Archive for July, 2009

31
Jul
09

Roast Your Own ! (green coffe beans)

There are many ways to roast green coffee beans. I have used the fry pan method with good results and there is many other ways to roast green beans and even counter top appliances made specifically to roast the green beans. One method is to use a hot air popcorn popper and there are many websites that describes this process. This is how I roast green coffee beans. I’m using a old Salton Model PC2 ,1200 watts hot air popper.

SALTON PC2 HOT AIR POPCORN POPPER

SALTON PC2 HOT AIR POPCORN POPPER

You don’t need the hood on it on at all but it helps to channel the chaff that the beans give off as they are roasting. Since I roast the beans in the basement workshop I let the chaff blow on to the floor and sweep it up later. The best design would be a deflector that channels the chaff to a container of water. The amount of beans you an roast at one time varies depending on the beans, some are heavier and overload the hopper and won’t let the beans circulate while roasting.

GREEN BEANS IN THE POPPER

The beans become lighter as they roast and experience will dictate the amount of beans to load in the hopper. Start up the popper and add the beans. Allow for adequate ventilation as the beans will smoke as they roast. If you have a stopwatch or timer use it to gauge the amount of time to roast the beans for future reference.

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A thermometer is optional but this popper gets up to the 425-450 degree F, past 1st crack stage, you can usually hear some of the cracking over the noise of the popper but color is the best indication of how dark you prefer you beans to be roasted.

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The beans circulating and changing into a mocha color.

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The finished product next to the green beans.

I have been roasting beans for at least a year or more after reading about it on-line. There are many ratings of coffee beans and if you research it, It is similar to the wine industry, what the experts recommend or rate as the best may not be your cup of coffee (or affordable cup that is!). Descriptions really do no justice to actually tasting the coffee. Since I don’t drink my coffee black I don’t have always have the same palette or impressions that professionally tasters have. But I have to agree with some of the descriptions of the different taste of single origin coffee. Coffee, like wine, is grown in certain regions and certain conditions and locations produce different types of coffee beans. When you order green beans your can specify single origins or blends. I usually order by single origin to taste. Most of the coffee normally consumed or purchased from your coffee shop is a certain blend thats to their own specifications.

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Why go through the trouble of roasting green coffee beans?

  • Freshness, their is no question of how long it’s been since the beans have been roasted.
  • Taste, this is subjective, but generally the taste is smoother, less after taste bite. more on this later.
  • Cost, I don’t know if this is an advantage because you have to add the energy to roast the beans. Green beans are definitely cheaper that roasted beans. Even if it cost the same in my opinion the quality is worth it.
  • Convenience, Again this is subjective, I order the green beans on-line, I may roast once or twice a week. usually I drink one cup in the morning and maybe a cup or an expresso later in the day. No drive through coffee stops needed.
  • Storage, you can stock an ample amount of beans green beans without worrying about losing the freshness, they have a reported shelve life of about 2 years.

The green bean coffee taste.

First impressions: Fruity, your former taste of coffee goes out the window. It’s more like a , fruity, mocha taste. Also note: I use a small amount of heavy cream along with a small amount of simple syrup so there’s no graininess from undissolved granulated sugar in the cup . No harshness and after bite as you get with a low cost ground coffee. ( I still drink other coffee other than roasted green beans from time to time). Generally the higher priced green beans have a brighter (again subjective description), fruitier flavor if you like that. Some beans have a definitely more robust and earthy, filling flavor. Some beans I swear that I’ve prepared a cup of hot cocoa, and have a mocha taste, really smooth and filling, satisfying. That’s about it as a start, as there are many variables, roasting times and temperatures, and the blending of beans adds many possibilities to your cup of java. If you are looking to expand your preparation of the serving of beverages and if coffee is one of your daily rituals then green bean roasting is worth a try.

Other notes : mostly I have used http://www.coffeeproject.com for beans and the two pound random order they offer, for a very reasonable price, will get you two different origin pounds of green beans of their choice, some choices being coffee beans so expensive I would not have ordered the beans by pound alone.




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