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Speciality coffee: which are your favorite roasters?


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During the past year, our coffee consumption at home has increased substantially. We have tried beans from different roasteries from the UK and Europe, but we are constantly in the search of new ones. The speciality coffee market has been rapidly increasing in past years and it is becoming easier to find high quality beans.

 

The best roasteries we have tried so far:

  • UK based: Round Hill Roastery, Square Mile, Monmouth,  Pharmacie, New Ground, Workshop, James Gourmet, Ozone.
  • Europe based: The Barn (Germany), Gardelli (Italy), Hard Beans (Poland), Calendar (Ireland), Roasted Brown (Ireland), Right Side (Spain), Coffee Collective (Denmark).

 

Have you had any exciting coffee beans lately? Do you have any other recommendations?

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  • 3 months later...

Not easily available for you, @Objective Foodie, but for here, a favorite is George Howell. I did have a subscription to Tim Wendelboe out of Oslo, but international shipping, delays and customs all made for unmanageable inventory control (i.e. running out of coffee at inopportune times). Another subscription, which is on hold, is via Counter Culture in North Carolina. Good beans, also roasted the day before or day of shipment, but not absolute fave and variety sometimes lacking.

 

Ordered online, Howell ships within a day or two (some may even be roasted to order, otherwise within the past day or two). Coffee ordered Thursday and package arrived yesterday...

 

IMG_3903.thumb.JPG.95d18f37c5a3e000768c00033a33e9d6.JPG

 

Free shipping at $50; 3 bags last about 10 - 12 days.  It's possible that a few 120 gram packages will get vacuum sealed, which depends on laziness factor.

 

The medium roasts can actually be played around with to use in the Silvia, which will shorten the lifespan of these 3 bags.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I have no clue as to whether they ship internationally or not, but I've become very fond of Rozark Hills right here in Arkansas. Multiple varietals, light, medium and dark roasts. Any given time they'll have two or three African, some Sumatran, three or four Mexican/Central American, a couple of Columbian, a couple of Brazilian, and often another one or two from elsewhere in South America. They roast daily, so my coffee is always pretty fresh. And damn good.

 

Website here.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I prefer light roasts and my favorites are varietal roasts from Red Rooster, Blanchard's and Lexington.  All three are located in Virginia, so are local enough for me to pick up without using the mail.  I have a local coffee shop which sells beans by the pound, and carries selections from each of these roasters, as well as others. They curate very well, so that helps my selection process.

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My favorite coffee recently was from Blanchard's, Ethiopian Gedeb Worka.  Lots of strawberry.  Fairly aggressive in a pour-over (Kalita) but it balances very nicely in the Bunn 12-cup coffeemaker we use in the office.

Edited by donk79 (log)
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i roast my own; lately this week i've been drinking a medium-dark tanzanian peaberry, though next week the natural processed el salvadors will be re-entering the rotation until we finish them off.

 

with that said in ontario if you need to buy, pilot and detour are nice, and out in alberta, rogue wave is truly excellent

Edited by jimb0 (log)
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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Hi,
I'm a huge fan of coffee, i live in France and take my coffee in Italy because they are professional roasters and i'm consuming only fresh coffee (freshly ground) with a bean-to-cup machine (https://machine-a-cafe-grain.fr/).
So i confirm you than Rubens Gardelli is the best for me 🤩 and so, the one I recommend 😀

Edited by Jonas (log)
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  • 2 months later...

@jimb0   I also home roast with a Gene roaster currently.   Started out with the heat gun dog bowl method and moved through different methods including the stir crazy turbo oven method.   If you been home roasting long enough you know what I’m referring to. As far as coffee, I buy green beans.   Just got 3 different beans from Sweet Maria’s.  5 lbs of each 

856A40F3-36AE-4903-8496-7CEE49173288.jpeg

Edited by scubadoo97 (log)
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/27/2021 at 8:51 PM, scubadoo97 said:

@jimb0   I also home roast with a Gene roaster currently.   Started out with the heat gun dog bowl method and moved through different methods including the stir crazy turbo oven method.   If you been home roasting long enough you know what I’m referring to. As far as coffee, I buy green beans.   Just got 3 different beans from Sweet Maria’s.  5 lbs of each 

856A40F3-36AE-4903-8496-7CEE49173288.jpeg

haha sure do. that's tight, nice going

 

currently really into a washed mexican from oaxaca. really thinking of whether i can justify a kilo roaster, whether forced air or something like the jake kilo when it comes out. i think i could probably sell enough to justify it but it would be a slog to get there

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On 7/27/2021 at 8:51 PM, scubadoo97 said:

I also home roast with a Gene roaster currently.   Started out with the heat gun dog bowl method and moved through different methods including the stir crazy turbo oven method.   If you been home roasting long enough you know what I’m referring to. As far as coffee, I buy green beans.   Just got 3 different beans from Sweet Maria’s.  5 lbs of each 

 

Could you expand on the pros and cons of home roasting? I ask because someone is selling their Gene Cafe roaster on our Nextdoor website (asking $100 but probably would take less). Could you also comment on the roaster itself? It looks to have good reviews but it seems that parts need to be replaced regularly.

 

To put things in perspective, we have several excellent local retail roasters here in GR, including the fairly well-known Madcap. We now drink quarter-caff, so I buy the appropriate amounts and blend them myself. It works out to $14-15 per pound, shipped.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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48 minutes ago, Alex said:

 

The Gene is a mini drum roaster.   You can program your  temp and set time but I monitor and stop a little after first crack and at the beginning of 2nd crack.   I have a down draft cooler so I pull the roast and dump into my cooler as soon as I hit my roast level I’m shootings for.   

I actually have a dryer vent tube that fits perfectly in the exhaust outlet and is positioned in front of the window fan.  So smoke is exhausted out quickly 

 

53B791E3-E823-4259-AABE-9494B9FCDA8F.jpeg

Edited by scubadoo97 (log)
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I think (from my roasting days) the advantages are:

 

Cheaper

Constant fresh coffee in the house

More variety of green beans to choose from

 

Disadvantages (but only for me)

 

Roasting in an apartment is not exactly a great move. The whole floor ended up smelling like starbucks on a bad day. Or like at work when people would pop popcorn in the microwave and leave it in too long.

 

If I had an outdoor space, or a garage, I would still roast. It's very therapeutic.

 

Fortunately, I have access to lots of good roasters, either local or via the internet. That George Howell I mention above gets here the day after it's roasted, which is the day after I order it.

 

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

I think (from my roasting days) the advantages are:

 

Cheaper

Constant fresh coffee in the house

More variety of green beans to choose from

 

Disadvantages (but only for me)

 

Roasting in an apartment is not exactly a great move. The whole floor ended up smelling like starbucks on a bad day. Or like at work when people would pop popcorn in the microwave and leave it in too long.

 

If I had an outdoor space, or a garage, I would still roast. It's very therapeutic.

 

Fortunately, I have access to lots of good roasters, either local or via the internet. That George Howell I mention above gets here the day after it's roasted, which is the day after I order it.

 

My son just left from a lunch visit during which we were discussing air pollution from cooking.    He is a tech-gadget afficianado/nut and described the reading he recently recorded from cooking such seemingly benign things as crepes, which pushed his kitchen past 1000 whatever-units 3-4 times unhealthy.   I wonder if coffee roasting would have an impact on air quality or if it just emits aromas.  

eGullet member #80.

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I roast my own coffee

 

and have for some  time.

 

currently I have to take the front off my roaster

 

and clean the lens on the temp sensor.

 

might need three hands , but I might not 

 

I tried Tea for a few days  

 

probably made it two strong

 

then there is this :

 

IMG_0178.thumb.jpg.b2a956a83acd7813114dddc67214b6ea.jpg

 

10 minutes away.   6:05 AM  no one there but behind the counter staff

 

( 2 )   which is important to me

 

$ 12.95  / lbs.   said to be the darkest they have

 

I am not a coffee snob , but I know a bit about the Coffee Process :

 

GreenBean ==> Cup.

 

I opened this , it had a sl vacuum.   the beans has some aroma

 

but not much.

 

ground it for drip , and the grounds had no aroma what so ever.

 

Nada .

 

made The Cup.   same amount as w HomeRoast.

 

Thin.  no coffee flavor what so ever.

 

I knew it was not Black Tea because :

 

1 ) it looked like coffee beans , and went through my grinder

 

2 )  no tannins what so ever.

 

guess I better plan to clean my roaster very very soon.

 

I got this hoping it would overcome some activation energy 

 

on my part , and get the job done.

 

if this doesn't do it , noting will.

 

 

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aromas are probably molecules

 

some complex , that you cannot see.

 

Smoke is particulate , and you can see smoke.

 

it has to have an impact on AirQuality 

 

in my case , an improvement ( ? )

 

I live in a Coffee House for about 24 hours

 

or less.  nice .

 

I do open the windows , and have a fan.

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Starbucks seems to be for those that like the sugars and add-ins. Those that don't like the taste of coffee. 

We roast just outside on the kitchen deck. The scent/smoke is intense. Acrid, skunky, a bit like quality pot/cannabis. 

Once home roasting it is hard to go back. Finding the sweet spot in variety of green beans and the preferred roast....

Just stocked up with a couple favorite Guatemalan varieties, so we are good until the holidays. 

Cost is one thing. Under 7$ a pound green. Small batch home roasting does seem superior to big batch commercial. 

The bloom we get day 2-5 with Chemex pour over is better than any coffee house fresh roasted. 

My back-up in the freezer is the Costco yellow/orange bag. 

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4 hours ago, rotuts said:

10 minutes away.   6:05 AM  no one there but behind the counter staff

 

You're not close to a George Howell?  https://www.georgehowellcoffee.com/

 

49 minutes ago, Annie_H said:

Small batch home roasting does seem superior to big batch commercial. 

The bloom we get day 2-5 with Chemex pour over is better than any coffee house fresh roasted. 

My back-up in the freezer is the Costco yellow/orange bag. 

What do you mean by big batch commercial?  

 

What coffee house's fresh roasted is not giving you a good bloom?

 

Costco? 

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I didn't want the coffee to be

 

really really good.

 

just a stop-gap measure

 

to get me to try to clean my Roaster.

 

as you know

 

w home roasting 

 

you will eventually create

 

  your own blend 

 

roasted to your Personal Roast Level 

 

and as good as early good carefully roasted

 

coffe is.

 

that personal blend is better

 

than what you can get anywhere else

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11 hours ago, weinoo said:

What coffee house's fresh roasted is not giving you a good bloom?

I'm not a coffee geek, though did read the forum when I was shopping for a roaster. It has been a few years, maybe 8 or 10?, but I am referring to the big roasters in markets. My local Fairway had one. It shut down in the fall of 2019. Bankruptcy issues. Costco just has bagged roasted beans.

I moved to NYC in '86. I recall a coffee roaster in the village. Scooped up from open barrels like Fairway had. Probably not the best for fresh storage. Same with spices. 

Long Sunday walks, stop by BroadwayPanhandler, meet some friends for brunch or dinner, a bag of coffee beans, a custom blend of tea, (she is still there just off Mott st)

Sourcing is much different now. Like you mentioned, getting beans sent just after roasting. Palouse grinds your flour order the day they ship. 

Since we roast our own, I don't need to source/search for a good coffee house supplier for roasted beans. Once every few 5-6 months our grinder hopper thins to near empty. Usually on a Friday. End of the work week. Emergency Costco bag to the rescue. 

I'm just sympathizing with home roaster issues. Our back-up is a popper. SweetMaria's has a poppery with a couple pounds of green beans for 20 bucks. 

 

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I just checked. Feeling a bit dumb-dumb. But they still offer the popper with four pounds of beans, (not two) for 20$. Obviously the gateway drug to home roasting. A lost leader. We still use the popper at the beach home. But those visits are not working weeks. 9-11 minutes roast for a 1/4 pound. I have a couple of these 'new-in-the-box' for gifting. A back-up at the beach/vacation home. 

Screen Shot 2021-08-27 at 2.49.10 AM.png

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5 hours ago, Annie_H said:

I moved to NYC in '86. I recall a coffee roaster in the village.

 

Probably McNulty's, one of the original NYC old-school coffee roasters.

 

I was just interested in why you said this:

 

18 hours ago, Annie_H said:

Small batch home roasting does seem superior to big batch commercial. 

 

Which I have a hard time agreeing with. It all depends on the roaster, be it home or commercial.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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'does seem' is not a concrete in stone observation/pronouncement. It is a questionable observation. At the time when I started roasting I had no clue what a 'bloom' was. A grocery store formula that is a bit show-off with wood barrel bins is not necessarily the best way to sell fresh coffee beans. Big batch commercial means those that don't really care that the roasted beans at the middle/bottom of the barrel sits for weeks. It just looks cute and pretty. Rustic. Ye olde fresh roasted. Like the farm stands that sell jams and jellies and pickles from a factory that puts their farm named labels on them. Smoke and mirrors. 

Like I said, sourcing a reputable roaster will give you good beans. Good roasters/coffee shops all over NYC now....not Starbucks. 

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