Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Roasting Coffee

Returning to some of our Do-It -Yourself goals Kevin tried a new challenge of roasting our own coffee.  We are coffee lovers and really enjoy a deep roasted, rich cup of coffee.  So after doing a lot of online research of the various types of coffee, how to sources etc...  He located suppliers of the green beans and ordered a 5 lb. bag of Colombian and a 5 lb. bag of the House Blend from Caracolillo Coffee, a store and online supplier of mills, beans and other coffee related goodies. Here's their link :ccmcoffee.com

We had found an old air popcorn popper at an estate sale for $4.00, that's the style that many of the sites say is the best for this simple method of roasting coffee beans and now with our beans it was time to put this to a test.  Kevin got all his supplies together and  set them up in the garage because we wanted the air flow and to control the smell as some sites said it could get quite strong. We didn't find the odor offensive at all, in fact the garage smelled wonderful, We did find though, that you need the air flow we could get with the partially opened garage door, or you would need a good exhaust fan to clear off the smoke it puts out in your work area.

With the beans measured out.  A box he set up to catch the chaff as the beans roast, his phone set up as a timer he was ready.  We watched as they whirled around the popper and then as they heated up the chaff began to fly off.  Then as the time hit about 5 minutes the first pops known as "first crack" took place and we could smell the roasting beans and begin to see a color change.

You can see the pale green color of the beans here

Kevin with the popper and his box set up to catch the flying chaff as it roasts

We kept watching not wanting to burn the beans by letting them go too long, but wanting them dark enough to really get the flavor we like.  A "second crack" of the beans happened a little bit later and then at the 16 minute mark we achieved the color and smell that looked right.

The beans are then poured into a strainer to let them cool, then placed in a jar with a loosely placed lid for about 24 hours to let the oils release and the flavor set in.  Kevin has made several batches now and is becoming quite proficient at this.  The flavor is really good and it's been a truly satisfying experience.

Beans in popper ready to start

As beans roast and get darker you can see all the chaff flying off here

Bean color before and in process

We'll keep looking for these old poppers at thrift stores and garage sales, until a time we may want to invest in a more substantial roaster.  Since the green beans can last for years, we'll probably stock up and keep them on hand especially since coffee prices are expected to get higher, it can be our little hedge on inflation and an indulgence for something we are hard pressed to do without (insert big smile).

Color difference of the green beans and the next day with the roasted house blend beans

This has been a fun and really worthwhile experience.  Kevin will be making a video and have all his resources soon on our Project-128 blog that I have a link to on my side bar.  All this has made me ready for a nice cup of coffee!!

Have a great day.

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