My friend Adam asked me a month ago if I was still interested in home roasting coffee. I have been looking at ways of buying better coffee, locally roasted, that was fresh, tasty, and also affordable. I had totally forgotten the possibility of roasting beans myself, so I decided to give it a shot. The method I ended up using to roast my beans is a popcorn maker that I turn by hand on the side burner of my grill.
It takes 5 minutes for a small batch of a couple ounces, or 10-15 minutes for a half pound batch (my normal size). I bought my first batch of green coffee beans on Amazon, and will probably keep buying there since they are really affordable and, well, I buy tons of things on Amazon these days. I usually wear a pair of leather work gloves while I turn the roasting handle, and then after the first crack subsides I dump the beans into an old baking sheet to let the beans cool off and so that I can blow away the chaff.
Here you can see the green beans on the left, and the burlap sack they shipped in, as well as the beans that I roasted this morning on the left. I keep them sealed in mason jars, but I poured out some samples so you can see an good example of before and after. The beans actually increase in size as they roast, in addition to the color and aroma change. Finally, I wait about three days before brewing coffee with the fresh beans, as the flavor is not mature and really weak in the first couple of days after roasting.
On the right you can see two smaller jars of sample beans that Adam gave me earlier in the week. One is a Cameroon Mifi Bamboutos Mountain, the other is a Burundi Bubanza Ngara both from Sweet Maria’s. I roasted all three of these jars this morning, starting with the smaller samples first (five minutes each) and then a full half pound roast of my Honduras beans. I brew my beans in a French Press, if you were wondering. I will probably post once a month or so on coffee and tea, as I try new out new varieties.