I love coffee. I am not a coffee snob, however, and do not like the way most chain coffee shop brew tastes. I’ve been wanting to try roasting coffee beans at home for a while to see if it would make a difference in how it tastes. Well, ok, I know it would make a difference but what I wondered was whether the flavor would be enhanced enough to make it worth the effort. And, how much effort anyways was there in roasting coffee? I found a local coffee shop that roasts their beans and bought some “green” beans from them.
I read enough about home roasting to know to do this outside. I used the burner on our outdoor grill along with a cast iron pan and a big spoon. Turn the burner on. Heat the pan and pour in the coffee. Start stirring.
Keep stirring. It takes about 20 minutes for the coffee to reach the first “crack” stage. It starts to pop and smell burnt. You will see some chaff in the pan. Keep stirring. After a while, the beans will hit the second “crack” stage. Since I was afraid of overcooking them, I took them off the flame and poured into a colander to cool.
It was fairly windy outside so I poured the beans back and forth and let the wind willow away more of the chaff. This also cooled the beans.
Eight ounces of green beans yielded 6.2 ounces after roasting and losing some due to being sloshed out of the pan by my over-enthusiastic stirring.
After grinding the beans and then brewing a cup, I was ready to taste the result of my efforts.
It was bad. Really bad. It’s hard to describe the flavor other than weird mix of oily and green. Maybe I needed to roast them longer? Maybe the cooled beans need to sit for a while before brewing? Maybe I shouldn’t have bought the cheapest beans for sale? Or maybe, just maybe, I should stick with the supermarket coffee that comes in cans.