In which Bethany demonstrates Home Roasting


So, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a pretty intense coffee snob. Once I drafted a blog that consisted solely of a list of statements starting with “You know you’re a coffee snob when.”

I didn’t publish it both because it would be too long and boring and also because each item on the list warranted a post if its own.

One of the points on the list was “You know you’re a coffee snob when you fantasize about home roasting.”

And today, I fulfilled that fantasy in all its snobby glory.

While I was at home this last weekend, my former bosses gave me a hot air popcorn popper, and after I acquired some green coffee beans I decided to roast some coffee before I went to work today.

The initial set-up.

To the left we have the fine metal colander that resides in the kitchen, which serves as my cooling tray. In the center we have the bag of green coffee beans and a wooden spoon with which to stir them around after I dump them into the colander. On the right stands the hot air popper, emblazoned with the number 5 and sporting heat damage from previous roasts.

The beans before, in a mason jar for dramatic effect.

It still is shocking to me how many people have no idea what coffee is like before it’s roasted– maybe this blog post will spare some of you my half-hour long coffee nerd rant about how coffee becomes delicious.

I stuck the lens of my point-and-shoot into the top of the hot air popper about every thirty seconds until it got too hot. I omitted some photos.

The entire process from dumping the beans in to dumping them out took about fifteen minutes, which was longer than I was guessing it would, but I also don’t have a thermometer so guessing the time was tricky.

After first crack, I waited another two minutes, obsessively pulling select beans out of the popper with a metal spoon every few seconds. Then I dumped them into the colander and swirled them around.

Such joy filled my soul. The smoke detector had only started screaming at me once, and after I waved the negligible smoke away from it and opened the back door (which I purposefully set up next to,) I had no more problems. The popper did heat up the kitchen a certain amount. I guess me staring obsessively down the top didn’t help regulate my temperature, either.

The money shot.

Finally,  I dumped the beans back into the mason jar (“For comparison,” I said, but it was really just because I think that coffee beans in a mason jar is pretty.)

Then I went to work for five and a half hours, and spent most of the time thinking about how my Brazil Sao Paulo beans would taste.

And at last when I got home, I set up for the tasting. I admit I didn’t properly cup the beans– I think that would be sad without someone to share it with. So therefore I gathered all of my equipment to make first a French Press and then an Aeropress americano with my home-roasted coffee.

Also not pictured was an electric kettle, which is my favorite kitchen appliance ever.

At last, at last, I tasted the coffee over which I had labored so. Unfortunately, it was not the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had in my life. It was definitely good, but nothing really to rave about. I think that the reason so many roasters use Brazillian coffee as a base for espresso is because it seems to have a very mild, warm flavor, which would very nicely accentuate some bolder or brighter coffees.

Who knows? As soon as I’ve finished up my coffee from other roasters, I may start to try roasting and creating my own blends.

Hooray for coffee snobs!

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    • Lisa L
    • March 21st, 2012

    I enjoyed your post Bethany and I liked seeing the Botswana mug being put to good use! I like coffee but I don’t know enough yet to be a snob. thanks for enlightening me a little bit more. :-)

    • Thanks Lisa! I love that mug :) Anytime you want to know something about coffee I’m your girl! Love you :)

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