The Great Coffee Experiment

It’s been about 3 weeks since I started my great coffee roasting experiment.  I drink my coffee with cream and use a french press.  I have not made my coffee creamer since trying this.  I wanted to see how the coffee tasted before adding my flavored creamer.

I ordered my unroasted coffee beans (Green Beans) from Deans Beans.  It is a fair trade coffee website who sells green beans and roasted beans. There are many sites out there. This site fit what I was looking for. I was searching for the cheapest beans with the least shipping and handling fees.  Free trade made me feel better too.

I ordered the Sumatran coffee beans, Columbian, and Nicaraguan coffee beans.  I ordered 3 pounds to begin with. Each pound was $5.15. Shipping added another $2-3 per pound.  I have found another site that charges a little more for the beans, but has a flat rate shipping of $7.50 unless you buy 25 pounds of coffee and then it is free.

I was very surprised at how small the bags were.  The beans are peaberry so they are small. The one thing I didn’t even think about was how much 1 pound of beans would weigh after roasting.  I would say you lose between 2 and 4 ounces.  So 1 pound of “green” coffee beans equals 12 to 14 ounces of roasted coffee.

I chose to roast the beans in a popcorn maker.  That’s right a popcorn maker.  There are many ways to roast them.  You can spend the money on a roaster, roast them in the oven, on the stove, etc. This link can help you see the ways http://www.ineedcoffee.com/.  Just click on the Roasting tab. My popcorn popper has an arm that is always moving the beans for a more even roast and it costs less than $30.

I began with heating up the popcorn popper for a few minutes before roasting.  Then I measured out about a weeks worth of coffee and put into the popper.

I have read that you can tell they are done by the cracking sound or the color.  Well the cracking noise was a big bust and the color is not the same as in the store.  I have found that with my popper it takes 10 to 12 minutes.  I will hear some cracking and a pause in the cracking noises.  Then another pop and I quit.

You will then need to cool the beans off.  You can’t just let them cool on their own as they will continue to roast.  I take one metal strainer and a mesh strainer.  I have a small fan blowing on the bottom of the strainers and pass the beans back and forth until cool.   Let them sit in a storage container.  I use a glass sealed container to save the freshness.

In the morning I use 3 tablespoons of beans and grind them.  Then proceed to make coffee like normal.

I am telling that this is addicting!  I love getting samples and got a breakfast blend for free and tried it one day when I ran out of my own.  It tasted just like licking an ashtray.   Now I don’t really think I would have thought that way before, but nothing beats roasting your own.

I would suggest really researching before trying.  Try small amounts at a time and be prepared for setting some time aside to do this weekly.  Find a very good supplier with the best shipping terms.  The next time I order I will order 25 pounds.  Green beans age decently and can be stored in air tight containers for a decent length of time.  If you do decide to roast your own, let me know how it goes  and how you like it. Me?  I’m stuck with it.  I am totally addicted!

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