So you may remember I used to work for a coffee company & I've picked up a fair bit of useless knowledge & tried many different blends & roasts over the years. However, I'd never even thought about roasting my own coffee beans, so when a friend offered me a bag of green coffee beans, fresh from his Grandparents farm in India, I thought it was worth having a go.
This what the beans looked like when they arrived. They had been washed, so the outer skin & pulp of the coffee cherry that surrounds the bean had been removed & they'd been left to dry.
For the main event, I enlisted the help of my local coffee geek (otherwise know as Olly, ex-colleague & friend) & we set about our research into how to roast coffee beans at home without having to buy an expensive mini batch roaster! There are a number of methods, but we went for the straight forward frying pan technique.
First step was to wash the beans in cold water, the little bit of moisture that absorbs into the beans helps them roast & I guess stops them from burning too quickly!
Next was to heat the frying pan so it was HOT!
Tip the beans into the frying pan, keeping the heat high & the beans moving!
Gradually the colour started to change....
Then you hear a crack! It was around 4 minutes in to roasting, it's almost like the sound of popping corn, at this point turn the heat down just a touch.
Keep the beans moving all the time until you hear them crack again, you'll also start to smell a faint smokiness.
This is the point to take them off the heat, the residual heat will keep them roasting. By now, they've been in the pan for 7-8 minutes.
Tip the beans into a metal sieve & swirl them around to help them cool down quickly. It was a freezing cold day when we did it so we stood in the garden to cool them down. It also helps being outside as the chaff that can come off the beans just blows away.
Once they'd cooled properly, we ground some & brewed up using Olly's posh glass drip filter.
I have to say we were pleasantly surprised by the result. It produced a very smooth coffee, quite mild, it was very enjoyable to drink straight, no milk or sugar, adding them would have killed the delicate flavours. Put it this way, I've drunk (& sent back!) way worse cups of coffee from professional outlets!
If you ever get the chance to roast your own, I'd give it a try. It's really easy & very satisfying in the same way I guess as baking your own bread or making home brew is? Don't think I'll be doing it all the time though, for the sake of laziness I'll stick to my pods for now.
Thanks to Olly for the use of his kitchen & hurrah to us both for not burning it down in the process! Till next time, Rebecca x
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