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Coffee from green beans at the push of a button.

f
ferret Nov 13, 2013 06:52 AM

For those who insist on the freshest roasted coffee, here's a machine that roasts, grinds and brews:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/j...

  1. DuffyH Nov 17, 2013 09:35 PM

    So I'm feeling like an idiot right now. It would seem I'm the only 'Hound who saw this topic and snorted tea out my nose at the absurd idea of getting coffee from green beans. You can do a lot of things with green beans, but no matter how you cook them, they'll never turn into coffee.

    Then I came here, read a few comments, and that's when it hit me. Green COFFEE beans. Oh. That's different.

    never mind.

    1. s
      Scrofula Nov 13, 2013 06:53 PM

      What's next, a machine that turns living cows into cheeseburgers? Fresher isn't always better. This is silly, the video is misleading, and the product is deeply flawed.

      - 'Six months between growing and drinking': no, six months' rest won't make green beans turn bitter. There will be slight flavor loss, but no off flavors unless it's badly stored.

      - 'Seventeen steps between you and the farmer': well, hurray, now there are sixteen steps. The only step eliminated is the roasting. You don't want to buy untasted coffee from some random farmer, because most coffee grown and processed is of very low quality. You still need all those boards and committees and distributors if you want a decent cup of coffee. (Of course, coffee's economic chain is currently an unethical mess, but I don't see how this device changes that.)

      - On degassing, they say 'Of course, taste changes over time, but does it necessarily get better?'. Having roasted my own coffee, the answer is definitively 'yes'. Very fresh coffee is quite sour.

      I like the idea of a push-button coffee roaster targeted at casual home users, but this project has major problems and misleading marketing. I'd love to see the raw results of those blind taste tests.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Scrofula
        HillJ Nov 14, 2013 06:13 AM

        Then join their beta test.

        1. re: HillJ
          c
          chefwong Nov 14, 2013 08:34 AM

          OT, but how small of batches do you guys buy.

          I have a couple of places I frequent, depending on what mood I'm in. Some stock Counter, Intelegeia, locally roasted, etc.

          What's interesting in this 1 place as well that offers them up in 1/2lb bags versus the typical 3/4. It's sorta of a win-win situation if I know I'll be traveling 2-3 days out of the week...I'll buy the smaller 1/2 with a fresher rotation in mind.

          More important is storage. I looked at ALL of the coffee vaults on the market. Even cosidered doing a vac the Mason Jar approach. I did not conclude if doing the vac, it was doing something more - like evaporating aroma's etc so I ended up just sticking to my normal routine of grinding what I need for the day with nil-none extra in the hopper, and using a small *glasslok* container for the beans.

          1. re: chefwong
            HillJ Nov 14, 2013 08:39 AM

            I can't purchase green beans locally under 5 lbs.

            1. re: chefwong
              c
              Chowrin Nov 14, 2013 08:40 AM

              Well, I just bought 40 lbs, but I bought 'em green. I roast about once a week, and that's about a pound of coffee. I'd be upset at having coffee that's much older than two weeks.

              1. re: chefwong
                s
                Scrofula Nov 14, 2013 08:48 AM

                Of roasted coffee? The roasters around me only sell 3/4lb bags, which go stale by the time I finish them (which was one of the reasons I got into home roasting). Blue Bottle in SF sells 1/2lb bags which I quite liked, but not quite enough to order them by mail.

                1. re: Scrofula
                  c
                  chefwong Nov 14, 2013 09:01 AM

                  Indeed, BB is my 1/2lb source. The ~movement~ of good coffee has been quite amazing over the past couple of years. I can procure alot of beans that I used to need to mail-order

                  I have 4-5 ~spots~ I can frequent to get beans locally, freshly roasted, often as early as within 1 days roast day, and others like Counter, depending on what *day* I go, it will be generally 3 days average from Roast Date.

                  Heh, while the idea is intriguing, I'm not willing to commit the space for a drum roaster or the time to do it ;-)

                2. re: chefwong
                  Eiron Nov 14, 2013 09:43 AM

                  A pound of coffee might last me a month, maybe a bit longer. I freeze my coffee. Don't like freezing? Read this:

                  http://www.home-barista.com/store-cof...

                  Don't forget to read the links to the follow-up testing.

                  I typically buy five or six 1-lb bags from online roasters. (That seems to be the point where the shipping 'price-per-pound' becomes reasonable.) These bags are the mylar type. As soon as I get them, I seal up the one-way valves & toss them into the freezer. I use from only one bag at a time, & keep the open bag in the freezer as well (sealed by rolling the top & securing with super-large (1/2" wide) heavy-duty rubber bands).

                  When I buy locally, I might buy two 1-lb bags. These bags are the paper type. I put these into large zip-lock bags, then they go into the freezer.

                  On my last round of home-roasting, I only let the roasts rest for 36 hrs before freezing. This led to a significant bloom problem during drip brewing (very 'gassy' coffee!), resulting in having to stop the power to my TechniVorm in order to allow the bloom to settle. I'll probably pull my drip roast out of the freezer & let it warm/rest for another day or so. The espresso maker was unaffected.

                  1. re: Eiron
                    c
                    Chowrin Nov 14, 2013 10:02 AM

                    Don't keep the open bag in the freezer!

                    "When you take frozen beans out of the freezer and expose them to room temperature air, you also expose them to much higher humidity than inside the freezer. Airborne water vapor starts condensing on the cold beans immediately, the same as moisture condenses on a can of cold beer when you take it out of the refrigerator. Even though you return the bag of cold beans to the freezer as soon as possible you will accumulate condensed water in the form of ice on the beans. The question is how much accumulated water or ice is harmful? I don’t know, but I’d prefer to avoid that problem."

                    ... I'm quoting off some random commenter in sweetmarias' forums, but it's the truth.

                    1. re: Chowrin
                      Eiron Nov 14, 2013 10:58 AM

                      Miniscule amounts of water condensation from opening the bag for 10 seconds at a time is not really a concern of mine, considering the excessive dryness here in semi-arid Northern Colorado. I'm usually adding a slight amount of moisture to the beans before grinding anyway, in order to mitigate problematic static issues caused by grinding in 25% & less RH. This problem occurs both in my drip grinder (Solis 166) & my espresso grinder (QuickMill 031).

                      Have you found that this amount of moisture noticeably affects the flavor of your coffee in some way? To my tastebuds, I get noticeable variances from type of water used, brewing temperature, or a single click in fineness/coarseness on the grinder, but not from cold condensation.

                      1. re: Eiron
                        c
                        Chowrin Nov 14, 2013 11:05 AM

                        I roast fresh, so i've had no reason to know, really.
                        are you using a burr grinder and having problems with static?

                        May I suggest a swamp cooler or humidifier? It's better for your health...

                3. re: HillJ
                  s
                  Scrofula Nov 14, 2013 08:56 AM

                  I'm unlikely to convince them to make it just a roaster rather than a roast-grind-brew device, so I'm reluctant to pay $400 to beta test what I think will be a bad product. The Behmor is already on the market for less than that.

              2. Chemicalkinetics Nov 13, 2013 07:23 AM

                This is a very interesting idea. Thanks for the news.

                1. HillJ Nov 13, 2013 07:14 AM

                  http://bonaverde.com/

                  their site has a good deal more intel.

                  1. HillJ Nov 13, 2013 07:12 AM

                    First of all Kickstarter is kick ass! Love this firm.
                    What's not to love love love about this idea/design/product niche for all the RIGHT reasons.
                    For a home model pretty nifty; roast to cup in 14 minutes!
                    The Machine Pkg might make a pretty cool Christmas gift idea!

                    Thanks, ferret!

                    19 Replies
                    1. re: HillJ
                      tcamp Nov 13, 2013 07:23 AM

                      It is a cute looking device but a cup every 14 minutes would be problematic at my house in the morning with 3 coffee drinkers.

                      1. re: tcamp
                        HillJ Nov 13, 2013 07:25 AM

                        Valid point, it's still a prototype. Part of any Kickstarter pledge/buy in is to beta test the prototype. This appliance isn't ready for market.

                        1. re: HillJ
                          tcamp Nov 13, 2013 07:30 AM

                          It will be interesting to see how it plays out in beta. Only $400 to join up!

                          1. re: tcamp
                            HillJ Nov 13, 2013 08:03 AM

                            $300. to beta test an actual machine.

                          2. re: HillJ
                            Chemicalkinetics Nov 13, 2013 07:35 AM

                            While this is a very cool idea, I just stepped back and asked myself. Won't it actually be better to separate these steps? In other words, a coffee bean roaster by itself, a grinder, and a brewer. This will give you better control, and cheaper too.

                            Yes, you cannot do them all in one shot, but there is no strong reason why you cannot roast the bean with a popcorn popper, grind the coffee bean on the weekends, and then just brew what you have.

                            http://www.sweetmarias.com/airpop/air...

                            Unless there is some arguments that the roasting/grinding/brewing steps should all be done within 1 hour.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              c
                              Chowrin Nov 13, 2013 07:44 AM

                              Grind coffee less than 15 minutes before brewing, if you're doing espresso. Oxygen reacts with a lot of the tasty alcohols and other aromatics.

                              OTOH, roasting requires a long rest time (hours) to allow the chemical reactions to finish. Ventilation doesn't fix reaction time.

                              1. re: Chowrin
                                Chemicalkinetics Nov 13, 2013 07:46 AM

                                Thanks.

                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                HillJ Nov 13, 2013 08:02 AM

                                It may turn out to be an industry option, it may turn out to be usable parts under different patents..too soon to know really.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  HillJ Nov 13, 2013 08:05 AM

                                  I'm familiar with sweet marias. And the local roaster I buy from is very generous about teaching customers and letting us watch him roast.

                                  That doesn't mean there's no room for newcomers or new concepts. Bugs always get kicked around in the early stages of any product.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                    Eiron Nov 13, 2013 09:30 AM

                                    Hey, this is what I do! :-D

                                    I bought a decent popper from the thrift store for $5 & a glass chimney for $1. The 'specialty coffee' green beans (Tanzanian peaberry, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, & an espresso blend) average out to about $6/lb including shipping costs. It takes me about an hour to roast a full pound.

                                    It's messy! The beans give off a lot more chaff than I expected. It also does NOT have that 'fresh roast coffee' smell, but more of an acrid burn smell. (AFTER roasting the beans smell marvelous; during roasting - not so much.)

                                     
                                     
                                    1. re: Eiron
                                      c
                                      Chowrin Nov 13, 2013 10:03 AM

                                      must be your roaster.
                                      mine tend to smell grassy, and then smoky, but not acrid.

                                      1. re: Chowrin
                                        Eiron Nov 13, 2013 01:28 PM

                                        No, it's the exact same smell as when I I worked next to Allegro Coffee, back in the mid '90s in Boulder. I'm sure some folks like it, but until I discovered that they were roasting coffee there, I always thought, "What *IS* that gawd-awful smell?!". And I'd been drinking grind-your-own coffee for years at that point.

                                        To my nose, it's just not a pleasant aroma.

                                      2. re: Eiron
                                        Chemicalkinetics Nov 13, 2013 10:17 AM

                                        <It's messy! The beans give off a lot more chaff than I expected. It also does NOT have that 'fresh roast coffee' smell, but more of an acrid burn smell. (AFTER roasting the beans smell marvelous; during roasting - not so much.)>

                                        Objectively speaking, do you think it was a success? Do you think it (the coffee you made) is worth your time and your labor? I know many think it is the best way to do. Roast, grind, brew...

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          c
                                          Chowrin Nov 13, 2013 10:21 AM

                                          I'm nowhere near as good at roasting as Tom is, but I think it's worth it... I use a behmor, though, which is a trifle more expensive.

                                          1. re: Chowrin
                                            Chemicalkinetics Nov 13, 2013 10:26 AM

                                            I don't know much (or any) about coffee. How much do you roast each time? Do you roast 3 month worth of coffee?

                                            Is this what you were talking about? Behmor coffee roaster:

                                            http://chocolatealchemy.com/wordpress...

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                              c
                                              Chowrin Nov 13, 2013 10:35 AM

                                              I roast about a pound at a time. That's about a week's worth, more or less.
                                              Keeping coffee around for well over a week is probably not the best plan (but it does have to rest for at least 12 hours, preferably a couple of days).

                                              Freshroasted gourmet coffee is like nothing else. Pull a shot of espresso, and watch your tongue have a tango (literally causes taste hallucinations -- coffee is insanely complex, the brain kinda gets to pick and choose what you're drinking.).

                                              1. re: Chowrin
                                                Chemicalkinetics Nov 13, 2013 11:26 AM

                                                Thanks so much. One last question, I promise. How automated or how manual is your roasting process? Can you walk away and take a shower or watch TV? Or do you have to stay close to the roaster?

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                  c
                                                  Chowrin Nov 13, 2013 06:12 PM

                                                  It's somewhat manual. Takes about 30 minutes total, about 5 minutes of which you're listening for when the beans are "done" (since I'm using a drum roaster, I turn them off before they're finished, and they keep cracking for a while). After that, it's 15 minutes of cooldown, which you can be "not in the kitchen" for.

                                                  I recommend being around for the first 15 though, in case of fire. (do not open if on fire! adding oxygen is bad).

                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                            Eiron Nov 13, 2013 01:37 PM

                                            It's a mixed bag, the way I do it. I wanted the cheapest way possible to give it a try, & this was it. The trade-offs (compared to a purpose-built home roaster) are that it takes longer to roast a pound of coffee, & my small roast batches (about 1/4 cup at a time) are so fast that I have less control over flavor profiling. If I knew that I wanted to do this all the time, I'd definitely get a much more expensive home roaster.

                                            I'll say that for 40% of the $-cost of buying locally roasted coffee, it's at least as good. Is it worth the time investment? I'm still undecided about that.

                                2. c
                                  Chowrin Nov 13, 2013 07:08 AM

                                  Who the hell dug Spider Robinson out of the grave?
                                  Who the hell thought this was a good idea?

                                  Coffee needs to rest after roasting (at least 12 hours, though most prefer at least a full day, sometimes two).

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: Chowrin
                                    HillJ Nov 13, 2013 07:16 AM

                                    Really, you think this is bullshit?

                                    1. re: HillJ
                                      c
                                      Chowrin Nov 13, 2013 07:23 AM

                                      If nothing else, you'll have zero control over the roast.
                                      Chemical reactions continue after the roasting, which is why you let the coffee outgas. Ventilating the beans doesn't change the reaction rate.

                                      1. re: Chowrin
                                        HillJ Nov 13, 2013 07:26 AM

                                        It's still in beta testing. I think the buy in to be a part of the beta test is kinda cool.

                                        1. re: HillJ
                                          c
                                          Chowrin Nov 13, 2013 07:30 AM

                                          I like kickstarters, don't get me wrong.
                                          I just think this one is illadvised.

                                          (but I do roast at home, and get up thirty minutes early to warm up Miss Silvia -- promptly go back to sleep, of course, so I'm sure I'm not this product's target audience.)

                                          1. re: Chowrin
                                            HillJ Nov 13, 2013 08:03 AM

                                            I appreciate your p.o.v. don't get me wrong. I also dig the concept and look forward to seeing where it leads. Kickstarter is an outstanding firm with hits & misses but the platform to kick start ideas makes me very happy.

                                      2. re: HillJ
                                        scubadoo97 Nov 17, 2013 04:46 AM

                                        Not bullshit just not the best way to get the best at of the bean and as Chowrin pointed out little control of the roast and no resting time between roasting and brewing

                                        But............if your idea of ideal coffee is Starbucks then this just might be for you

                                        1. re: scubadoo97
                                          HillJ Nov 17, 2013 05:55 AM

                                          Is that remark really necessary. Chowrin explained quite well actually.

                                          The OP is about a prototype. Sheesh.

                                          1. re: scubadoo97
                                            scubadoo97 Nov 17, 2013 03:59 PM

                                            Sorry the last comment wasn't directed at you personally but to the general public that made Starbucks what is is today. Burnt coffee at high prices and people ate it up like it was manna from heaven

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