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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    421

    Roasting Blends or Single Beans

    I have a couple blends I roast and have always roasted them togehter. One is a Mocha-Java and the other is what I'd call an All Day Blend.

    The MJ is beautiful and will continue to roast together.

    But the ADB I finally took someone's advice on this forum and roasted separately. Glad I listened! In the past it was hard to tell where first crack ended and second began so timing the point to drop the beans was a continual frustration.

    So finally I roasted the three beans separately. And the Brazil, which makes up the majority of the blend, I roasted in two batches, one dark, one light (another forum poster's suggestion). Oh, by doing that I also found out that the Brazil was the culprit in confusing us when to drop the beans because it got to second crack after the Ethiopia and Kenya. So what we were hearing was Ethiopia and Kenya first cracking and then maybe starting to lull and then the Brazil kicking in and overlapping the E & K and causing complete confusion as they batch moved to 2nd crack. This was causing us to over roast the E & K and underroast the Brazil. No wonder we were never completely happy with that blend.

    Now roasting separately has made that blend a delight to drink. And much more manageable during the roast. And much more blending flexibility after the roast. And less frustration. And we learned a lot more about bean characteristics roasting separately. So if you are a blend roaster I encourage you to roast the beans separately. At the very least give it a try.

    I know that all of YOU know all this but for a new roaster like me this is a revelation! A revolution of revelations! So if you're like me, and fairly new to roasting pay attention to what the folks are saying.

    Whew, that feels better. Now, how 'bout you? What has your experience -- bad or good -- been roasting blends versus roasting separately?
    Last edited by expat; 06-14-2012 at 04:33 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    1,044
    As a professional roaster, I always opt to roast separately and post blend. The only reason someone would do otherwise is to save time/money.

    Different coffees have different moisture levels, different internal structures, different screen sizes. SHB vs soft bean vs peaberry vs Pacamara or Margogype... Each coffee responds differently to the application and duration of varying levels of heat. Roasting separately allows you to make each component bean sing for you. This, done properly, will result in a more complex and flavorful espresso in comparison to pre-blending and roasting all in one batch.

    If you are using a blend with 5 or more beans, then it really doesn't matter as much as some of the flavors of the smaller components will likely never be tasted. But for two, three, or four bean blends, this is ideal.
    John Piquet
    caffe d'bolla
    Salt Lake City, UT
    caffedbolla.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    421
    John,

    Thanks for the input. Since we are roasting our All Day Blend separately it has jumped up from being 'okay' to IMHO, being 'fantastic' with lots of interesting, complementary drama going on in the cup. Maybe I'll continue to take the Forum's advice and roast my Mocha-Java separately and see if I can get it to 'sing' even more than it already does.

 

 

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