Golden Bean

December 8, 2014

Home Roaster Milk Winner

Stephen Long

House Blend

I began home roasting in February 2012 after doing some reading online (Coffeesnobs), which piqued my interest. I started out with a popcorn popper but quickly moved to using a heat gun bowl in bowl method. I also bought an Aeropress and porlex mini to brew my roasts.
Furthering my research, I came across an old bread machine and started corretto roasting. My hobby quickly became challenging and addictive; I was hooked, as I learned there was a lot more to roasting than just making the bean brown. So, I then purchased a thermocouple/data logger.
In 2013 I started playing with various low end home espresso machines, grinders and old Italian home levers. Along with trying espresso and roasted beans from reputable cafés, I slowly learnt what a good espresso and espresso based beverage can taste like and I have since gone through many upgrades; it has been a fun journey, – one that will surely continue.
I entered one coffee in last year’s Golden Bean (Milk) just for some feedback and came off with Silver.  It was then that I realised that I had taken this method of roasting as far as I could and started looking abroad at small drum roasters.  In April/May this year (2014) I finally took possession of a Quest M3. Only in the last couple of months have I started to get some solid consistency in my methods/approach toward beans from different regions; however, I still have plenty of room to improve.
These days I like to buy small amounts of green beans, usually    1 kg, and I rarely buy the same bean twice. The variety we have available here is amazing, and there is always something new to learn that is challenging my roasting skills and palate.
My winning entry was a three bean blend from regions I have experimented with in different ratios for some time, to be used mostly in milk drinks. 50% is a fully washed bean from Guatemala – clean and floral with a punchy fruity, winey acidity that is very pleasant. Making up the other half is a fair trade organic Indonesian Mandheling and natural process Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Kochere.
One day I would love to roast on a larger gas roaster and really see what I can do and how far I have come.

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