This and next week I am busy filming new videos so my attention is kind taken up there.  So we are going to keep it nice and simple this week with a little rapid fire Q&A.

Level: Novice

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Could I ask your opinion about how the Gourmia compare to the Behmor roaster? I'm thinking of getting either from you. I'm hoping to roast both cacao and coffee beans.

Each have their place.  If you want a push button roaster with automated profiles, and the ability roast cocoa and coffee, you would go for the Behmor 1600 Plus.

There are no automated profiles on the Gourmia and you can’t roast coffee, but you have greater control over the profiles you create and have the ability to measure the surface temperature with the beans.

I personally like the control of the Gourmia and it is the direction you should take if you want to hone your roasting skills.

I’ve heard you can’t roast cocoa in a coffee roaster.  That they are too hot.

Really?  The Behmor above? My Royal #5? 

I have heard that too and it is just ludicrous.  That is like saying you can’t drive a Lamborghini in a school zone because it goes too fast.  Of course you can. You just don’t floor it and use it at full power.  To continue the analogy, hook it up to a heavy trailer.  It’s not going to be able to go fast then.  If that isn’t clear what I mean is most (all?  I’ve not found an exception) coffee roasters can be loaded 1.5 – 2 times their coffee capacity with cocoa since cocoa roasts about 150 F cooler.

If I have a coffee roaster, can I roast cocoa or will my chocolate taste like coffee?

You can roast both coffee and cocoa in the same roaster.  There is no cross contamination.  I’ve been doing it for years.  Even in a roaster used for the darkest coffee roasts the oils don’t transfer at the lower cocoa roasting temperatures and even if they did, the husk would take up any minor transfer and be winnowed away.  And likewise, cocoa butter won’t leak into your coffee roaster. The cocoa butter is all encased in cells.  That butter isn’t released until you grind the nibs.

I’ve seen warning that you have to been super careful roasting cocoa or all the cocoa butter will burst into flame.  And the husk is super flammable.

No.  I roast some of the darker brewing cocoas on up to coffee temperatures.  425 F in some cases.  Never once have I had a fire.

 Myth busted.

 I roast two pound of nibs in a convection oven for 45 minutes at 275 F.  How would I convert that profile to the Behmor or the Gourmia.

I’m sorry but I have no idea.  That really isn’t a roasting profile. That is a baking temperature.  A recipe. To translate a roasting profile you have to know the bean or nib surface temperature throughout the roast.  That is the definition of a roasting profile.  It isn’t the temperature setting on your roaster or oven.  Profile is the shorthand for the bean temperature profile.  Without those numbers you are just guessing. In exactly the same way I would not be able to tell you how to roast half a pound or two pounds with the information you have given me.

Once again, it is exactly like asking me this.  “It takes me 10 minutes to get the store if I push the gas pedal down half way.  How far do I have to push down the gas pedal on a Honda Civic?”

Really, it is the same thing.  It’s just the wrong information to allow any translation.  Sorry.   

I want to roast nibs.  Can I do that in the Behmor? 

No, you would need the Gourmia.  The mesh on the Behmor is too large for nibs but they work fine in the Gourmia’s roasting basket.