This week I conducted a coffee experiment inspired by this video: I roasted my own coffee beans. Summary: The guy in the video basically said K-cups and pre-ground coffee come from Satan’s asshole (my translation).
I was disinclined to agree. My store bought coffee is fine, I thought.
But I’m always on the lookout for new coffee experiments. I’ve made coffee from a regular drip coffee pot, industrial machines that produce bad office coffee, a Keurig, a French Press and a handy little pour over thingy that will come up again in this story later. I’ve bought ground coffee, flavored coffee and whole coffee beans I ground myself using a spice grinder. I even tried the bullet proof coffee craze with coconut oil.
(Which, surprisingly, was not terrible. It was not great, mind you. A cup of greasy coffee is . . . um . . . unique. But it was not terrible.)
I’ve always liked coffee in the forms I’ve found it (except for the office coffee – that stuff comes from a special circle of hell). How much better could roasting my own beans be? AND, how hard is roasting coffee beans? That sounded super intimidating. What if I messed them up? In the YouTube video the presenter said if you can pop popcorn at home you can roast coffee beans. Well I’ve never popped popcorn other than the microwave bags and those come out burnt half the time. But fuck it, right? So what if I messed it up. I’d just go back to doing what already worked for me, so why NOT try and roast my own coffee?
(And, yes, I am fully aware this is the exact same logic that might lead a drug addict to jumping off a roof thinking he is Superman.)
I turned again to the educational side of YouTube (ie. not the crazy cats or pimple popping side of YouTube) and started researching methods for roasting my own coffee beans at home. I saw everything from a high dollar home roaster to a popcorn machine. I don’t have any of those things at home and I sure didn’t want to spend money on something that might turn out to be an epic failure.
Finally I found a video that used two very simple kitchen items:
Now THOSE I have at home.
I had no idea where to get raw coffee beans. I looked at my local grocery store, but they either didn’t have them or I didn’t know where to look. So I ordered a bag from Amazon. I waited impatiently for two days for them to arrive. When they did one of the kids opened the box pulled out a bag of what seemed to be small green pebbles.
Kid: “What’s this?”
Kid: “This is coffee?” (complete with incredulous look)
Me: “Yup. Or, it will be.”
The first time I roasted the beans I only did a small batch. The process was easy. Dump beans in a pan, turn on the heat and keep stirring. Towards the end of the roast I noticed the beans get a lot smokier and I turned on a fan and opened all the doors so I wouldn’t set off the smoke alarm.
Oh, and I discovered chaff. Chaff is a green husk around the raw bean. As the beans roast the chaff falls off and sits in the pan with the coffee beans. In the demonstration video the guy just blew the chaff out of the pan, so that’s what I did. It’s a bit messy but chaff is dry and pretty easy to clean up.
My home roasted beans weren’t as evenly roasted as store bought beans, but I figured they had to be fresher than store bought beans since I’d just roasted my own and who knows how long the store bought beans had been sitting on a shelf.
Beginning to end, the roasting process took maaaybe fifteen minutes. And was stupid simple.
Everything I read said let the beans ‘rest’ for a while before grinding them. I let the beans cool and then put them in an airtight container. The next morning I ground some up and used a single serve pour over cup thingy to make a cup.
You guys . . . it was FANTASTIC.
It might have been the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life.
Okay, I know someone out there is calling bullshit. And, you know, at first I didn’t believe it either. I mean, it could not, absolutely could not be that easy to make my own coffee.
To prove the difference to myself I brewed a regular cup of pre-ground coffee we had sitting on our pantry shelf – the same thing I’ve been drinking for years – and took a sip to compare.
It was foul. I mean, total and utter shit coffee. And that’s when I knew . . .
Y’all, we’ve been drinking coffee ALL WRONG.
And, yes, I just levelled up in my coffee snobbery.
*celebrates by scooping up handfuls of coffee beans, flinging them in the air*
ps. Have you tried roasting your own coffee? Leave me a comment! I love coffee tips!