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I love coffee!
Well now I love coffee. Honestly, I didn’t like it at all until I had kids but now it is a regular part of my morning. I love the smell, the hot mug on a cold morning and the simple ritual of pouring the first cup. I do not live in an area where you can grow coffee so you may wonder what this post has to do with my little homestead, other than surveying my yard and new plants with a cup of coffee in hand of course. Well, have you ever tried roasting your own coffee?
We have some amazing friends, who we learn a lot from, that opened our eyes to this fun new hobby. You can purchase green beans and roast them at home! Not only do you get to mix and match a virtually unlimited number of unique blends and roasts but it is fresh and really fun. You can choose different roast levels. I always used to think that the darker roasts had more caffeine but that is not so, as you roast the beans darker the caffeine levels actually decrease. I also notice that I do not get the harsh acidic flavor of some pre roasted coffees. We buy beans in bulk from all over the world and then we roast them and sometimes mix them up. You can have Panama/Columbia/Sumatra one day and Costa Rica the next. We have tried several and have our favorites but always get excited to pick out new ones to try when we order.
The green beans stay fresh longer than roasted beans, so they work well to buy in bulk. The roasting process is really easy, and the flavor is great. The only two draw backs are that you must think ahead. You can roast a batch of beans in about 12 minutes but who wants to do that before you have your first cup of coffee. The only other thing is that if you are doing anything but a very light roast, you want to do it outside. We have done a light roast in the house and it is okay if you want the whole house to smell like roasted coffee, which I don’t mind. A dark roast will smoke up the whole house and you will keep wondering what is burning.
We bought the Fresh Roast sr800 roaster and have been incredibly happy with it. It will roast a half pound at a time. The time setting is different for different types of beans and the roast you want. You listen for the “first crack” and will notice the chaff start coming off the beans. Depending on how dark you want your roast you might keep it going until the second crack – you can hear the cracking sound of the beans, kind of like popcorn but not nearly as loud. If you are going for a dark roast, you will notice it will start to have a shiny, oily look. We usually roast a couple batches of different types and then store them in a quart mason jar to use over the next week or so. Then, you just grind your beans and make your coffee like normal. We have the Shardor coffee grinder, which works great but is really loud. The removable cup makes it easy to pour the grinds in the coffee maker and it is easy to clean. It grinds the beans nicely too; it is just not the right tool if noise is an issue.