East Bay Coffee Roasting Scene

What are your favorites?

I strated roasting my own because I like it dark past the point where the third-wavers think it’s burned.

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I haven’t tried much of what is on that list because it will likely lead to expensive disappointment. I’m hoping that someone is roasting a happy medium between the under-roasted third wavers, and the really burnt stuff.

I live in Berkeley, but I get my beans from Red Bird Coffee, which is located in Bozeman, Montana. Of the roasters mentioned in the Berkeleyside article, I’ve only been to Artis on 4th St. I haven’t used their beans at home, but I’ve enjoyed their espresso on site. I’ve wanted to swing buy Scarlett City but I’m rarely in the neighborhood . . .

That said, on the very rare occasion that I run out of beans, I head down to the Catahoula Coffee Co. – their main site is in Richmond, but they, too, have a place on 4th St. in Berkeley, just across from the Sierra Nevada Tap Room on the “other side” of University.

In terms of using beans at home, I’m not surprised that home roasting (such as Robert does) is taking off. The “regular” espresso blend from Artís retails for $17.95 per pound (I think; it might be 12 ounces); Highwire and Scarlett City both charge $18/lb. Catahoula’s espresso is only $14/lb. Red Bird, OTOH, is $12.79/lb., but a 5-pound bag is only $53.25 (which works out to $10.65/lb., and there’s free shipping).

A good friend of mine, here in LA, orders from Red Bird as well. He’s been raving about their espresso blend for a long time. I believe he’s tried some of their other beans, but keeps returning to the blend. I’m thinking that maybe I should check Red bird out.

I’m thinking of getting out of roasting my own since Costco is selling Peet’s Major Dickason’s for $10 a pound, sometimes less (it was $6 on sale the other week), and I like that as much or more than my home roast.

I pay a little over $5 a pound for green beans in bulk. Factoring in weight loss in roasting and occasional repairs to the roaster I’m not saving much money.

I used to get beans from Sweet Maria’s until my old hot air popcorn popper died. Back then it was just coffee for 1. As coffee for 2, we go through way too much, and have been recently getting the SF Bay French Roast which is good enough for the drip coffeemaker.

For me, it’s a matter of how one approaches the exercise. I know myself well enough that, if I were to start roasting, it would be a very time-consuming hobby, as I’d be keeping logs of blends, roasting times & temperatures, etc., etc. I’d much rather “leave it to pros,” who know how to do it much better than I . . .

This is especially true if I’m only paying $10+ a pound! If I were paying $20, OTOH, things would probably change.

Peet’s Major D’s was $8.50 a pound at Costco yesterday.

Anybody want to buy a Hottop KN-8828B-2?

I put my Hottop on eBay.