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Home Coffee Roasting


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134 replies to this topic

#121 PaniniGuy

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 05:50 PM

Nice to see this topic bumped up again.

A little over a year ago, we bought one of the first Behmor 1600's to play around with. It's a very capable unit with decent, but not wonderful profiling capabilities. If you enjoy home roasting and would like something that offers more repeatability than airpoppers or greater ease of use than heat guns, the $300 you'd spend on a Behmor might be worth it.

As I'm a co-owner of a coffeehouse that uses primarily Intelli coffees, I'll suggest that the advantage of buying from a larger roaster is QC and dependability (along with convenience of not taking an hour out of your day to roast). Most important to us is that they buy coffees using a Direct Trade model.

However, there's little doubt that roasting one's own is fun, will be less expensive in the long run, and allows you more opportunity to discover both coffees and roast levels that fit your particular palate

As to home roasts being uniformly better? I've been a judge at several barista competitions and have had home roasters pull me shots of what, in their opinion, was the best espresso I'd ever taste. They weren't. Ever. And it wasn't the equipment.

That said, I competed myself this year using a Behmor-roasted blend of Esmeralda (Lot 5) and Brazil Cerrado and did as well on the judges scoresheets for my espresso round as competitors who were using Black Cat, and in some cases better.

With good beans, a reliable and repeatable roasting method, and a bit of tasting and tweaking, much is possible.
Rich Westerfield
Mt. Lebanon, PA

Drinking great coffee makes you a better lover.
There is no scientific data to support this conclusion, but try to prove otherwise. Go on. Try it. Right now.

#122 slkinsey

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 06:26 PM

As to home roasts being uniformly better?  I've been a judge at several barista competitions and have had home roasters pull me shots of what, in their opinion, was the best espresso I'd ever taste.  They weren't.  Ever.  And it wasn't the equipment.

This is not a huge surprise. It would be shocking if the very best artisinal coffee roasters weren't able to outdo home roasters when freshness is equal. The problem is that freshness usually isn't equal for the home coffee enthusiast. Sure, there are probably some specialty coffee shops that are getting their Black Cat the very next day after it's roasted. But even if you're willing to pay the $14 per pound plus shipping, by the time you get that Black Cat into your espresso machine, it's already around 4 days old. And, of course, you have to order the stuff at least once a week to have a decent supply of truly fresh coffee -- something few people are willing or able to do.

Edited by slkinsey, 01 March 2009 - 06:27 PM.

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#123 Sprinkles

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 01:19 PM

I remember my father would roast coffee using a steel or iron wok and before that he would roast it using a popcorn popper. lol. You don't get much control on how dark your beans will be using a popcorn popper though but it will work. When he would roast the coffee using a wok he would make a blend of medium beans and dark beans. Also, a warning your whole house will smell like coffee so open all your windows. Since we were coffee farmers he finally upgraded to a 15-20 lb roaster. Just be sure that your constantly watching the color so it won't burn.

#124 tafkap4d

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 07:21 PM

The holiday season is upon us and we tend to give homemade treats and gifts. We found a great article regarding roasting your own coffee beans and we were sold.

Has anyone roasted their own coffee, created their own blend and if so, was it worth it? How was it?
Whoever said that man cannot live by bread alone...simply did not know me.

#125 Florida

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 08:21 AM

I've done it a couple of times. Can't say it was worth it. Green beans were a pain in the ass to find (though the internet wasn't so readily available back when I was doing it).

If you're willing to make the investment in a quality roaster and you look at this as more of a hobby than a money-saving technique, then I imagine you could make it work. However, I found the results weren't worth the input of time and effort. It was fun and the coffee was good (not excellent), but it turned out to be something I just stopped doing.

#126 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 08:42 AM

Several members here have done it and there are several topics in this forum about it. You can do it simply and inexpensively (popcorn popper) or you can do it with a good deal of tweaking and/or expense. I enjoyed it and did it for a few months rather modestly with a decent lower end air roaster, but I'll probably sell that soon on eBay since I am now primarily a tea drinker. You may want to check out sweetmarias.com for equipment and especially for high quality green beans.

#127 mhjoseph

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 09:15 AM

Not difficult at all. I second the www.sweetmarias.com recommendation. You can learn everything you need to know as well as purchase top quality beans and equipment.

Edited by mhjoseph, 17 November 2009 - 09:20 AM.


#128 Peter the eater

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 10:16 AM

I started roasting my own a couple years ago with guidance from this very forum. I buy 2lb bags of fair-trade green arabica beans and roast them in my $10 hot air popcorn machine. Mixing different beans is great fun -- make your own Christmas blend.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

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#129 Jaymes

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 12:21 PM

I started roasting my own a couple years ago with guidance from this very forum. I buy 2lb bags of fair-trade green arabica beans and roast them in my $10 hot air popcorn machine. Mixing different beans is great fun -- make your own Christmas blend.


Me, too. And the hot air popper works great. In fact, I gave a popper and some green beans to my nephew last year and he roasts all his own coffee now. Wonderful fun, he says. And he adds that one of the best things is that his house "always smells like a Starbucks now."

Edited by heidih, 18 November 2009 - 01:36 PM.
delete link to this topic after merge


#130 Jon Savage

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 01:04 PM

I've been roasting my own coffee for about 3 years now and would never go back to buying roasted beans. We have been able to consistently roast coffee to exactly our liking (adjusting depending on the bean type of course).

We generally pay less than $5/lb for our green beans and the modest investment of less that $100 all in to put the stir-crazy/convection oven roaster together amortized in maybe 2 months.

One of the very best places I've found to procure green beans is the Green Coffee Coop. You have to keep an eye on their site since offerings are somewhat infrequent but every single variety we have ordered through the coop has been excellent.

Edited by 6ppc, 15 August 2010 - 01:05 PM.

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#131 scubadoo97

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 11:51 AM

6ppc, that's great that your homeroasting and enjoying it. I really like my stir crazy/turbo oven roaster. It's cheap, quiet, can roast nearly a pound at a time and allows lots of hands on control of the roast. I've been a member of the coop since the beginning and also am a member of the green coffee buying club. I have to say I've been buying more from the buying club since every time I go to the coop there is no coffee available. With the coop you need to visit frequently cuz you never know when they will have beans and when they do it flies out the door very quickly.

#132 Jon Savage

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 07:21 PM

6ppc, that's great that your homeroasting and enjoying it. I really like my stir crazy/turbo oven roaster. It's cheap, quiet, can roast nearly a pound at a time and allows lots of hands on control of the roast. I've been a member of the coop since the beginning and also am a member of the green coffee buying club. I have to say I've been buying more from the buying club since every time I go to the coop there is no coffee available. With the coop you need to visit frequently cuz you never know when they will have beans and when they do it flies out the door very quickly.

Green coffee buying Club duly noted (is this the right link?

Agreed the coop can be spotty regarding offerings but I've really enjoyed everything I've gotten from then and currently have just South of 60 lbs of green beans (4 origins) on hand at the moment so we should be good to go for a few months. Thanks for the tip I'll be checking out the green coffee buying club as well.

Edited by 6ppc, 24 August 2010 - 07:22 PM.

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#133 Shamanjoe

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 07:28 PM

I spent about a month roasting my own beans about a year or two ago when I got back from the Philippines. A relative of ours has their own coffee plantation there and gave us a few pounds of green beans to play with. I had never done it before, but my wife told me stories about when she was growing up, and how her mom would just roast them in a frying pan.

It sounded like a good idea, so I gave it a try. I just used a cheap nonstick frying pan over medium heat, no ventilation except for an open window, and I treated it just like pan-raosting some spices. Of course, they popped everywhere and the chaff was horrible, but I didn't get any smoke or fumes in the apartment (I kept blowing the chaff out of the pan so it wouldn't burn). I have to say it was the best coffee I've ever tasted. I gave it a medium roast (full city I think is what they call it?) and I ground it and french-pressed it as soon as the beans were cool.

I continued doing that until we went through all the green beans we had brought home, and I haven't done it since, but other than the chaff, I never had any problems with the method. It never occured to me to use the hot air popper sitting on top of the fridge.

Edited by Shamanjoe, 27 August 2010 - 07:29 PM.

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#134 scubadoo97

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 07:15 PM

The problem with the hot air popper for me was batch size. We will go through a pound of coffee in 7-10 days. I really only want to roast once a week as the coffee is excellent through this time frame and even improves over the first several days.

#135 Jon Savage

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 05:24 PM

Bumping this topic back up because it is also relevant to the heat gun discussion.

Jon

 

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