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  1. #1
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    does color of green beans indicate quality?

    I'm a newbie to roasting since receiving a home roaster as a gift. The unroasted beans I received at the time were in some gas filled bag of sorts. I've read to store unroasted beans in a cool dry place in a breathable bag. I just ordered some unroasted beans from an online supplier. The color is not as bright green as the ones I received as part of the gift. They have a slight brownish color to them, but they smell just the same. Does the bright green color of the original beans I received indicate good quality or good storage and handling? Does the brownish color indicate poor handling or lower quality? Or is the color irrelevant?

  2. #2
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    Do you know what kind of beans you got with your roaster and what kind of beans you bought online? Beans from different regions, different processing methods will have different greenness to them. There are a lot of things to look for in green beans such as age, size, defect count, moisture content, usually visual inspection can tell you a lot about quality. But ultimately how does it taste?
    You want cream and sugar?
    NO COFFEE FOR YOU! NEXT!

  3. #3
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    That's what I suspected. It's an Indonesian Sumatra. I purchased it from www.morebeer.com. I am a homebrewer and home wine maker, they started doing coffee too so I picked it up. I'm definitely a coffee junky and love a great cup of Joe.

    I have the Zach & Dani's roaster. I've read, after buying, that it isn't the best. Before I read detailed reviews about it, I thought the coffees I made tasted kind of bland, or flat. Like there was no depth to it. I don't know the proper coffee tasting terms so I apologize if I brutalized what I observed. Later I read this is to be expected with this roaster. Still, it's better than store bought and I love the smell in the house after using it.

    I just roasted some up just a bit ago. I'll try some tomorrow morning and post back. I mostly was wondering if the handling of the beans was bad because of the color difference, or if it doesn't necessarily mean anything.

  4. #4
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    E.P.D is correct, however I would add that different origins, in general, should have fairly distinctive characteristics as greens. Sumatra is a big growing area, with the origins numbering about 12-14 unique growing areas. The North Sumatran's- Mandehling, Lintong, SidiKalang...and a range of sub origins- generally should be a deep bluey-green in colour. The beans are again generally longer, flater arabicas. If the colour is brownist this would be a warning sign to me that if this is Sumatran, it is old stock. Sumatran, like a good Sav Blanc, should not be aged- rather roasted in that crop season or at the very latest beginning of next crop season. I know some retailers, Starbucks for instance a few years ago, sell "Aged Sumatran", but for me none of the Sumatran orgins improve with aging. Looking at my caterlogue of Mandehling, I think if you have coffee browning it is either more than 4 years old, or (as you have mentioned) it may not have been stored well. Normally the green in chlorophyll in the green begins leaching out of the bean- meaning the bean becomes paler green. Browning by aging is quite a way down the track.

    However as EPD mentioned, the final test would be in the cupping of the Sumatran. If it couples wonderfully, then you may have stumbled onto a wee gem...you just never know Good luck
    Merdeka Coffee (Indonesian Coffee Roasters and relationship coffee specialists) - Antipodean (Coffee - Cafe - Culture)

  5. #5
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    As I look closer at the beans in different light sources I find that a lot of what I noticed is the bluish color, and not really brownish. From a distance it looks brownish, but closer it does have a definite bluish look to it that makes it look darker and browner. But.. in terms of what I think quality is, there still is a hint of brown, and what I'd call a noticeable number of "duds". I tried the coffee yesterday and I do enjoy drinking it. I certainly am glad I purchased ten pounds of it. This is the product link for what I ordered: http://morecoffee.com/product.html?product_id=6775

    I buy a lot of stuff from that company and I'd have a hard time believing they wouldn't take great care of their products based on their reputation in the brewing world and my own experience with them for brewing beer. But.. I don't know anything about coffee and when I saw the stark color difference I had to inquire.

    To make sure I understand proper care for unroasted coffee beans. They should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place in a breathable container. Preferably something like a burlap bag? What happens if they are stored in a sealed container that isn't breathable?

  6. #6
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    Scott,
    You bought Sumatra Aceh, Gayo Mountain? They should not be brownish. You might want to set your Zach & Dani at the highest setting and roast them darker them you usually do. What is your roasting time on Zach & Dani? I know one person with one and her roasting time is 26 minutes which is way too long. I told her to shorten it to 15 minutes or less but she was unable to do so.

    Store your beans in a cool, dark, dry place in a breathable container is correct. Coffee beans have 12% moisture, Sumatra probably higher. But not dehumidifier dry, won't want to lose the moisture.

    Alun,
    You don't care for aged Sumatra? Knutsen has a aged Sumatra offering that I thought is wonderful. They are orange red not green at all.
    You want cream and sugar?
    NO COFFEE FOR YOU! NEXT!

  7. #7
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    Hey EPD. Yeah maybe I should somewhat qualify my statement re Sumatran. I personally am not a fan of aged Sumatran, however there are some quality green suppliers out there who do everything right in selecting and aging greens- Knutsen is certainly one of these companies.
    Merdeka Coffee (Indonesian Coffee Roasters and relationship coffee specialists) - Antipodean (Coffee - Cafe - Culture)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElPugDiablo
    Scott,
    You bought Sumatra Aceh, Gayo Mountain? They should not be brownish. You might want to set your Zach & Dani at the highest setting and roast them darker them you usually do. What is your roasting time on Zach & Dani? I know one person with one and her roasting time is 26 minutes which is way too long. I told her to shorten it to 15 minutes or less but she was unable to do so.

    Store your beans in a cool, dark, dry place in a breathable container is correct. Coffee beans have 12% moisture, Sumatra probably higher. But not dehumidifier dry, won't want to lose the moisture.

    Alun,
    You don't care for aged Sumatra? Knutsen has a aged Sumatra offering that I thought is wonderful. They are orange red not green at all.
    I found I like 26 minutes as well on my Zach & Dani's. I tried 27 and it was way too much. You feel I should go shorter than that? I'll give 25min a try tonight and see how I like it. Will post back after a cup.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElPugDiablo

    Store your beans in a cool, dark, dry place in a breathable container is correct. Coffee beans have 12% moisture, Sumatra probably higher. But not dehumidifier dry, won't want to lose the moisture.
    G'day from a newby down under,
    I've finished harvesting my first batch.
    We used two processes to get to the bean, natural and wet, I'm keen to roast some to test but I don't have a moisture probe for my data logger( I use it to monitor my roast profile). Is there a cheap alternative to gauge the moisture content of my bean?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElPugDiablo
    Scott,
    You bought Sumatra Aceh, Gayo Mountain? They should not be brownish. You might want to set your Zach & Dani at the highest setting and roast them darker them you usually do. What is your roasting time on Zach & Dani? I know one person with one and her roasting time is 26 minutes which is way too long. I told her to shorten it to 15 minutes or less but she was unable to do so.
    It occurred to me that you may not know that the temperature is fixed on the Zach & Dani's. Even though the total time setting is 26 minutes to get a good roast, I can't reduce the time and get a good roast because I have no control over the temperature. Plus this unit includes a 5 minute cooling cycle so the roasting time is really 21min.

    However, this became all mute two days ago. I've used my Zach & Dani's for about 4lbs of beans and it has already died. The trouble is I received it as a gift for Xmas last year from my brother, but he bought it over a year ago. I just started using it last month because I moved to a new state and haven't had a chance to pull it out until now. What a piece of junk! Only a couple of weeks of usage and I completely and thoroughly clean it after each use. Anyway.. enough of my angst but it appears I am no longer in the home roasting biz but have about 8lbs of this unroasted coffee left. I'll see if I can pawn it off on the local Craig's List.

    I enjoyed my short time on this forum, but I highly doubt I'll be roasting at home again. At $200 a pop for a machine to roast about 4lbs of coffee, this is one of the least cost effective hobbies I've ever had!

 

 

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