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22 November 2006

Home Coffee Roasters

If you're reading this page, you are definitely one of my friends. There is nothing like the smell of green coffee beans roasting and it is simply magical once you get the coffee roast that you like the best. Green coffee beans can last one to two years before the chemical content start to degrade. The downside is that it takes a lot of experimenting before you get that coffee roast that wows the heck out of you.

There are all types of home coffee roasting equipment, from popcorn poppers to huge, massive machines.and now, thank goodness, there are home coffee roasters in a countertop size. To get started I recommend getting the cheaper manual stuff to really understand the physiology of roasting and then move on to the easier stuff. Plus, that way you don't spend a lot of cash and really see if you enjoy, or have time to enjoy, the coffee roasting process.

Home roasted coffee was big about 160 years ago and with the invention of instant coffee and the mass production of pre-roasted coffee it seemed to go by the wayside. Then, home coffee roasting made a comeback in the early 1980s. The trick was home coffee roasters in the guise of popcorn poppers. Then in the early 1990s, a second generation of home roasters appeared using an infrared heating source. However, these machines could only roast a little at a time. In the late 1990s, finally temperature controlled home coffee roasters began to appear. With its tweaks and consumer surveys responses there are a lot of home roasting machines out there today, which have timers and are basically easy for the home roasting novice. With some machines, you can just hit the roast type and leave it, revealing a rapid cool down process and resulting in the roast you like.

I do caution that before you delve into home coffee roasting you read the page on coffee bean classifications. When I first started coffee roasting at home it was a nightmare. I bought inferior robusta coffee beans of all different shapes and it totally wrecked the even flavor of roasting. Plus, I couldn't get my air popper to produce a second crack of the bean and almost smoked out my whole house. I almost gave up thinking there was far too much to know. However, once you get the basics it's easy to just tweak to your liking.

Don't forget to let your home roasted coffee rest from 12 - 24 hours before using. Plus, it's much cheaper buying green beans and roasting them yourself. If you drink as much coffee as I do it is well worth the trouble.


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