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Coffee Roasting ~ As Unnecessary as it is Satisfying

February 6, 2011

This christmas, I was lucky enough to receive a coffee roaster from Andrea, which is a pretty amazing gift considering she doesn’t even drink coffee!  I’d been eyeing up the roasters for a couple of years now,  ever since I’d started exploring single origin coffees from different countries.  I found the variety in taste from country to country intriguing,  even the coffee beans grown within a single country can vary in size, colour and of course taste.  Over the last few years as coffee drinkers have been educating themselves as to the origins of the coffee they drink, the demand for better beans as well as better conditions for the people producing beans has been a step in the right direction for the industry.  Fair Trade, organic, Rainforest Alliance are an example of the catch phrases you’ll find on coffee packaging wherever coffee is sold.  I’m under no kind of illusion to think that the main motivation for advertising this is to sell more product.  And, that the publics demand for beans with a conscious may have as much to do with being trendy as with actually giving a damn.  Back to roasting. 

So, I’ve mentioned how readily available better beans are becoming and that’s a positive.  The issue now becomes, at least for people like us that are completely mental, is that we’re at the mercy of the people roasting these exceptional beans.  That’s not to say that the roasters don’t know what they’re doing, it’s just not feasible for them to roast a single type of bean to three different roast levels.  That being said the roast level can have as much bearing on flavour as does the origin of the beans themselves. 

So naive me thought I would get a roaster and have fresh roasted beans,  roasted the way I want them.  The whole thing seemed pretty easy, get the roaster, get some green beans and enjoy.  The slogan on the roaster even reads “Making Your Life So Easy.”  To put this whole thing into context, I would compare it to plunking a monkey down in front of a nuclear reactor and saying “have at it.”  Roasting coffee beans is the most intensive 25 minutes of my day.  There is to be no talking, no dogs barking, just roasting.  I feel like having a cigarette after they drop into the cooling tray (and I don’t even smoke).  Don’t roast coffee to impress your friends, it only makes them think that you are in fact completely mental.  The thing with roasting is that you will make mistakes and you might even wreck some of those beans it took you a week to save up for but I guarantee you’ll learn more in those 25 minutes roasting than you did in an hour of grade ten accounting and when you nail that perfect roast it’s like heaven in your mouth, and all those sane people can never take that away!

Beans Approaching the End of the Drying Phase

Dry Beans Beginning to Darken

Approaching First Crack

Another batch of roasted coffee beans ready to be “the perfect start to an excellent day.  And, isn’t that making my life soooo easy!?!”

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2011 7:31 pm

    Once again. I am hugely impressed!

  2. Sharan permalink
    February 6, 2011 9:43 pm

    Oh my gosh, I don’t think I could stand the smell of roasting coffee beans in my kitchen. I love the smell of whole roasted beans when I open the package. Roasting it in my house would make me feel like I had died and gone to heaven! Lucky you! 🙂

  3. February 6, 2011 10:24 pm

    Is there anything you guys don’t do? That is such an awesome gift! Go Andrea! I am so impressed. Seriously!!

  4. February 7, 2011 6:41 am

    How cool is this thing?! Love it!

  5. Mary Hall permalink
    February 7, 2011 9:29 am

    You guys/gals are mental! Part of the reason why I read your blog…….SO, have at it! 😉

  6. June 18, 2011 11:38 pm

    Out of curiosity, are you roasting the beans on the same day that you are drinking them? Coffee needs to have time to release after roasting. 48 hours after roasting is about the optimal time for preparation. Just thought i would pass along the info in case you didn’t know. 🙂 It really does make a huge difference in the cup.

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