I’ve spent quite a lot of time this weekend roasting with my new Hearthware Gourmet roaster. I’ve spent at least some of that time making coffee that I’m willing to drink–but much of what I roasted was completely awful.

I can’t blame the Hearthware. It’s a very capable roaster… far more so, I think, than the Freshroast that I’ve been using for six months. Just the same, it roasts differently–beans are much darker at a given roast with the Hearthware, and the roast smell is different. These two characteristics together have been more than enough to trip me up.

Finally, I got smart. I pulled out a bag of my most inexpensive beans and did a fairly thorough progressive roast–starting at what appeared to be a reasonable medium roast, and then varying the roast duration by 30 seconds either side of that point. Finally! Something drinkable! In fact, a couple of very tasty roasts–and both of them far darker than what I’m used to with the Freshroast.

My testing and tasting are far from done, but now I have a reasonable baseline. And I’m back to keeping a roast log… I’ll write up the details on that bit of handy record keeping a little later.

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