Cold Grinds, Cool Beans...Mas Mocha

Attempted reply to CoffeeGeek forum question, "why is my home roast so much better..."

by badbeard 1. January 2012 17:40

You should consider that most in the professional roasting community probably started out with a home roasting setup of some sort and moved "on" and "up" when they tired of the equipment breaking down (I certainly did) or of being unable to keep up with the demand from family, friends, customers.  Not to even mention the thermal stability and profiling flexibility of commercial equipment.

Unequivocally the most zealous roasters do it at home and should be rather happy with the potential, given the great green sources like Sweet Maria's.  I've been roasting for a long while commercially (on a 5 kg machine) and STILL buy from Sweet Maria's and its "satellite"  Thom Owen is one of my personal heroes in coffee, and if you saw the size of their operation you'd realize how many home roasters there must be out there.

On the supply/C market side, which is briefly touched on here, you might find importers or other roasters willing to sell you a full bag (60-70 kilos) at close to wholesale pricing (don't forget the additional cost of the logistics).  It's not unreasonable if you can get one packed in GrainPro for longer term storage, but this will presume you REALLY want a lot of that coffee.  SM and their tremendous variety and high-quality selections make so much more sense in the long run.

What I'm not agreeing with here is the notion that large lots are not in cases equally meritorious...some of the best coffees in the world are produced in large-scale quantities.  One person's fave "microlot" may not float someone else's boat, and subjectivity in coffee is everything.  Truth is that on the higher-end of the quality scale there is so little arabica coffee available compared to the overall amounts produced for the world market that we must have boots on the ground, so to speak.  Even among the pretigious importers there might be individual lots within a container of the same coffee which different traders consider differently, based on personal preference.  And origin is important in the equation...a container in Brazil might be considered a microlot in most cases!

The supply side is incredibly complex, dizzying.  We are lucky to be able to get great coffee AT ALL, much less at 8-9 bucks a lb. for something truly special.


Add comment