For a year now, Ive been hooked on freshly brewed, real coffee. So much so, and Im sure that many of you can appreciate the same, that I can no longer stand the thought, let alone the taste, of the coffee that I used to drink before.
Anyway, I started with a stove top coffee pot and ground coffee, and soon progressed to grinding the beans myself with a hand grinder - very satisfying and much better tasting coffee resulted. But I still wanted more. I mean, if things can improve this much in a coffee, just how far can it really be stretched?
So, about a month ago, a friend introduced me to the concept of roasting my own beans. At first, I have to say I was a little skeptical, but when he started bringing his home-roasted beans into the office to make coffee, I was converted. Every time the container was opened, Id get a whiff. So, I had to try it.
At K-Mart, I found the B&D popcorn maker for $25, so I bought two with the intention of disconnecting the heating element from the second one to use as a cooler. I had bought a can to use as a chimney, but I was too keen to get started, and I figured that a small amount of beans couldnt spill out too far. How wrong was I? I lost about 30g of that first 150g of Suluwesi that I roasted all over the back doorstep. I stirred the beans a little to get them started turning on their own, and it took about 4 minutes to reach first crack. I listened for second crack, but couldnt hear it. But I waited until the beans started to look a little shiny as I knew this was when the coffee oil was coming out and that this happened after 2nd crack. All up, it took twelve minutes for my first roast. I dropped them in a large steel collander, and as it was cool outside, simply tossed them to reduce the temperature. It only took about two minutes for them to be cool to the touch. Straight into an airtight container and into the dark cupboard.
The next morning was a revelation. Opening the jar and smelling that delicious coffee aroma. Into the grinder, just enough for a pot, onto the stove and a few minutes later I was enjoying perhaps one of the most divine coffees I have ever tasted. Perhaps more appreciated for the effort I had put into its preparation than anything else, but hey, it really tasted like real coffee! I was surprised.
My second attempt was Wednesday afternoon. I roasted some Costa Rican Terazzu, and this time I used a funnel - a tin soup can with the end removed and cut slightly lengthwise to fit into the popcorn maker. Again, I stirred them for about a minute until the beans moved on their own around the bottom, and reached first crack at about 4 minutes. This time I heard the rolling sound of second crack and stopped the roast about ten to twenty seconds in before pouring the beans out into the collander to cool them. The following morning my coffee was even more impressive, even if Im the only one in the house now who appreciates real coffee. Hey I dont mind - all the more for me :D
I think Ill see how things go with the B&D, but so far, Im already impressed.
Oh, and the second popcorn maker? Well, its being used to make popcorn :P