Home Roast Exchange #1: James Thompson

As part of our home coffee roasting community (which we were a part of even before we started this site) we’ve been exchanging coffee beans and reviewing them.

We thought it might be a nice idea to share some of the reviews as part of a Home Roast Exchange series. Hopefully they’ll give new home roasters an idea as to the things to look out for when roasting your own coffee beans.

With that in mind, here’s the first review by one of our community members. These beans were roasted by James Thompson.


The beans looked very evenly roasted. It had a really good smell to it when I opened the bag. I’ve been using these beans for my morning cup of coffee the last couple of days to take to work. I use a cafetiere for my daily morning cup with about 40 grams of coarsely ground beans with about 1000 ml of water (a few degrees cooler than boiling water), steeped for 4 minutes.

The coffee has a floral taste to begin with and is full bodied (the term used when you don’t feel like all you’re drinking is flavoured water). Even when the coffee cools down, the taste holds up.

This morning, I decided to brew a pour over using my new Hario V60 plastic coffee dripper with a Hario V60 paper filter. I decided to grind my beans a little finer than when I use for my cafetiere. I used 30 grams of coffee (please ignore the chaff, that’s from grinding coffee earlier for a friend) for 500 ml of water for this (an almost 1:17 ratio).

I’ve got to say, this being my first time doing a pour over, I wasn’t impressed by my technique. The coffee tasted like it was over extracted. Sorry James, this one was on me! I plan on making another cup of pour over tomorrow with a more coarsely ground coffee, and perhaps a few lesser grams of the beans to see if it tastes better [UPDATE: it did].

And I also decided to make a small batch of cold brew with some of the beans. I mixed 2 oz of coarsely ground beans and 24 oz of water in a Mason jar. The plan is to let it brew for 24 hours. I plan on straining the grounds tomorrow morning and taking it to work on Monday morning.

To summarise, great looking beans (very evenly roasted), great smell and I love the cup from the cafetiere. I do need to improve my pour over technique which I think would help improve the cold brew. The coffee has a good floral note at first and great body. I am not sure what level of roast this is, as I do not have the experience to differentiate Full City from Full City+ and such.