Saturday, January 4, 2014
Roast Your Own Coffee
Our son got us an entire coffee roasting "kit" for Christmas. It seems the latest craze is to roast your own beans and to use a popcorn popper to do the job! He tells me it has become difficult to find popcorn poppers at garage sales because of this, at least in California. We live in a small town in southwest Virginia, so this a craze that hasn't hit here, yet.
Here is how it works. First you get some unroasted, or green, coffee beans. They are available online or at a local roaster.
Popcorn poppers use a scoop of popcorn, but you put in a scoop of green coffee beans. This is a bit messy and can get smoky, so you may want to do it outside. It is darn cold here, so we did it inside and next to the sink.
Coffee beans have some skin on them that comes off during the roasting process. An occasional bean pops out all on its own, so it helps to tip the popper back a bit.
After about three minutes, the beans turn dark and start to make a cracking sound. They will start to smoke. If you like a lighter roast, stop now. If you like a darker roast, keep going for a minute or so, but be prepared for the smoke alarm to go off and for the house to smell like smoke for quite a bit.
Pour the beans into a colander and swirl around to cool and get rid of the rest of the loose bean skin. When they are completely cool, place them in a airtight container. They have to sit for 24 hours before they can be ground and used. Travis had roasted some prior to my tutorial, so we went ahead with the "aged" beans.
Next you grind the beans,. I already had a coffee grinder. The ground coffee should be used in a week or so. Or grind fresh every morning. You can use it in a regular Mr. Coffee type coffee maker.
If you want to be special, and of course I DO want to be special, we also received a fancy schmancy coffee press to finish this experience.
It comes with a wee filter that fits in a screw off filter holder at the bottom of a tube. Then you place the freshly ground coffee in the top of the tube and place the tube over a coffee cup. Pour a measured amount of hot water over the coffee and use the tightly fitted cylinder to force air through the filter. This will push the water through the grounds without touching the coffee or water. Now you have espresso!
You may add additional hot water to make a coffee Americano.
Sweeteners or cream can be added if you like that. I like that.
You unscrew the holder for the filter over a trashcan and dump the coffee and filter out. A quick rinse and you are done. Or put in a new filter for more coffee.
This is a bit or work, so it will probably be used just for special occasions. Or, once I get the routine down and find the best mix of beans, it could be a special treat for our B&B guests.