Author Topic: Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?  (Read 5195 times)

lackofstache

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Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?
« on: September 27, 2013, 05:57:08 PM »
I've been slightly saddened every time I read MMM buys beans from Costco. Even a great deal is probably more expensive than roasting yourself. The best part of home roasting, though, is the quality. It's rare to find beans roasted within 24-72 hours anywhere else w/o paying a premium. I consistently pay $6-7/lb shipped to my door. I spend ~30 minutes, two nights a week roasting and have better coffee than I've ever had. Anyone else out there doin' it?

brewer12345

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Re: Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2013, 06:07:53 PM »
How hard is it to do?  How much equipment do you need?  Can you get good beans on the open market?  Aleady homebrew and make cheese, will be starting to load my own ammo next year - why not roast coffee too?

Random

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Re: Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2013, 07:35:39 PM »
I have been roasting my own for 4 years.  Agree on all counts.  I started with a popcorn popper I got on eBay.  Got a nice official roaster (Behmor 1600) a year ago.  Very happy with it.

Sweet Maria's is my source for beans and equipment.

Riceman

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Re: Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2013, 08:58:48 PM »
I have been roasting my own for 4 years.  Agree on all counts.  I started with a popcorn popper I got on eBay.  Got a nice official roaster (Behmor 1600) a year ago.  Very happy with it.

Sweet Maria's is my source for beans and equipment.

Exact same setup. I usually order the espresso blends for my espressos.

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Re: Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2013, 09:01:35 PM »
My dad recently stopped roasting his own beans and now he has good-quality beans, equipment, and storage containers to get rid of. If you're in the Boston, MA area I can get you a fantastic, Mustachian deal. ;)  Just send me a separate email.

puglogic

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Re: Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2013, 08:29:51 PM »
I've been dying to try this.  I'm kind of a green/frugal hedonist and coffee is one of my guilty pleasures.

Do you have to look for a special sort of popcorn popper?   Do you have to modify it in any way? 

ender

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Re: Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2013, 08:56:12 PM »
Been doing this for almost a year.

Super cheap. A ton better.

I also suggest doing pour overs for making the actual coffee. I definitely think this tastes better doing it this way.

Deano

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Re: Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2013, 07:02:34 AM »
Been doing this for almost a year.

Super cheap. A ton better.

I also suggest doing pour overs for making the actual coffee. I definitely think this tastes better doing it this way.

Over espresso? I'd have a hard time believing that, but I'm prepared to hear you out.

Also, re home roasting, do you need to do it in a garage or something? I live about 100 meters from a roaster and the smell is pretty intense, will I stink out my wife if I roast inside?

Random

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Re: Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2013, 08:03:00 AM »
Puglogic:  the best popcorn poppers for this are ones that force air up from below and sort of swirl the beans.  There is a ton of information at the Sweet Maria's web site and they have a recommended popper or two that they sell.  You can also roast in a stovetop popper with a crank handle on the top.  Or in a wok, or in the oven if your oven gets hot enough.  So lots of options.

Deano:  there is a smoke issue.  When the weather is not cold, I always roast outside.  The Behmor 1600 roaster has some smoke suppression (suppression, not elimination) system.  In the winter, I run it indoors with the stove fan running.  You will be able to smell the roast for a few hours.  Not unpleasant to me.

ender

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Re: Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2013, 10:50:52 AM »
Also, re home roasting, do you need to do it in a garage or something? I live about 100 meters from a roaster and the smell is pretty intense, will I stink out my wife if I roast inside?

Some people really dislike the coffee roasting smell - one of my roommates hates it, so I generally just do it outside. Doesn't really bother me though. I've got a small patio at this townhome which works great.

in2themild

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Re: Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2013, 11:05:13 PM »
Care to give a brief description of the equipment and process you use?  I have always wanted to try this, my current nomadic lifestyle prevents me from being this cool (in fact the French press is so messy in the camper that I usually just settle for black tea instead) but in my next adult life I am hoping to be cool like you.  I honestly do not even know at this point where to start in terms of how to buy 'green' coffee beans, the best way to grind and brew, etc.  Good on you for doing this, coffee is one of life's great pleasures and worth the investment in time and money compared to the reward.

Random

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Re: Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2013, 08:35:40 AM »
Care to give a brief description of the equipment and process you use?  I have always wanted to try this, my current nomadic lifestyle prevents me from being this cool (in fact the French press is so messy in the camper that I usually just settle for black tea instead) but in my next adult life I am hoping to be cool like you.  I honestly do not even know at this point where to start in terms of how to buy 'green' coffee beans, the best way to grind and brew, etc.  Good on you for doing this, coffee is one of life's great pleasures and worth the investment in time and money compared to the reward.

I would highly recommend Sweet Maria's web site as a resource for how to roast at home.  There is enou info about beans, process, equipment on sourcing green beans, roasting, grinding, brewing, cupping to take you far, far down the rabbit hole.  They have recommendations and equipment that goes from budget to excessive. 

For your current nomadic adventure, you might consider doing what the owner of Sweet Maria's does when he is traveling - use a hand grinder (consider the Hario) and Aeropress.  Then add to your nomadic adventure the challenge of finding the most primo locally roasted beans.

Ottawa

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Re: Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2013, 09:26:42 AM »
I've been slightly saddened every time I read MMM buys beans from Costco. Even a great deal is probably more expensive than roasting yourself. The best part of home roasting, though, is the quality. It's rare to find beans roasted within 24-72 hours anywhere else w/o paying a premium. I consistently pay $6-7/lb shipped to my door. I spend ~30 minutes, two nights a week roasting and have better coffee than I've ever had. Anyone else out there doin' it?

I'd definitely be interested in trying this.  I'm certain that the flavour will be superior (as most anything homemade is!).  Do any CANADIAN roasters have the skinny on green bean sourcing?  I only make espresso.  So, would like an espresso green, or a Brazilian (as per Sweet Maria's recommendation...)

Can someone lay down the economics on this...they don't really seem to add up?  It looks like: 6-7/lb for green beans (this alone is about the price of 'Costco' espresso roast).  It's usual that doing something yourself knocks at least 40% off the store price...why is this not so with coffee?  Usually I get 20-25 double espresso shots per lb of roasted beans (add 20% weight to green to compensate for H2O loss during roasting?)...would this mean 15-20 double espresso shots per lb of green beans?  Given that we have a household consumption rate of 15 doubles per week...I would go through one lb per week of green beans.  Does this seem a fair assessment? 

The recommended popcorn method seems to suggest that only 3-4 ounces can be done at a time.  This does not seem like a good option for 16 ounces required per week...the $400 Behmor seems like a big outlay...

Can someone lay out a financial analysis on this?  It looks like I would be increasing my coffee expenditure as a result of doing it myself.  This seems at odds with the notion of insourcing....what am I missing?

Also, what is the shelf life on green beans?  Can you get these in bulk and store (or is there little discount in doing so)?  I've read that in a sealed state - a year no problem? 

Thanks! 

lackofstache

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Re: Does anyone else roast their own coffee beans?
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2013, 11:01:55 AM »
The hand grinder and aeropress combination or grinder & pour over are great ways to make GREAT coffee, whether at home or on the road. I take the aeropress & grinder bike camping; if I have room on a bike, I'm sure you will too. The aeropress gives a great quality & easy clean up. You can get folding pour overs that take up virtually no room as well.

I use a Poppery II to roast. I built a stand out of a cardboard box for a collander. The box has one side cut out for a small window fan & a hole in the top for the collander. With the fan pulling out air, the beans cool off extremely quickly this way. I then pour the beans into a glass jar that has a valve in the lid to store them in. It takes between 6-9 minutes per raost, another 4-5 minutes to cool. I usually do 3-4 roasts per session depending on time. It's also a great activity to do w/ kids, if you have them. They operate the timer, pour beans, etc. We also read books while we're doing it, which makes the process fly by. I do it in my basement w/ the fan near a window. You can smell it for a few hours, but no one in our house minds it, so it's fine. I would do it in my garage, but it isn't heated and it seems to go much more smoothly in the winter w/ warmer air.

Again go to Sweet Maria's site and fall into the rabbit hole...