(If you want the whole scoop of our initial attempt at roasting coffee beans, please go HERE).
In previous posts I forgot to include a picture of green coffee beans. Here is what we started with…
The modification: Mr. W placed a steel plate over the fish cooker burner to diffuse the heat. Just a plate of 3/16” steel. Excellent idea! I’m told you can also use a cast iron pan for that purpose. We roasted two batches – again using the Colombian Supremo green coffee beans from Coffee Bean Direct (via Amazon). And again using the Whirley Pop. There was a little smoking involved, but it wasn’t unpleasant (like before). We’ve learned that we may have to ignore the thermometer a bit as “first crack” seemed to arrive at 250 degrees F or so (if we wanted to believe that thermometer). Also, by the end of the roast, we had barely reached 400 degrees F. We can now understand that it’s probably best to learn to judge the beans on smell and appearance, as well as listening for those 1st & 2nd cracks.
The best part this time was that we were able to actually see the beans while they were roasting. With our maiden roast, it was smoking too badly and we couldn’t see the beans when we opened the lid. This time we could actually check every 3-4 minutes (or more often toward the end) and see that the beans were going from green, to the various stages of brown. Awesome! The smell wasn’t nearly as bad this time. Let me emphasize this – we could actually breathe in the Roasting Room (aka Blacksmith Shop).
We did two roasts this time. Each one took approximately 15 minutes. We kept the heat on high, but with the diffusion from the steel plate, the roasting process was slow and nice. And, I assure you, these roasted beans smell yummy! Definitely not burnt offerings. Here are the successfully roasted beans, in all their glory --
I put the beans in our Melitta Mill and Brew pot last night, set the time for 5:10 a.m., and we were awakened with….
…the wonderful aroma of fresh ground, fresh roasted coffee. The taste? Delicious. I think at this point we’re hooked.
If you’d like a synopsis of why people roast their own coffee beans, check out Wikipedia's explanation. Thanks goes again to Jayme for introducing me to home roasting! Without her encouragement, I would have given up with that first burnt offering batch.