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  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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