Home Roasted Coffee

@shash made the list Currently Into and it got me thinking about my old home coffee roasting days.
  1. This is my friend Jennie who asked me if I wanted to take a one time, two hour class on how to roast your own coffee at home. Obviously I did!
  2. There's a store in Portland called Mr. Green Beans that sells green coffee beans for home roasting. They offer classes to learn how to roast coffee in an air pop popcorn maker. The Office Depot box catches the chaff, which is like the outer layer on the Coffee bean, which you don't see until you heat the beans.
  3. This is a jar of the chaff that I saved for a while. It was kind of cool looking, but eventually I decided that in reality, I was simply saving garbage, and tossed it out, but only once the jar was completely full.
  4. Basically you put the green coffee beans in the popcorn popper and turn it on, and it starts whirling around and cooks the beans until they look like the coffee beans you're used to seeing.
  5. They really get whipping around in there! You can tell when they're done by a few indicators. First of all the beans crack, twice. It sounds like Rice Crispies, sort of. After you hear that, you wait a minute and it cracks again, but much milder. The color is also an indicator, but for me, smelling the smoke was the key to knowing it was perfect.
  6. Here's a little handful of beans that I roasted at home.
  7. Here's a jar of roasted beans. This took me probably three batches of roasting in the popcorn popper. You can't do much at a time in a popcorn popper. A commercially purchased home coffee roaster can do maybe two pounds at a time. I could do about 3 ounces at a shot
  8. Eventually I built a coffee roasting table. The top surface was where the roasting happened, and the bottom shelf had two five gallon buckets, one with a special shop vac that fits in a five gallon bucket. The intake hose went into the second bucket that was fitted with a colander.
  9. I put the hot, freshly roasted coffee beans in the colander and turned on the shop vac and he beans cooked very quickly. The quicker they cool the better flavor you get. Cooling is a surprisingly important step in the process.
  10. Here's my cool looking and very functional hand crank coffee grinder.
  11. I got really into this, and have every coffee making device known to mankind, including a stove-top espresso maker that's probably 75 years old. It steams milk and everything.
  12. My home roasted coffee was the best coffee I've ever had, by a long shot. Much smoother, richer flavor than anything you can buy, and a higher caffeine content to boot.
  13. But eventually it just started to feel like too much work. I had to spend half an hour a day roasting, every day. And my garage smelled like burnt coffee all the time, which my wife hated.
  14. Hobbies. I've had a lot of them, and that's why my TED talk will be about hobbies, @Boogie.