City Roasts

Generally, I’m not fond of City roasts.  Maybe I haven’t had the patience to allow the flavor to develop.  Maybe my roaster roasts too fast to get a decent city roasted bean.  But this past Sunday evening, one could have found me roasting away in the workshop while the children played in the back yard.  And that session saw me roast three batches, two to city: the Mexico Oaxaca and the Harar.  Rest would be the key to their flavor.

This morning, with no viable blends from the fragmented roasts on hand, I had to crack open a fresh jar. I had my choices: Mexico Organic Oaxaca – Finca El Olivio, a Brazil Yello Icatu, and a Ethiopian Harar – Green Stripe. Knowing the rest required for the Brazil and Ethiopian to develop flavors, I opted for the Mexican, albeit rather reluctantly.

Reluctantly since it was a light City roast. That’s Tom’s recommendation, and I always like to try what his expert palate finds to be the best. But I also know that a City roast will usually need significant rest to develop flavor. But, I charged forth, Zass in hand. Ground for my French Press while heating water. Steeped for two and a half minutes, plunged and dispensed into my travel mug and a standard mug. My house mug was drank while herding children and zooming through the house, so I was not acutely aware of it’s taste. The travel mug, however, I have savoured. It’s a nice preview of the flavors that will surely bloom forth, but not unpleasant at all. It’s a rushed bean, but enjoyable as well. I would hazard a guess that, had I roasted this in my WBP1, it would not have been so good. But my stalwart roaster is in need of some repairs, so I’m using a 1250 watt Popcorn Pumper, which roasts much more slowly, developing a different and quite nice roast, as compared to her bigger brother. The magic of the bean!

Solo Deo Gloria,



About javajeb

Full time dad and IT guy. Part-time preacher/teacher. Full-time follower of Christ.
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6 Responses to City Roasts

  1. Gerald says:

    So, how did the El Olvio turn out, Jason?

    The subject of resting coffee is one that really has my interest at the moment. When I started roasting coffee, I was under the impression that a rest of from 4 to 12 hours was all that was needed and that coffee rapidly began to degrade after 5 days. Because of that, I rarely let any of my coffee last more than three days.

    I was quite surprised a month or so ago when more experienced roasters wrote that, in general, most coffees reach their peak of flavor after four days of rest! If that were true, then I had been truly blowing it for the last six months.

    Since then, I’ve rested all my coffees for two days before drinking them on days 3,4,and 5. The coffee has been great, but then it was great before this, too. It’s hard to accurately compare today’s coffee flavors with yesterday’s memories. I think what I’m going to have to start doing is roast the same bean for four straight days, and then do some blind cuppings to see what I think.

    Sure wish you didn’t live a thousand miles away! Makes it hard to invite you to come over to the house and help me with that. 🙂

  2. javajeb says:

    The cup I had, and wrote about was excellent. I am drinking the remainder of that roast now, but with augmentation from a bit of Sumatra Organic Gayo Mountain. I’ve had hints of greatness there, but just now, I’m missing it. In part, it’s the different prep method – this morning was FP, the other, Chemex. The addition of the Sumatra may make the tast less than ideal as well. But nice ayway.

    As for extended rests, any City Roast will like more time, as well as some regional beans in toto, like a Kenya, and some finer Brazils. I try never to touch a Kenya in less than four days. If I do, I miss the magnificence of the coffee and only have the shrill, acidic notes to taste.


  3. Gerald says:

    I’ve got two Kenyas in my stash right now so I will have to give that a try.

    I understand that the Ethiopians, though, grind and brew immediately after roasting and that they like their coffee roasted very lightly. Makes you wonder about the sense of taste. Does something really taste good? Or does it have a familiar taste and thus seems to taste good? I’m not sure. This coffee business is getting more and more complex the deeper I get into it. Not that I mind, I’m enjoying the whole experience very much.

    I especially enjoy the roasting process (Heat gun/Stainless steel bowl). On days that I have no need to roast, I walk by the spot reserved for roasting in the garage with regret.

  4. Gerald says:

    I think we may drink our coffee in a very similar fashion, by the way. I try to make 28 to 32 ounces every morning. I put half of that into a tall mug for immediate use. The other half goes into a travel mug that keeps the coffee hot for quite some time.

  5. Gerald says:

    I like the way you have each coffee highlighted in red with a link to Sweet Marias for a description of that coffee. Is that something your blog service makes available for you to use? Or is it something that any run-of-the-mill computer genius (meaning, not me!) could do easily?

  6. Gerald says:

    Jason, I know I’m kind of loading up your comment section this morning, but I also wanted to tell you that Brett Mason’s son, Joel, was hurt in a football game last night. Ruptured spleen. He’s in intensive care at Mercy Hospital. Brett says the doctors think he’s going to be all right without surgery, but he’s asked for prayers nevertheless.

    And that reminds me to ask how your father-in-law is doing? I have remembered to keep him in my prayers though I haven’t yet been able to get our small group to re-convene after the summer’s break. That means I also haven’t had a chance to ask them to pray for him. Hopefully, that will change very soon.


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