More Successful Roasting

After some continued experimenting, and frankly the willingness to throw out an entire batch if I burnt the coffee too badly, I finally produced some decent home-roasted coffee.

I mentioned a couple of days ago that we were “out” of coffee. It’s not strictly true. I had some green coffee beans squirreled away for just this kind of situation. So for the last couple of days I’ve been roasting coffee beans in the afternoon and then grinding them to make our morning coffee.

Yesterday’s coffee was just about perfect. Dark oily roast with a hint of smoke. It was a bit harsh, but I’m not entirely sure I got them out of the fire without burning one or two.

So far the best technique which produces a fairly even roast is to slow roast the beans in a cast iron pan on the wood stove until they are golden brown (4-5 hours) and then to finish them in the fire over coals (5-10 minutes). All in all, a successful experiment!

It’s best to rest the pan above the coals, not directly on them, to get a bit more even temperature and to move them around either constantly (which is hard if you are doing it in a wood stove) or fairly regularly. I pull them out every couple of minutes, shake them up and blow off the chaff (which I’m sure has a different name when it’s from coffee beans as opposed to wheat, but I don’t know what that name is)

The result is a nice dark roast with the coffee oils on the surface of the bean. And each day the coffee they produce is getting tastier. I hope because my skill is improving, not that my tastebuds are adjusting.

All in all, a successful experiment and an even better solution to being “out of coffee”.

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

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