23rd February 2006

Posted in

Blog :: Coffee Beans Roasting 'oer an Open Fire

I have been meaning for some time to try my hand at roasting my own coffee. I finally got around to it the other day, and ordered a sampler pack of unroasted coffee beans from Oakland-based coffee supplier Sweet Maria's. My first experiment has been a sucess: I'm roasting small amounts (3-4 oz till I get the feel for it) in a pan on my stove. The stove-top roasting page at Sweet Maria's makes the process sound a little dicey, but I actually found it not too difficult.

I'm roasting in a large Look Skillet with a clear lid: this lets me observe the beans as they roast. I'm actually starting my beans when the internal temperature of the covered pan is only about 450 degrees (my first batch of beans went to Second Crack Full City+ in 2 minutes when the internal temp of the covered pan was the recommended ~500 degrees). This makes sense, given that I'm roasting smaller amounts of beans in a relatively heavy pan. It takes about 5 minutes to get to to the first crack (very pronounced popping, almost like popcorn) and after that I'm basically watching the color of the beans (aided by the picture guide at Sweet Maria's). When I get them about right I pour the beans into a colandar and take them outside to agitate them, shedding both heat and chaff in the process.

So far the results have been good. I have a bit of variation in the color of a finished batch, but since the first batch I've been getting approximately the correct roast degree. The Coffee I've made so far from home roast has had a perceptibly fuller body and nice rich flavor - very good stuff. I highly recommend trying this out yourself...

Posted on February 23rd 2006, 11:54 PM