By Joshua Rosenthal
Nothing beats a great cup of coffee in the morning, afternoon, and in some cases in the evening. If you are a true coffee drinker, you can appreciate the taste of black coffee, it’s rainbow oils, and the deep aroma.
Drinking coffee is like drinking wine, beer, or any other beverage. The more you drink, the more educated you become in understanding the coffee bean, the growing region (climate, soil, other variables), and roasting practices to assist in producing the great flavor and aroma of coffee.
If you are like anyone else, saving money is always a great idea. If you are lucky, you may have a great friend who is a roaster and is giving their beans to you as a gift or for a small donation. In the majority of cases, you cannot always rely on your friend’s production schedule. So, instead of buying a pound of premium coffee at $10-$20, why not roast your own coffee and begin to craft your next cup while appreciating the process?
I have always been intrigued with roasting coffee and wanted to learn the process. Before getting involved, I wanted to do some research, speak with my friends who roast, and then dive in by trying some processes
You need to find green coffee beans that suit your palate and would enjoy drinking.
The first step to coffee roasting is selecting your green coffee bean. Here are some tips when selecting your bean:
I began buying my green coffee beans from my local homebrew store, More Beer where they provide a great selection and profile overview.
To check out our complete selection of Green Coffee Beans, click here
Once you have selected your green beans, you are ready for roasting and understanding the process. I actually started on the stovetop with a skillet and began roasting my beans. I can tell you this, it is labor intensive due to constantly stirring the beans for an even roast and heat distribution. I also needed to roast in batches due to the size of my pan and it was difficult for me to find/control the right temperature to roast my beans. Stovetop can also be extremely messy due to the amount of smoke being emitted and the constant floating of chaff (skin of the bean) in the air as the bean cracks. In a lot of cases, I had a hard time separating chaff from the bean during the process too. In the end, my roasts were okay, but I felt the process was too cumbersome and my beans were inconsistent with their roast flavor.
I then figured out that I needed more of an even heat to move through my beans, keep the chaff from floating out of control, and keep some of the smoke down. So, I decided to move into the Whirley-Pop Coffee Roaster to keep my heat consistent, keep the chaff contained (lid included), and roast bigger batches (the depth of the pot), and I didn’t have to stir, but just shake to keep my beans moving through the process. It was a success, as my beans were roasting more evenly, the heat was contained, and I was fully involved with the process. I was able to manipulate my heat, the amount of beans to roast, and keep a mess to a minimum. Even though roasting process can take 15-20 minutes max, it is nice to have consistency, precision, and know that you are going to produce a great roast to enjoy. I love being hands on, but I did want to maximize my time, provide a more flavorful roasted bean, and have a flawless process with more consistency with pinpoint accuracy.
I finally decided to invest in a roaster and take my roasting to the next level. I wanted to focus on the different temperatures that dictate my roasts and be able to produce different flavors. The roaster provided me with the opportunity to control my process, define the roast stages of the bean, and enjoy a better roast flavor profile for what I wanted to drink. It was a great investment! I was able to put my beans in my roaster, select the type of roast, and let the roaster do its job by providing the right temperature, keep my beans moving, the chaff floating into a receptacle, and having a fantastic roasted bean at the flavor profile I wanted.
To check out our complete selection of Coffee Roasters, click here
When I began using a roaster, I was finally able to understand the stages of roasting, control the length, the heat, and the amount of beans. Before, I needed to depend on the stove’s heat and the skillet/pot’s ambient temperature. When I used a lot of beans, I was having an uneven roast due to space and lack of heat through the beans. Now with the roaster, I was able to dial in my roasting, be able to use more beans, control the heat temperature, and be able to produce the flavors I wanted from my green coffee beans.
I observed the multiple stages of coffee roasting and was able to control this roasting process by monitoring the time and temperature. As you move through the roasting process, please keep in mind the temperatures noted below are only guidelines. As you become accustomed to your process and roaster, begin to use your sensory: smell, site, sound, and taste to determine what you like to drink.
I will usually allow the beans to cool for one to two days prior to storage. I want to make sure the beans “gas-off”. I like using mason jars with sealing lids, providing a solid seal to lock in freshness and keeping the oils from evaporating and the beans from drying out. When I purchase my green coffee beans, I will keep them in a reusable container (tuber-ware) and store in my pantry where it is dry and cool not surpassing 68F.
I encourage you to begin researching green coffee beans and see which beans you gravitate towards. MoreBeer! is great assisting first time and veteran roasters with green beans, roasters, and tricks of the trade. They will guide you by the region, country, or your roasting preference. Use the roasting tools you can afford or as you see fit and begin to learn and understand the roasting process. As you can see, it is a craft, an art form for you to manipulate in how you want your coffee to taste. Nothing beats a fresh craft roast made by a great friend and especially one you roasted. Craft beans make great gifts during the holidays, home-brewers for their beers (trade), and of course for you.
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