Thursday, March 4, 2010

What do you need to roast coffee at home?

Or really why?  

I can give you a couple of good reasons.   First off, if you're interested, read this post.  Basically it wasn't easy for me to find green coffee beans at a good price in South Florida.   Part of the reason I'm writing this is that someone may say, Hey you dumb Moose, just down the road a piece you can find all the beans you want!

I ended up going all the way up to Boca, had a great Indian meal in the Whole Foods, and got a pound of green beans.  Or rather Green Unroasted Coffee Beans.

Now that you have the things, how do you roast them?  Our forefathers roasted their coffee beans on a cast iron skillet that was warmed over a fire.   I'm nowhere near that creative or that brave.   Being a computer guy, and the one you usually call when your machine crashes, I like things much more controlled than combustion warming a slab of iron.

What you need to do is get into your car and go to a thrift shop.  Why a thrift shop?  Because the hot air popcorn popper is the ticket.  They just aren't all that common these days.   I got mine at a thrift shop here and it worked just perfect.   The Holy Grail of Coffee Roaster Hot Air Popcorn Poppers is the "Poppery II".  I got mine for six dollars. 

Why is a poppery II so great for the task?  The poppers are made with a small basket into which you pour your kernels, or coffee beans.  The best ones have a solid bottom to the basket, and vents into which hot air is blown.  The vents should allow the beans to spin around like something in a toilet that has just been flushed.  You want a circular whirlpool motion.  The Poppery II has the vents all facing the same direction and you get a nice agitation out of that.

Second you're going to want a coffee grinder.   I have good luck with the cheap ones that you plug in the wall, fill with roasted beans, and press the lid down on a contact.  They make a horrible racket, scare the dog, and will turn beans to espresso grind in about fifteen seconds.

You will want a large bowl to pour the hot coffee beans once roasted into a bowl as well, but I'm sure you have that.

Basically it cost me $11 for the beans, $6 for the popper, and $15 for the grinder.

How does it all work?  Keep checking back.   I'll post that later!

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