My husband bought a little coffee roaster just before Christmas, and has been roasting his own beans for a couple of months. Does that sound exotic? It’s much simpler than you’d believe. For about $100 you can buy a coffee roaster online and select a sample pack of green beans for a bit more. There’s tons of varieties to choose from, even de-caffienated! Once you have the equipment and beans, you’re off to the races!
The whole process takes about 10 minutes, and results in a small batch of roasted beans – the freshest beans you can get! The beans start green, and then turn yellowish, giving off a “grassy” scent. They begin to give off steam, and then reach a state that’s called “first crack” – which you actually hear. At this point the real roasting is starting to happen. At this point the beans could easily be used to make a light, “City” roast. However, some may find this roast a bit sour. If you continue on, additional caramelization occurs. The beans expand in size, and the oils are migrating from inside the bean to the outside. A second crack occurs, and this one’s even louder. At this point you’ve achieved “Vienna” roast, and the roasted flavor will eclipse the flavor of the beans’ origin. Vienna is a common roast for espresso. From this point you can go on to a darker French roast, but most folks prefer a lighter roast than this.
The roaster itself is quite easy to operate. It has a top that catches the bean chaff – the husks that come loose from the beans. It has a simple switch for temperature, a knob for fan speed, and a timer. You can experiment with different origins of beans, you can play around with roast style – the combinations are endless! Why let the big coffee chains have all the fun while they rob you for a cup? Roast at home!