Well about a month ago I attended a get together with some other home coffee enthusiasts and learned about a company for home roasters called, the coffee project. Now if you have an exceptional memory and you hang on my every run on sentence you will know that I sent away for a sample of green beans to do a very small sample of home roasting!
Without further ado it came in the mail yesterday with a little over an ounce of Costa Rica La Minta and an instruction pamphlet for home roasting on the stove.
I was pretty happy that it came in the mail, and to be honest had forgotten about it so it really was an unexpected surprise. However, the actual task of roasting the coffee though was a little daunting at first, but the instruction provided were laid out pretty easily and so here they are paraphrazed;
Tools: A pan, colander and a mist bottle for water.
1. Get some ventilation going, and put your empty pan on the stove over medium high heat.
2. Measure the amount you are going to roast, turn down to medium heat.
3. Note your every movement, time/temp/batch size etc.
4. Start roasting!
5. Within a few minutes you will smell the moisture leaving the beans, a grass like smell.
6. Four to six minutes you will hear the first crack, dull like twigs breaks.
7. Keep Stirring you are getting close.
8. You'll hear second crack at around 10-15 minutes, and now coffee is done.
9. Turn off stove and pour into colander, do a light mist just to stop the roasting.
10. After they are cool, pour into a storage device.
11. Let rest 1-3 days and enjoy within 12
I followed those instructions provided pretty closely for the most part. There is a lot of talk of smoke in the instructions, but other than a little chaf coming off the beans there was not much in the way of smoke. I have a gas stove and just kept the pan above the flame so I could keep shaking it so perhaps that something to do with it. The biggest thing I did not follow was I went about three minutes after the first crack and stopped the roast they were getting pretty dark and thought I would rather have light roasted coffee.
Sorry if the words are a little fuzzy on the image, the first photo is just a few minutes in to roasting and they are just starting to brown, giving off the grassy smell. The second one is right before the first crack, it really is a easy to notice crack in the beans, for some reason I thought perhaps it would be really low, but over the stove it was very discernable. And finally I tossed the beans in the colander a few minutes after that crack, and ended up with some coffee that appears to be medium roasted.
Overall the process was a really easy, and roasting the small one ounce I got only took about 11 minutes. My biggest surprise was that with roasting them medium/light that there was a little bit of a mess with the chaff coming off the beans, but really it most came off when cooling them down over the sink.
This little tester did it's job and am probably going to have to buy a pound or two of coffee. I suggest anyone that likes coffee to get this from the coffeeproject.com to try for free!