Thursday, August 7, 2008

Roasting Green Coffee Beans

This is something that I've wanted to do for a while now. I'm a big coffee drinker. I can appreciate the good stuff but I'm not so hot on the cost of it. You won't see my car parked in front of Starbucks. The idea of roasting my own beans came up not so much because I want to be able to drink fresh, delicious coffee whenever I feel like it (although that's a great benefit) but because green coffee beans store better and last longer. If stored properly the shelf life is practically unlimited. Once you roast the beans the flavors will start to deteriorate even after a few weeks. Ground, store bought coffee will get stale just as quickly once you break that seal. The price of green coffee beans is ultimately what was discouraging me. A local store has their own industrial sized roaster so after making friends with the guy that does the roasting I'm getting green coffee beans for just over his cost.

My first attempt went very well. I roasted about half a pound in a cast iron skillet. I just set my stovetop to about half and stirred the beans continuously until they were black. The temperature affects how dark they'll end up. Roasting coffee beans creates a lot of smoke. Even with my oven hood on full blast it didn't make a difference. Luckily the smoke just smells like coffee so it's not so bad once you open a window and get it cleared out. Once you're finished roasting them you'll want to cool them fast. Just dump them into a colander and shake them around until they're cool. If you have two metal colanders then just pour them back and forth until cool. This also helps get rid of the chaff (the outside skin that burns up and mostly falls off during the roasting process).


Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I was very happy with the results. I could even taste the difference between these and the beans that I bought preroasted a few months ago that I've been grinding fresh every morning. It's a HUGE improvement over the store bought stuff in a can. At $4 a pound they're still a bit expensive to buy green but I'm sure that he'll give me a better price break if I buy a 100 lb sack. Then I'll never have to buy coffee again :D.

2 comments: said...

...and 100 pounds of coffee beans will have excellent barter potential come SHTF. As reference, in the US civil war south during some of the sieges coffee was in very short supply and highly valued.

scoutinlife said...

Sounds great I perfer beans then griding the coffee seem to taste so much better!