The doors are closed on our favorite coffee shops and roasteries so when better than now to experiment with raw coffee and high heat at home? Green beans are easy to find online and developing a custom roast is a surprisingly easy enterprise.
Green coffee beans are not beans at all, but rather the seeds of the coffee cherry. The red cherries are harvested, washed, de-pulped and soaked in a fermentation tank before being dried and bagged for sale. It is easy to find a reputable seller who can provide you with beans straight from the farm. Green beans will maintain their quality for a very long time when stored under dry stable conditions, but once they are roasted they get stale fast. Home roasting in small batches is an excellent way way to get the freshest cup of coffee — even when NOT in the midst of a pandemic!
If you pop corn in a hot air popper then you already own the perfect coffee roaster. Pour a half cup of green beans into the popper, secure a piece of chicken wire to the top and turn on the heat. The beans will spin and turn and begin to change color. As the beans expand they will shed chaff which will look like tiny bits of thin paper floating in the air. If you like a light roast, the beans will be done soon after the chaff begins to fly. If you enjoy a dark roast, wait until the beans are crackling and smoking and starting to shine with exuded oil. Light or dark or in between, just before you think the beans are done to perfection, turn off the heat, pour the beans out into a metal pan or colander, and shake them briskly to cool them quickly. Let the beans rest for a day before you grind them – course for a press, more fine for a drip.
Choose your favorite bean, your favorite roast and your favorite extractor to make the freshest cup of coffee while we wait for the world to open up again! Be sure to offer a precious cup to a front line worker!