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Archive for the category “Coffee Roaster”

For the home coffee roaster

This is my home roaster. Im about to build it into a moveable trolley, so its the bare bones in this picture.

  • A breadmaker. I stripped it out of its case and control panel. I rewired it so the motor runs continuously when plugged into the mains. When I fit everything into the trolley, I will put a fused switch for it.
  • A heatgun. Nothing fancy with 2 heat settings. They will burn out eventually so do not spend a lot. This is my second gun in 3 years.
  • A digital thermometer. Can also be plugged into a computer for graphing the coffee roast.
  • A digital timer for monitoring the heat rise and setting the hold between first and second crack.
  • Ash can. My new invention. insert the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner into it and use the other hose for sucking out the beans from the bread pan. I then leave the vacuum running for 4 minutes and it extracts all the heat from the beans. Remove the lid, check the beans and bag directly from the container.

Total costs:

Breadmaker (mine was “borrowed” but anywhere from free to whatever you want to pay)

Heat gun: £8-£20. Mine are Ebay specials and £8 a time.

Digital thermometer: Between £10 and £35

Digital timer: £4

Ash Can: Under £19 delivered from Coopers.

I use the house vacuum but will probably buy a used small one for the job.

I use coffee beans from Rave Coffee

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My favourite coffee, and its a blend!

I realise that in writing this article, it may come across as an advert for a British coffee company. The truth is, I think it has to. No one else has managed to capture the taste experience as well as Rave Coffee based in Cirencester. For the purposes of disclosure, I was involved with Rave Coffee from its inception in the capacity of promotion, but moved aside to look after other business interests as they grew and the company expanded in house.

Master Roaster Rob Hodge, and his wife Vikki, have brought the much needed taste of properly roasted coffee to Britain. That is not to say that other roasters are shabby, far from it, yet Robs international Australian experience of a mature coffee culture, gave new life to the jaded palate of British coffee drinkers.

My introduction to Robs masterful touch with coffee, was in tasting his version of Mocha Java. A blend of Sumatra Mandheling and Ethiopian Sidamo roasted to just bordering on second crack.

I use a Glass vacuum filter coffee maker, and I cannot describe adequately the excitement I felt when I saw the rich one inch thick bloom appear on the coffee as it steeped in the vessel for 50 seconds. When I removed the heat and watched it run through the filter and return to the glass pouring container, I saw the shimmering darkness, yet with a opacity in the colour, and smelled this wonderful coffee aroma perfumed with chocolate and the essence of a spice I could not name, I knew if the taste was anything like the smell I was in for a treat.

It is my habit to leave the coffee for five minutes in the mug to cool a little, and allow the taste to develop through the decreasing temperature range.

The taste. A rich full coffeeness, with an aftertaste of deep chocolate and again the undefine perfume of a delicate spice in the background. There is no bitterness or sharp attack of tannin, it was all a mug of balanced perfection. One of the few coffees that hold, if not improve in the taste to the last drop.

Of all the coffees I have drank, this one, this particulat blend, this matching of two berries by Rave coffee, is the single most outstanding coffee of my choice in many a year. I love it.

Gisuma Red Bourbon

rob
Rising from the aftermath of the terrible wars in Rwanda in the 1990s, The coffee planted has made its mark in the world from being very good to world class. I am always shocked how little is known about the quality, especially the Gisuma Red Bourbon. Gisuma Washing Station is in the Rusizzi district of the western province. This cooperative has 155 members who grow their coffee at an altitude of 1,600 to 1,850 metres above sea level. The Red Bourbon is washed and dried on raised African beds.
Filling your cup with a beautiful bright almost fruit like sweet cleanness with a backdrop of flowers, The coffee has never failed to please even the most critical of tasters.
For me, the balance of this berry is almost perfect.
9/10
Roasted just the way I like it at:

 

Roasting at RAVE Coffee.

Rob Hodge of RAVE Coffee is blending two types of beans to make the House blend. Overall time for the Roast is about 16 mins which we have condensed for the video.

Britains Hidden Hobby.

The secret is out. I didnt realise it. Only a few were privvy. It was only by accident I discovered it. Im still reeling from the knowledge. Who would have thought.

More so than America, More so than Europe combined, More so than Australia. The U.K. has a furtive little hobby that no one admits to, certainly does not discuss, and is not mentioned in public. BritishCoffeeScene is going to lift the lid right now.

Home Coffee Roasting. Its a spreading hobby throughout the British Isles. Its true. In talking with Artisan Coffee houses, and doing the sums, I can state that between 35% and 45% of bean sales are the raw green beans!

That means approximately half of all sales from specialist coffee Houses are going to individuals who, in one form or another, roast their own. Yet… there is no mention of it, no discussion, no contact through on line forums, no interchange with the supplier about roasting. The beans are sold, the beans arrive at the solitary destination and then… silence. A little while later, the coffee house gets another innocuous order for some more green beans. Noting that the customer has previously bought green beans, the supplier will include a little information pack with references to online forums that discuss coffee roasting, or offer for the customer to take advantage of advice the coffee house gives freely, and…… nothing.

Britain, what gives? Coffee roasting is a proud and noble art. It contains elements of innovation in equipment making, it requires a modicum of skill to bring all the elements together, and it has the capacity to be turned into a full scale home roasting production utilising computers, logs, thermometers, roast times and bean preferences. Around the world, there a clubs and chat boards and people who have never seen each who exchange information and equipment and test results. In Britain? there is a just a request to purchase green beans on the Coffee House Paypal site or Amazon ordering. It stops there.

Although I have use of a professional Toper roaster, what do I use for small batch testing? I have small home made hot air units. I have air guns. I have Stainless steel bowls and wooden spoons. I have adapted breadmakers. I have popcorn poppers. I have Halogen cookers. I have heavy pans. Ive used a lot of the commercially available home roasters too.

My favourite home roaster is a Russell Hobbs “Breadman” breadmaker. I use it weekly making a kilo of coffee in 18 minutes including pre heat time. This is my own machine with a test lid of 2 nonstick roasting pans cut down to size, with the viewing tempered glass sandwiched between them and pop riveted to hold. I drilled the hole tight for the air gun and later will add another hole for a chaff removal system Ive thought of. I will be making a more professional lid for this once my testing is complete with this prototype. I have a the unit linked to my computer via a thermometer.

So why dont I just spend a couple of thousand pounds or more on a “mini” professional system? First, I dont want to. Second, for less than 60 smackers, with this setup, I have the ability to produce equal if not better roasted coffee than most large scale coffee houses.

If you have a computer, and purchase an inexpensive Victor 86c thermometer..and couple it to an amazing FREE software for Roast logging and charting (No, Im not going to tell you where it is unless you come out of hiding and ask for it!)

Perhaps when you home roasters realise its Ok to come out of the closet, and that what you do is fine and wonderful and that there are some of us out here who want to share and learn from each other, you might join in some discussions and forum groups to further information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you finish your Roasting. Your coffee should look like this and taste amazing. You will never settle for less.

 

 

RAVE Coffee. Unit 7, Stirling Works, Love Lane, Cirencester, GL7 1YG

 Coffee Roasting was not something Rob Hodge ever envisaged in his future. After his marriage to Vikki in 2002, Rob and new wife spent their honeymoon in Australia and developed a love for the country during their stay there. When they returned to the U.K. and went back to their industry Jobs, Rob in Telecoms and Vikki in I.T. they never forgot the country of their dreams.

Working hard and saving money, they finally managed to obtain the elusive visa and moved to Sydney in the late 2000’s. Vikki enrolled as a student in catering and worked her way through the rigorous and tough Australian college system which culminated in her becoming a professional Chef.

Rob and Vikki, always being interested in coffee as a drink, were amazed to find a really outstanding and mature coffee “scene” in Australia, with some of the most knowledgable people on the doorstep.  After discussing between themselves, Rob made the decision to study the subject of coffee making in depth, and looked around for a suitable school/teacher.

 It wasn’t long before the name of Tony Vitello popped up. Now Tony has been around coffee for all of his life and has an unsurpassed reputation as a teacher. Tony is a founder of the Australian Coffee Gang and his successful students are sought after for job placements.

Rob sought out Tony and was accepted on his course. By applying himself diligently, Rob soaked up all the information he could from the Coffee Gang teacher and practiced, practiced and practiced.

 Finishing his professional course, Rob sought more learning and worked with Rob and Dean from the Mona Vale based ROC Café.

At the same time, Rob began a detailed background investigation into roasting proper and worked with some established artisan Roasters. It was here that Rob began to develop a love for the process of taking coffee from its raw state, and roasting it so as to extract its full potential in the cup.

 In the meantime, Rob and Vikki purchased and fitted out a coffee van and serviced the North beaches of Sydney.

Rob was invited to be the only Barista of choice at the Hyde Park event of Australia Day in 2010. Rob served over 7 kilos of coffee between 7am till 2pm on that day.

Robs professional skills continued to be noted, and in February, one month later, he was invited to be barista at TAFF College and powerhouse museum, serving the entire campus.

Moving on with life, a young family, external circumstances dictated that a return to the U.K. was required. Heartbreaking as it was in leaving their beloved Sydney, Rob and Vikki sold the profitable coffee van business. Rob threw himself into intensive final training and knowledge gathering regarding roasting and all things production.

Upon their return to the U.K. The Hodge family ordered a professional Coffee Roasting machine and set up RAVE coffee immediately.  Buying best green coffee from reputable sources only, they worked night and day to produce the Roast profiles for each varietal that Rob had worked so hard on. Working to a strict business plan, and roasting ONLY to orders for best freshness… and working with the worlds leading online purchase company, RAVE coffee has become one, if not THE most noted artisan coffee roasters the UK today.

When you buy a bag of coffee from RAVE, you have the collective knowledge and experience from coffee masters all over the world. No piece of information has ever been discarded by Rob, and only integrated into his practice when he has tested it for himself. Buy RAVE. Taste the difference.

Rave Coffee, Unit 7, Stirling Works, Love Lane, Cirencester, GL7 1YG

For all enquiries: info@ravecoffee.co.uk

Call

Office: 01453 832616

Mobile: 07833 532942

http://ravecoffee.co.uk

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