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Roast your own coffee beans?

artloversplusartloversplus 8465 replies245 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,710 Senior Member
This is a continuation from the Trader Joe thread. In that, @Iglooo had broght a good point that roasting your coffee beans makes a good cup of coffee. I have been an avid coffee drinker but never thought that I could buy green coffee beans and roast it myself.

Please enlighten me the process and the source of beans, or the better source of beans. Has anyone tried to roast kupi luwak yourself? It should be amazing.
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Replies to: Roast your own coffee beans?

  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 4090 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,119 Senior Member
    My husband has been home roasting for more than a decade. The coffee is so fresh and flavorful, and not burnt tasting at all. It can be roasted to a level that you prefer. We like "Full City" which is not as dark and oily as Italian or French roasts. He learned how and bought everything (roaster, beans) through a website called Sweet Maria's. There was a learning curve though.
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  • walkinghomewalkinghome 7450 replies296 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,746 Senior Member
    @NorthernMom61 , Can you elaborate on what kind of roaster you use and where you get your beans now? I love the idea of roasting my own beans and own a whirly pop popcorn maker so I could give that a try before investing in a real roaster. Did you try other methods before buying a roaster?
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  • IgloooIglooo 8060 replies205 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,265 Senior Member
    edited June 26
    @artloversplus I buy mine in an ethnic grocery store that sells Indian and African spices. They had Ethiopian green coffee beans and one other from Southeast Asia. In my area, Ethiopian restaurants also sell them. You can keep them for about a year although the shop owner claims green beans stay fresh forever. The roasting process is simple; I use a regular small pot over the stove, medium heat. It takes about 10 minutes or less, stirring often to roast evenly. In about 6-7 minutes into, beans begin to pop. You will also see them starting to flake. They say to blow off and remove flakes but they didn't bother me. You can stop soon after that for a light roast or continue on another 4-5 minutes for a dark roast. You will see the color change. If you have a popcorn popper, it may help. It needs to be cooled. So I roast it after supper for morning use. It tastes so smooth, flavorful, better than anything you can buy. Now, my local grocery store is also carrying them.
    edited June 26
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  • Bromfield2Bromfield2 3523 replies34 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,557 Senior Member
    I'm intrigued--can someone tell me more? Where can you get a coffee roaster? Is it a large piece of equipment? I keep picturing the large roasters I sometimes see in coffee shops. The smell must be wonderful.
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  • IgloooIglooo 8060 replies205 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,265 Senior Member
    edited June 26
    I didn't notice aroma while roasting. Maybe because I roast a small amount for daily use. I did fine with roasting in a regular pot. Stirring is a bit pain but it take less than 10 minutes.
    edited June 26
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  • momsquadmomsquad 1092 replies64 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,156 Senior Member
    I've been roasting my own coffee for about 5 years now. Visit the website of "Sweet Marias" for an extensive tutorial on home roasting. They are also an excellent source for green coffee beans. I've tried most of their varieties and my favorite are the Kenyan sourced varieties. We like a very light roast, which is why I started home roasting in the first place. Light roasted beans have more caffeine and a more complex flavor. I mix the freshly roasted beans with TJ's Columbian coffee to enhance the flavor without needing to roast beans every day.

    Although I know people who roast their beans in an iron skillet, I purchased the "Fresh Roast" air roaster from Amazon. The only downside is that you can only roast in 1/4 cup batches, but the roast is very even and takes only 4-5 minutes. I put the roaster on the stovetop and turn the hood fan on to high, as some smoke is produced during roasting. I leave the top off for the first minute or two to stir the beans with a long wooden spoon, until the chaff starts to blow off. Not necessary but prevents uneven roast and allows a larger batch of beans to be roasted. Once some of the moisture is heated off in the first few minutes the beans have better movement in the hot air. Rule of thumb is to roast at least one minute past the first "crack" of the beans. You can hear a loud pop once they reach the crack stage. For light roast it takes only about 5 minutes.

    The Sweet Marias site recommends aging the roasted beans for a few days to allow CO2 to dissipate, but I've ground them right away at times and they're perfect. Two years ago we planted coffee trees in our yard and so far they are doing well. I think I've found a retirement hobby!
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  • SybyllaSybylla 3454 replies36 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,490 Senior Member
    I have been roasting for lots of years now. I have a gene cafe (I had a smaller electric roaster one and certainly have tried heat gun and popcorn popper methods but they are seriously not worth the effort/waste of good beans). This roasts a decent amount of coffee (I do three batches back to back for about 1-2 weeks of beans) but really can only be used outside, or inside with a very good extractor (I have a good extractor but in summer I can't suck all the air I pay for to be ACd out.. It can be used in a large garage. I always always have a fire extinguisher handy.) Coffee roasting is quite the learning curve also, so it isn't really a thing to do on a whim. For us, it is always worth it as we have a great espresso machine and make 8 shots at least a day. Fresh roasted beans aren't really a thing you use within hours, there is a lot of BS in the coffee roasting world though. Good roasters are $$$.. I also tend to a lighter roast but now you can buy good organic lighter roasts even in my Costco (their Sumatra wasn't terrible) for the cost of small batches of green beans from many suppliers. I use Burman for beans, buy a bulk order about once a year for lowest shipping costs. Local options are overpriced or inferior quality where I live. There are great forums on roasting, outside of SMs, the hardcore college confidential equivalents of the mansplaining kind. Thermometers, computers, spreadsheets etc. LOL.
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  • artloversplusartloversplus 8465 replies245 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,710 Senior Member
    edited June 26
    My W is so excited by this idea, she looked around on the net and found many Coffee Roaster classes in our area. She immediately signed up a free class in Mid July and we shall see what happen.

    Please keep the ideas and suggestions coming.
    edited June 26
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  • eyemamomeyemamom 5386 replies79 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,465 Senior Member
    My husband has what I call chitty chitty bang bang in the garage. He buys the green beans and roasts them himself. He’s got it down to a science. I really don’t like Starbucks now; it just tastes burnt to me.
    Our coffee machine is quite the sight as well, it can make lattes and cappuccino and my new thing flat whites.
    Hubby takes it quite seriously and may miss the coffee here as much as his bed when he’s traveling.
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  • artloversplusartloversplus 8465 replies245 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,710 Senior Member
    @eyemamom

    ^^Any idea how much the equipment costs?
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  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 4090 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,119 Senior Member
    My husband has the Gene Cafe as well, it does about 8 ounces at a time and we go through about a pound per week. He bought it through the Sweet Marias website and that is also where he buys green coffee beans. They are fair trade and have been a great company to deal with. He says the Sweet Marias website has a library and it is a great resource for learning what you need to know to home roast. Once you try coffee roasted this fresh you won’t be satisfied with the commercial stuff.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 3454 replies36 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,490 Senior Member
    edited June 27
    The Gene Cafe is about $500. You need a decent espresso machine and burr grinder to make it worth the effort though. Math is important if ROI is a thing. The gene cafe is as close to an out of the box running roaster as it comes. If you bypassed all the faffing about with the alternatives, you would get great coffee soon enough. This is not a thing you can leave to it's own devices though. When I roast outside in the summer on my balcony I do not leave it unattended. Someone would call the fire dept LOL.
    Personally though, if this is about roasting the pooped beans, it strikes me that it could all be a bit of a fad?
    edited June 27
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  • IgloooIglooo 8060 replies205 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,265 Senior Member
    edited June 27
    $500! If you want to see if you like it that much, you could try out in a regular pot. I am using a regular pot and it comes out perfect every time. My feeling is that coffee beans are forgiving. It comes out right without much fuss. I am downsizing to a small kitchen. If I can make do with what I have, I go that route. YMMV
    edited June 27
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  • artloversplusartloversplus 8465 replies245 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,710 Senior Member
    edited June 27
    re: Kupi Luwak or poop beans
    10+ years ago, we visited Bali and the poop coffee was sold everywhere, Very Expensive. Out of curiosity, we brought some home, it was like $10/oz. We tested to brew it and the aroma and the taste of the coffee was unimaginable. Such a strong flavor permuated the whole house, I still dream of it and the cost was prohibitive to have it in the USA. A local specialty store offered it for $45 per 8oz serving! We since have travel the world(other than Indonesia) and found it was offered in various places at a lower cost, but they never met the standard from the original.
    PS you can find Green Bean wild Kupi Luwak on ebay at around $50/lb.
    edited June 27
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  • SybyllaSybylla 3454 replies36 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,490 Senior Member
    Just try getting some good Indonesian coffees and leave the exploitation out of it, just as an experiment. You may be enlightened. Like as not most versions sold commercially are fake at best.
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