"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-22-2006, 06:03 AM   #1
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Seattle, Wa
Posts: 151
Coffee roasting

So making good coffee is a part of cooking, right? I'm wondering if anyone here roasts their own coffee beans, and if so, what they use to do it?

__________________

__________________
KellyM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2006, 08:04 AM   #2
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Scotland
Posts: 2,977
No.... and anyway, I wouldn't want to forgo the weekly treat of going into the coffee merchants and buying freshly roasted beans... that smell is just heavenly when all the varieties mingle.
__________________

__________________
Ishbel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2006, 08:28 AM   #3
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Seattle, Wa
Posts: 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel
No.... and anyway, I wouldn't want to forgo the weekly treat of going into the coffee merchants and buying freshly roasted beans... that smell is just heavenly when all the varieties mingle.
Freshly roasted coffee in your house smells pretty darned good, too. Just not while it is roasting. That's why I roast outdoors.

Kelly
__________________
KellyM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2006, 08:56 AM   #4
Head Chef
 
skilletlicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 1,069
Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyM
So making good coffee is a part of cooking, right? I'm wondering if anyone here roasts their own coffee beans, and if so, what they use to do it?
Kelly,
I started about six months ago. I planned to buy an iRoast 2 with my first green coffee order, but at the last minute decided to take a stab at oven roasting first, then buy the roaster if that didn't work out. Well I had this elaborate idea of how I was going to go about it that ended up being ridiculous. I did discover that I can do it quite well on the stove top. The sites specializing in coffee spend tons of Kbs and bandwidth describing the relative advantages of the various roasters, which they will happily ship to you with a simple click on a shopping cart icon, then say something dismissive like, of course there might still be a few cowboys out there who use the skillet method; well that must make me a cowboy 'cause it works for me. If any body's interested I'll post a short but very detailed description of exactly how I do it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel
No.... and anyway, I wouldn't want to forgo the weekly treat of going into the coffee merchants and buying freshly roasted beans... that smell is just heavenly when all the varieties mingle.
Ishbel, As pleasant as that sounds, I wouldn't trade home roasting once a week for it.
__________________
Old bachelor cook

skilletlicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2006, 09:25 AM   #5
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Seattle, Wa
Posts: 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
Kelly,
I started about six months ago. I planned to buy an iroast2 with my first green coffee order, but at the last minute decided to take a stab at oven roasting first, then buy the roaster if that didn't work out. Well I had this elaborate idea of how I was going to go about it that ended up being ridiculous. I did discover that I can do it quite well on the stove top. The sites specializing in coffee spend tons of Kbs and bandwidth describing the relative advantages of the various roasters, which they will happily ship to you with a simple click on a shopping cart icon, then say something like, of course their are still a few cowboys out there who use the skillet method, well that must make me a cowboy 'cause it works for me. If any body's interested I'll post a short but very detailed description of exactly how I do it.
Skilletlicker,

Thanks for the response. Many years ago, I was actually employed as a cowboy, but now, I am somewhat ashamed to say (after your post) that I use the decidedly "Yuppie" method of hot-air roasting my beans.

I looked at the skillet method, and it looked like too much work to me. So I paid about sixty bucks for a roaster, and it works just fine. Tell you what, though. I s'pose if we really wanted to make coffee like the old-time cowhands, we'd be boiling it over a fire.

All levity aside, I would be interested in your method. I've never before spoken to anyone who skillet-roasted their beans, but I've actually seen some contraptions to do it with.

Kelly
__________________
KellyM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2006, 12:39 PM   #6
Head Chef
 
skilletlicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 1,069
Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyM
...I've actually seen some contraptions to do it with.
Are you talking about the Rube Goldberg contraption made from an aluminum dutch oven? The coffee sites throw in a free paper that tells you what parts to replace right away. I admit, I have no experience with these, so if anyone reading this makes them, sells them, or uses them, please add your knowledge and experience to the conversation. No offense intended.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyM
...I would be interested in your method. I've never before spoken to anyone who skillet-roasted their beans...
I roast 1/2 cup of green beans at a time because that's a week supply for me. More than a week and it isn't fresh roasted.
Materials:
  • 10" pan with stainless steel interior.
  • Glass well fitting lid.
  • Timer that will count up in seconds from zero.
  • Two large metal bowls, collanders, or a combination of each.
You want a very good quality pan to help prevent scorching.
I mention a stainless steel finish pan because you can see the beans through the smoke as they turn very dark brown or maybe even "light black" depending on the roast. They tend to disappear in non-stick or cast iron plus iron is way too heavy! You also want the glass lid so you can watch the beans. It is important not to remove the lid from beginning to end because you want to maintain an oven like environment.
  1. Have all your materials out, within reach and ready to go before you start.
  2. Preheat a large burner to medium. (electric stove)
  3. Preheat your lidded pan.
  4. Add the beans, start the timer and, with one hand on skillet handle and one on the lid handle, shake continuously and toss every 10 seconds until almost done (see below). The lid never comes off the pan! The beans roast a little while, even after poured out of the pan. They're very hot.
  5. Pour the beans into one of the bowls and quickly take both bowls outside.
  6. Pour the beans back and forth between the two bowls to cool and stop the roasting. If there's any breeze the chaff will be separated. If there's no breeze blow gently. You took it outside so you wouldn't have to sweep the kitchen.
  7. Don't seal airtight for 8 to 24 hours because it is releasing carbon dioxide.
  8. After 8 to 24 hours, seal tightly and use within one week.
You can brew coffee right away, but it will be better if you wait 24 hrs.

I said above, "until almost done." Knowing when that is; that's the art. You want to stay aware of the color and smell, and listen to the beans very carefully.
When coffee beans roast they expand and pop, kind of like popcorn. Like popcorn, the pop is audible but not as loud, the change in the bean appearance is not as dramatic as the change in the popcorn kernel, and the coffee bean pops twice. Roasters call the coffee bean pop a crack, and the timing of the cracks, especially the second, is a very big deal. Light roasts might be done a little before the second crack. Darker roasts a little after. When I do it this way, the first crack is about five minutes and the second is about nine. Some online geen coffee suppliers are good about recommending the right roast for a particular bean.
As I said this is the art; the discussion of it could fill volumes and any more would be beyond the scope of this post and the experience of this writer.
__________________
Old bachelor cook

skilletlicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2006, 12:46 PM   #7
Head Chef
 
skilletlicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 1,069
Kelly,
A lot of that post I know you know, but I included hoping we might be able to recruit some new roasters. The more of us around to swap techniques, and advice on suppliers and varieties the better.

Why don't you explain your method. An acquaintance on another forum and I both started roasting at the same time and he opted for a roaster like yours. Last I heard he was well satisfied.
__________________
Old bachelor cook

skilletlicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2006, 01:39 PM   #8
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Seattle, Wa
Posts: 151
Skilletlicker,

Thanks for taking the time to write all that. While I won't debate your no doubt good results, it still sounds like a lot of work to me. For the rest of the folks out there who are not willing to put quite as much time and effort into really good coffee:

I use a Freshroast brand hot-air roaster, which is basically a glorified popcorn air-popper. The major differences between this and the popcorn popper are better air-flow, a built-in chaff collector, and a clear glass roasting chamber, so you can watch the progress of your beans as they roast. These features make the purchase of this roaster worth it over trying to go "on the cheap" and using a popcorn popper, as far as I am concerned.

Operation is simple; put the beans in, turn it on, and watch them roast. Yes, you can listen for "first crack" and "second crack", but since you can also watch them, after a couple of tries you will know when to pull them out from the color. The machine also has a timer, but this is only really useful if you are roasting many batches at once. Once the machine gets hot, and you determine on a given day how long to roast your beans, you can do multiple batches using the timer. Otherwise, just watch 'em.

Why would I want to roast my own beans, you ask? Well, because you want to drink fresh coffee, don't you? Fresh coffee tastes the best, and coffee is expensive. I, for one, want stuff that is expensive to taste good. Okay, call me crazy.

Green coffee beans can last for a very long time if stored properly. However, once the beans are roasted, they start going downhill rapidly in terms of quality. They release gasses, the oils break down, and things get ugly.

Coffee beans are best if used 24 hours after they are roasted. No more, no less. How long have those roasted beans been in those bins at the grocery store or at your local coffee shop? You don't have any idea, do you? Neither do I.

When you roast your own, however, you know exactly how long it has been since roasting. Therefore you can always brew your coffee at the peak of freshness.

Also, since green coffee beans last for such a long time, you can buy larger quantites, and not have to worry about stale coffee. Green coffee beans are a lot cheaper, especially when you buy twenty pounds or more.

So, you can buy probably stale coffee at the store for too much money, or you can buy a bag of raw beans, roast them yourself a little at a time, always drink coffee at the peak of freshness, and pay less money.

If you think a can of Folgers is pretty danged good, ignore this post. However, if you appreciate really good coffee, you might want to think about roasting your own.

Kelly
__________________
KellyM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2006, 01:44 PM   #9
Everymom
 
Alix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 23,184
Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyM
If you think a can of Folgers is pretty danged good, ignore this post. However, if you appreciate really good coffee, you might want to think about roasting your own.

Kelly
At 6AM I don't care whether its Folgers, Starbucks or home roasted...all I care about is getting into me. Intravenously if necessary. And trust me...everyone else in my house is as interested in that as I am!

Kelly, roasting your own sounds like an interesting procedure, but I have to admit, I simply don't have the time for something like that. I would rather just buy myself smaller amounts of good stuff so it doesn't degrade too quickly.
__________________
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
Alix
Alix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2006, 01:57 PM   #10
Head Chef
 
The Z's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: * Area 51 *
Posts: 1,293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
At 6AM I don't care whether its Folgers, Starbucks or home roasted...all I care about is getting into me. Intravenously if necessary. And trust me...everyone else in my house is as interested in that as I am!
My gf is like that, too - LOL - and we HAVE talked about setting up a 'drip' system for her. I'm not QUITE so bad (I can hold out longer than her) and even run a quick errand or something before I have some... but it has to be quick.
__________________

__________________
Dogs have owners ~ Cats have staff.
The Z is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.