Thursday, August 31, 2006

cadillac or yugo -- they both get you there in the end

so i've been having this little debate within myself about my roaster. it's electric, you see. yes, i know; i've heard it all before:

"the best roasters are gas powered."

"only a hack would use an electric roaster."

"when you're serious about roasting you'll get a gas/propane roaster."

"master roasters use master tools."

and so forth. and basically, i have believed that for this entire short time i've been roasting coffee. i used to have this slight bit of shame at telling someone my roaster was electric, as though i were driving a little yugo while others were driving a cadillac. one day i would graduate, i would say to myself.

but just the other day i was thinking (a truly dangerous prospect, i know). and it occured to me that the car metaphor i just employed was an apt one on many levels. here are some random breakout thoughts about the roasters as cars metaphor.

both a yugo and a cadillac will both arrive at precisely the same place.

style points say nothing about what's within.

cadillac costs more because of extraneous bells and whistles.

you really gotta know how to drive to drive a yugo well. (!)

a yugo is more economical than a cadillac, and that certainly counts for a lot in my humble roasting book.

yugo sure beats walking everywhere (which would be the equivalent of roasting beans in a frying pan on your stove at home, i guess).

etcetera, etcetera.

now, you may be saying to yourself that the only reason i'm saying these things is to make myself feel better. perhaps. but then again, i know of several well-respected roasteries that use fluid bed roasters and swear by them, and i think fluid bed roasting is for the body; no seriousness in the cup. so who's to tell me my stuff isn't all that?

am i saying i can go head to head with any roaster out there? no. most definitely not. but that may likely be more a function of my skill and experience level and not about equipment. besides, put me behind the wheel of a cadillac and there still no guarantee i'll prefer it to the yugo.

so remaining content with what i have is the name of the game. if those words are good enough for the Good Lord, they're good enough for me.

meantime, anyone wanting to put their tastebuds on the line to try to tell me my coffee is inferior, be my guest. meanwhile, i'm selling my stuff pretty well already over here.

so prove me wrong.


At Saturday, 02 September, 2006, Anonymous Stephen Leighton said...

Sorry Bro, I'm with the gas brigade, having used both, I'm a gas man.

But one point I want to say is that kick ass coffee with an electric roaster will out perform 10-fold average coffee in a gas roaster.

Also the skill of the operator can negate (and more) any handicap with the electric roaster.

So stand up, puff out that chest and say “I'm electric and I'm proud ” :)


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