Latest Posts

  1. Intro to Home Roasting Class

    Intro to Home Roasting Class

    Sign up for this roasting basics class. It's going to be a lot of fun.

    Read More
  2. Storing Your Roasted Coffee

    Storing Your Roasted Coffee

    Read More
  3. Pasquini Espresso Equipment

    Pasquini Espresso Equipment

    We have decided not to continue stocking the Livia, or other Pasquini items. This page remains here as a snapshot of what we thought about the Livia (still, a very nice espresso machine!)

    Read More
  4. Proper Pants for Coffee Travels?

    Proper Pants for Coffee Travels?

    Tom's take on on the right pants...more than just protection from ants.

    Read More
  5. Coming Soon - The Victorio Stovetop Popper for Coffee Roasting

    Coming Soon - The Victorio Stovetop Popper for Coffee Roasting

    Read More
  6. Noah Saves a Hummingbird

    Noah Saves a Hummingbird

    No, it's not a children's book. It's the real life tale of Noah, the hummingbird savior.

    Read More
  7. Got Dog Jokes for the 2018 Sweet Maria's Calendar?

    Got Dog Jokes for the 2018 Sweet Maria's Calendar?

    The 2018 Dogs of Coffee Calendar needs your funny dog jokes and riddles.

    Read More
  8. Our 20/20/20 Sale! 20% off 20 coffees because we are 20.

    Our 20/20/20 Sale! 20% off 20 coffees because we are 20.

    We are 20 years old, so take 20% off

    Read More
  9. Indonesia: A Live Talk with Thompson Owen - CANCELLED

    Indonesia: A Live Talk with Thompson Owen - CANCELLED

    Tom's got a slideshow and some great stories to share about his travels to Indonesia

    Read More
  10. Sweet Maria's is Hiring

    Sweet Maria's is Hiring

    We are looking for someone to join our customer service team.

    Read More
  11. Send Your Pet Photos to the 2018 Sweet Maria's Calendar Casting Call

    Send Your Pet Photos to the 2018 Sweet Maria's Calendar Casting Call

    Want to have your pet appear in the 2018 Sweet Maria's Calendar?

    Read More
  12. Coffee Roasting Demo at Eat Real Festival

    Coffee Roasting Demo at Eat Real Festival

    Learn how to roast your own coffee as you spend your day at Eat Real.

    Read More

2013 Home Barista "Home Roasters" Competition

2013 Home Barista "Home Roasters" Competition

That's a lottalotta Gaturiri AB - a NICE buncha coffees.

 

This year the folks at Home Barista (www.home-barista.com) held their annual home roasters challenge. It’s a friendly competition that invites message board members to submit their roasts of both espresso and brewed coffees to a panel of judges who then pick the top coffees and provide feedback on all of the roasts. It’s a friendly competition and a great way for home roasters to have their craft evaluated. Needless to say, we once again graciously accepted the invitation to judge the brewed coffee portion, and going off of the quality of last year’s roasts, were excited to cup this year’s entries.

 

One major difference in the brewing part this year was the decision to limit the entrants to one coffee option. Last year there were a few different coffees for them to choose from, regionally and processing-wise. One benefit of this for the roaster is the chance to roast a coffee that they are already familiar with. But for judging, a variety of coffees makes deciphering roast quality more difficult. So this year all contestants roasted our Kenya Nyeri Gaturiri AB, keeping the focus on roast differences, instead of varietal and processing.

 

It’s funny being in the position of “judging” the quality of someone else’s roast. Especially when the roast you’re giving feedback on is probably tailored to someone else’s taste (which there truly is no accounting for!). And I firmly believe if you enjoy the coffee you roast, then you’re doing it 100% correctly! But we have a good deal of experience cupping for roast level as well as know this coffee, and because of that, we are in some way qualified to give our opinion. And so that’s what we did.

 

We approached judging the same way we approach all of our cupping. Our decisions were based on the dry fragrance, wet aromatics, and then cup flavors. Knowing how this coffee should taste when roasted well gives us a vantage point from which we recognize if certain characteristics are lacking - i.e. lacking acidity and sweetness can be attributed to baking, or even abbreviating a roast. So we cupped all 13 coffees, picked our favorites, and then went back over the roasted coffees to look for physical evidence of roast errors that may help back up our overall assessment (for example over-expanded beans signifying a fast roast, minimal fracturing for underdevelopment, etc).

 

It was a really fun exercise, and more than that, a reminder of how passionate home roasters are. Looking at the home roasting topic in the forums section of Home Barista's website, members post their varied experiences with home roasting, pictures of their roast setups (often HEAVILY modified), roasting graphs, and other really helpful information - for themselves and for other board members to learn from. There’s definitely a spirit of community and lots of enthusiasm behind sharing roasting information with each other. It’s always great to work with these folks, and we hope to be a part of it again next year!

 

See more on the happenings at Home Barista here - www.home-barista.com.