like popcorn while 2nd Is a bit quieter. If your looking for a darker roast just watch the color and roast them till you hear the first 10 or so 2nd crack. Remove them from the heat and dump the beans into a colander and swirl them around to cool the as rapidly as you can. You'll still get most of the flavor but not quite all. Also be prepared for some smoke, it'll smell kinda like smoldering cardboard (according to the wife) If the beans start to crack without turning a dark brown to black color, that's 1st crack and you need to keep roasting them. Yes, there is a bit of an art form to it

One last warning...... single origin coffee can be addicting. There are so many very very different flavors out there you can easily get hooked, then you'll start buying green coffee, home roasters, high dollar grinders and coffee makers. it's almost as bad as clamps and handplanes..... :)

Malcolm Schweizer
06-16-2015, 4:46 PM
315817Coffee addiction? Oh let me tell ya about coffee addiction. I have fallen in love with Cafe' Britt coffee from Costa Rica. I got into them when they became a customer of mine and gave me some samples, and there is just this rich, thick, almost chocolate character to their coffee. It is not available on island, but I travel often through Miami and they have a store in the MIA airport. I buy four or five bags at a time. I only drink it ground with a ceramic hand grinder and brewed in a French press. I hate myself for being a coffee snob, but once you taste REAL coffee, there is no going back.

I get to meet a lot of coffee roasters in my travels. I had the amazing experience of sitting down with Sen. Norman Grant, purveyor of Jablum coffee, at their operation in the Jamaican Blue Mountains. He travels around the world sampling coffee for other roasters and is a world-renowned expert on coffee. We sat at a big round table that spins, and four sets of three coffee cups each were set up with numbers for each batch. (He is not allowed to know which batch so there is no favoritism, so they are assigned numbers.) He sips the coffee in a manner that it sprays in his mouth so he can taste from all his flavor centers, and then spins the table to the next cup.

It sounds to me like you got a light roast, or else it just was not properly roasted. One advantage to a light roast is the less you roast it, the more caffeine it has. Woo hoo! I am not a fan of light roast, for the exact reason you stated- it doesn't get fully roasted. Go get some Cafe' Britt and you will see what proper roasting looks like.

Attached image is of a lady at the Jablum (Mavis Banks) coffee roasters who hand-sorts the coffee one bean at a time, and she gets paid once she fills one burlap bag of beans, which I cannot remember now how many pounds a bag was.

Phil Thien
06-16-2015, 4:51 PM
I think this thread belongs in the Neanderthal section.

Because roasting/grinding/brewing coffee is very similar to using a chisel to scrape some glue off a joint ("well, first we have to prepare the chisel, and no discussion about preparing the chisel would be complete without a discussion of the legendary Honyana Mines of Kyoto, Japan, where natural stones were mined until the year 1967...").

Peter Kelly
06-16-2015, 5:35 PM
Good call, it'd be more artisanal that way.

Erik Loza
06-16-2015, 6:03 PM
We drink a ton of coffee but not really knowledgeable enough to be any sort of expert. Best coffee I've ever had was in Kenya. We buy a bag of coffee anytime we travel (Ecuador, most recently) and I have never really gotten one we disliked but the Kenyan stuff, I somehow remember as being exceptional. There seems to be a lot of buzz about that "Blue Mountain" stuff from Jamaica but I'm having a tough time justifying trying it at the prices they seem to get for it.


Stan Calow
06-16-2015, 6:19 PM
Alto Grande from Puerto Rico.

Michael Weber
06-16-2015, 7:13 PM
Thanks. I didn't realize there was so much to coffee. I am the exact opposite of a "super taster". Don't know how many taste buds I have per Centimeter but it can't be many. Subtle differences between anything wether coffee beans or peanut butter or wine is lost on me. Just didn't want to waste them. Roasting indoors sounds too messy so I may give the heat gun method a try outside where the smoke won't set off any smoke detectors.

Larry Frank
06-16-2015, 7:22 PM
Mountain Thunder coffee from Kona Hawaii. The best I have ever tasted but too expensive....

Brian Hale
06-16-2015, 8:04 PM
I've been home roasting for around 10 years and am constantly surprised at the flavors different growing regions produce. I get almost all mine from Burman Coffee Traders and my favorite, the kind included with every order is Ethiopion Yirgacheffe Always rich and smooth and if I hit the roast time just right it almost like drinking chocolate milk. Another is from Papua New Guinea, Kimel Plantation

A short writeup from Burman Coffee......

Fresh 2014/15 crop!

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe FTO Aramo coffee is sourced from family-owned farms organized around the Aramo Cooperative located in the southern district of Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia. The Aramo Cooperative was established in 1975 and currently has 2,254 members. In 2002, the cooperative joined the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU), an umbrella organization established in 2002 to support a sustainable coffee supply from cooperatives in the Gedeo ethnic region of Ethiopia. There are twenty-six other cooperatives affiliated with the YCFCU totaling more than 35,000 members.

Ethiopian coffee is perhaps the world's most prized. This coffee comes from the most renowned Ethiopian growing region of Yirgacheffe. Many Ethiopian cultural traditions are built around coffee.

Tasting Notes: A very top notch natural - if only they could all be this good. Clean, well balanced and a very upfront berry toned cup of coffee. This cup does have pretty high acidity for a natural, giving it a nice citrus tone, crisp and floral with strong fruit tones just a hint of dark chocolate at the lighter roasts. Fuller roasts give it more body and bring out some darker fruit tones but mute up a bit of citrus and extreme fruit notes - fuller roasts will be much more balanced and chocolaty - fruit notes can be found in the cup but not over the top like some of the less refined naturals.

Roasting Notes: We like a full city roast, gives that darker fruit note mixing with a pretty chocolaty cup - many will like it lighter but be ready for some acidity.

Mac McQuinn
06-16-2015, 8:29 PM
If the beans have not been roasted, you could do it yourself. I've used a stainless stove top popcorn popper with thermometer to roast with for 14 years and it's really not hard to do or messy, open a window if the smell is too much for you. If the beans in question have been roasted although are very light, you could mix in a darker roast to get a blend of sorts, most espressos are blends. Perhaps experiment with a medium roast or something you like on it's own merits. Next thing you know, you'll be a coffee geek.

Jim Becker
06-16-2015, 8:35 PM
OP...it sounds like those beans are not "done". Costco will take them back.


I tried some small time home roasting a number of years ago, but didn't stick with it. I liked the idea, but...

I also know that some folks will cringe, but I generally get my beans at Starbucks (Café Verona generally with Komodo Dragon or Gold Coast on occasion) I only make Lattés and enjoy the results with these beans. Occasionally, I get something from a local roaster, but haven't been compelled by the quality or the cost in all honesty.


Gail Ludwig
06-16-2015, 8:42 PM
I am a long time coffee roaster and a short time lurker on this forum. I think my coffee roasting is probably better then my woodworking skills - which hopefully will improve with time and more reading here!

I roast coffee using a heat gun and a bread machine set on the dough cycle. You have to agitate the beans as they roast. I started out using a stainless steel bowl and a wooden spoon. My arm got tired, so I decided that my seldom used bread machine probably could turn the beans much faster than I could with a spoon. It works like a charm - takes about 15 minutes to do a pound. I recommend that you DO NOT roast in your house. The coffee smokes like crazy and the smell gets into everything. I do it in my garage and use an old shop vac to cool the beans afterwards (5gal pail + strainer on top) with the hose sucking air through the bottom of the bucket. There are green coffee bean co-ops online and you can get some pretty amazing beans for $3-4/lb. Well worth googling "green bean coffee roasting" if you are interested.

David Ragan
06-16-2015, 8:55 PM
With all this to-do about the beans, you all are using filtered water and a French Press, right??:cool:

Phil Mueller
06-16-2015, 10:37 PM
Speaking of Cosco, I actually like their Kirkland brand.

Jim Koepke
06-18-2015, 1:59 AM
If your Costco sells Peet's Major Dickason's blend give it a try.

+1 on Major Dickason's blend. That has been my favorite morning jolt for years. It kind of grabs your collar and slaps you across the face in a loving gentle way.

Used to love going to work on Tuesdays in San Francisco. The Peet's store close to work would have MD blend on Tuesdays.

Some of us MD lovers would start the surname with a K instead of a D.


ken masoumi
06-18-2015, 9:16 AM
Speaking of Cosco, I actually like their Kirkland brand.
+1,My favorite is Kirkland Colombian "Supremo bean"dark roasted coffee.

Phil Thien
06-18-2015, 9:32 AM
Well if we're going to start naming our brands, I'm currently drinking Beamont from Aldi. Five bucks and change for a couple pounds of ground.

I don't want my coffee tasting like berries or flowers or chocolate milk, either.

In college I had a friend that kept trying different coffees looking for something he liked. I finally suggested that maybe he doesn't like coffee, maybe he should try tea, and he is much happier drinking tea now.

Moses Yoder
06-18-2015, 7:24 PM
Coffee is kind of like shaving. The more you spend, the better it must be, therefore it tastes better.

The chief operating officer at Omega has been sitting at our break table and occasionally discusses art. I told him I never "got" the Mona Lisa. He told me I should take art appreciation classes. So basically what I need to do is hire someone to tell me what I should like, then I could be normal. Coffee strikes me as the same deal.

Mark Blatter
06-18-2015, 10:12 PM
Years and years ago I spent six weeks in Columbia on an exchange cruise with their navy. Last thing I did before heading home was to buy a case (48) of 1 kilo bags of coffee from a local bodega close to the base I where I was staying. I don't drink coffee but I had many friends at the time that did, plus my in-laws. I gave quite a bit of it away and everyone loved it, but said it was too strong to drink by itself. They all mixed it 50/50 with US coffee grounds. That way they said it was the best they had ever had.

The funniest part was coming back through US customs and seeing the look on the inspectors face. All that coffee and me arriving from Columbia, cocaine capitol of the world at the time. He finally just laughed and waved me through without even checking my bags. Helped that I was on a red passport and had a proper navy haircut.

Malcolm Schweizer
06-19-2015, 7:07 AM
They all mixed it 50/50 with US coffee grounds. That way they said it was the best they had ever had.

This to me is akin to pouring ketchup on a Kobe beef steak and saying, "Ahhhh, that's much better; now it tastes less beefy." The funny thing is those "US coffee grounds" are likely a large part from Colombia.

For or the person asking about using filtered water and a French press (forgot who asked), is there any other way? :-)

A lady in our Miami office makes Cuban coffee shots in teeny tiny little cups. I would akin these teeny tiny cups of coffee to the teeny tiny atom of enriched uranium at the tip of the atom bomb; so seemingly innocent, yet contains the power of ten tons of TNT.

Jim Matthews
06-19-2015, 7:22 AM
A lady in our Miami office makes Cuban coffee shots in teeny tiny little cups. I would akin these teeny tiny cups of coffee to the teeny tiny atom of enriched uranium at the tip of the atom bomb; so seemingly innocent, yet contains the power of ten tons of TNT.

There's a secret ingredient.




Malcolm Schweizer
06-19-2015, 8:16 AM
Ahhhh yes, good stuff, and they brew the coffee and the sugar together as well. There appears to be some sort of chemical reaction with the sugar that turns the coffee into rocket fuel or something. That's my theory. I have not yet tried to ignite it, but I am certain it would explode if you did. I will be there Thursday- perhaps I will try that.

By the way, you just gave me an idea. I'm headed to GCM where I can get all things Cuban. I need to pick up some Cuban coffee.