20 Twenties Tweaks: #20 - Roast Your Own Beans
When you get into making a lot of coffee at home and you realize how important having freshly roasted beans are to the process, the inevitable progression is towards roasting your own beans. It’s cheaper to buy unroasted coffee beans in bulk and they can be stored for a year with no loss to their quality (unlike roasted beans, which are really only good for two weeks).
When you roast yourself, you’re only roasting what you need right away for the next week or so. And it gives you total control over how roasted you like them (spoiler: it’s probably darker than you’re able to buy).
But I thought it was going to be too hard to roast myself. The process seemed daunting, until I tried it and it wasn’t.
-Buy an old school air popper. Everyone online suggested the West Bend Poppery II, with 1500 Watts (don’t get the less powerful 1200 W version). I found it pretty easily at eBay.
-Get unroasted ‘green’ beans on Amazon or Sweet Marias.
-Put it outside on a window ledge, or if you’re lucky enough to have a back porch/outdoor space. It’s loud, smoky, and bits of chaff will fly out and cover the area - so outside is best. I use the window ledge outside the kitchen.
-Put 1/2 cup of unroasted beans in, turn it on, and watch it closely. Start a timer. In 5-7 minutes it’ll be as dark as you want them (listen for the 1st crack and then the 2nd crack; audible over the noise if you pay attention).
-Turn off the popper, dump the beans into a metal colander and shake them to cool them. Let them cool down. Put into a mason jar with a slightly loose top so that CO2 can escape over the first 24 hours. Then it’s OK to brew (and tighten the jar).
That’s it! And it doesn’t take up much room. Do it.
*I’m posting daily one hack/tweak I’ve discovered and integrated into my life during the last decade as I lead up to my 30th birthday on the 28th. Here’s all of the #20sTweaks so far.