Home Coffee Roasting?

A friend sent me this web page:

http://www.sweetmarias.com/index.php

It's all about home coffee roasting. Intriguing but I'm not sure it's really worth the trouble. On the other hand, maybe it's fun. Any thoughts or experience?

Comments

I roast my own coffee. I have an i-roast 2 that I bought from Sweet Marias.

Roasting is fairly easy but here are somethings you should know.

It's pretty noisy, similar to an air popcorn popper but you're running it for about 1/2 an hour.

Depending on how dark you like your roast, you generate a decent amount of smoke. I run mine on top of my stove with the overhead vent on full blast. It still creates strong smelling smoke in the house.

Un-roasted beans cost less per pound than roasted beans but realize that most of that weight is roasted out of the bean. The cost per lb. at the end is about the same.

Un-roasted beans basically last forever. Roasted beans lose their flavor in about a week. Nothing tastes better than fresh roasted beans.

You have to wait about 24hrs after roasting before you should use the beans. The beans need time to expel CO2, so you shouldn't take the coffee out of the roaster and grind them.

Shipping on the green beans adds up so you should buy a lot. I usually order 15-30lbs at a time.

If you love coffee it's definitely worth it. Realize with a small roaster like the iRoast2 the yield isn't that much coffee, furthermore the manual says the unit is designed for about 2 roasts per week. So if you drink a lot of coffee in your house you may need a bigger roaster.

-Michael.

Thanks for the info. I think given my current living circumstances, home roasting would be a bad idea because of the excess smoke.

I agree that truly fresh roast is the absolute bomb, though. Back when I lived in Champaign, I used to buy coffee from Columbia Street Roasters (not sure if they're still there). It was awesome but really didn't last all that long.

The iRoast2 allows you to attach a flexible vent hose (same one used for gas dryers) to vent out the smoke. You can put the vent hose out the window or door.

Even with out the vent the smoke isn't too bad if you have an range hood. It would be the same as burning something on the stove top. Again, it depends on how dark you like your roast. I drink only espresso so I'm usually doing around a French Roast. Most of the smoke comes at the end of the roast when the sugars in the beans are being caramelized.

Roasted coffee doesn't last long at all and most people don't realize the coffee they buy in the store is already stale (unless they buy from the roaster).

-Michael.

Yeah, I know store coffee is stale. The fresh stuff is absolutely awesome. Like you, I prefer dark roasts so smoke would be very much in the cards. However, I currently live in an NYC pre-war apartment without a range hood. So, for the moment anyway, coffee roasting is really, truly out.

Funny, I used to live in the East Village, so I know exactly what you're talking about.

I'll add ability to roast coffee as a benefit of living in a house on the Island.

Well I'm in Queens, but still it's a pre-war apartment, just not a postage stamp like the ones in the East Village. There are nice things about that, but good cooking ventilation is definitely NOT one of them. My ventilation is better known as opening a window, and the one that opens off my kitchen opens onto the courtyard. I think all the smoke would piss my neighbors off big time.

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