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Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

This is a discussion on Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap! within the Coffee Discussion forums, part of the Coffee Forums category; So you want to try roasting your own coffee, but it seems complicated and expensive, right? WRONG. For those of ...

  
  1. #1

    Proud father of Zoe RcktS4's Avatar


     

    Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    So you want to try roasting your own coffee, but it seems complicated and expensive, right?

    WRONG. For those of you who are curious about home roasting, and would like to check it out without laying out much money, I offer the El Cheapo Best Coffee You Ever Had starter kit.

    To roast coffee at home, and enjoy the finest java you've probably ever tasted, you need two things: green coffee beans and a roasting device.

    Green beans are available from any number of sources, and generally cost half what good roasted beans go for. Here are the 2 best sources I've used:

    Sweet Marias
    Coffee bean corral

    Both have great selection, and are as fanatical about bean quality as you soon will be . Typical green coffees go for $4-$7 per pound, with cost increasing to as much as $16-17 for super premium coffees (notably Jamaican Blue Mountain and Kona). I recommend a simple sampler to start with, and do yourself a favor and skip the really expensive stuff until you get more comfortable with the process.

    Next: the roaster.

    There are numerous roasting devices and methods, but probably the simplest in terms of bang-for-the-buck is the use of a simple popcorn popper. Here is a great tip sheet from Sweet Marias on roasting with a hot air popper.

    There are great guidelines for finding a suitable roaster, but if you want it simple, just drop a cool $10 (plus shipping) or so on a West Bend Poppery II on ebay

    Now, you got a popper, you got a sample pack of kick-butt green coffees, and you got a well ventilated area. Dump in a half-cup of green coffee, turn that puppy on, and start watching, smelling, listening, and learning the art of roasting the finest stimulant yet known to man.

    Total cost:
    West Bend Poppery II from Ebay: about $15 (with shipping)
    4-pound, 8-coffee sample pack from SM: $25 (with shipping)
    Complete coffee nirvana in the privacy of your own home: priceless.
    It's safe to assume you've created God in YOUR image when he hates the same people you do.

  2. #2

    He who types in the dark Andyman's Avatar


     

    Re: Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    I have heard to make the popper work properly you need to rewire it so you can turn off the heat and keep it running for the cool down cycle.. Any experience with this?

  3. #3

    Proud father of Zoe RcktS4's Avatar


     

    Re: Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andyman
    I have heard to make the popper work properly you need to rewire it so you can turn off the heat and keep it running for the cool down cycle.. Any experience with this?
    From what I understand, if your voltage is good this is probably not necessary, though you may get better results. If you can't get beans to second crack there is a way to modify the thermal cutout. Here's a site that has a lot fo info about that, and other mods.

    Me? I'd try it unmodded first - what've you got to lose?
    It's safe to assume you've created God in YOUR image when he hates the same people you do.

  4. #4

    Ask me why I dinged Black Mister Moo's Avatar


     

    Re: Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    Since I built a BBQ drum roaster and StirVection roaster I'm left with a garage full of poppers, all of which roast small batches just fine.

    I'll pack a few cups of beans and a pre-tested popper for cost/freight if anyone wants at them. They're just sitting... If interested, write PM.
    "But with a little bit of luck You'll run amok!"

  5. #5

    He who types in the dark Andyman's Avatar


     

    Re: Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister MaDuroo
    Since I built a BBQ drum roaster and StirVection roaster I'm left with a garage full of poppers, all of which roast small batches just fine.

    I'll pack a few cups of beans and a pre-tested popper for cost/freight if anyone wants at them. They're just sitting... If interested, write PM.
    PM sent!!!

  6. #6

    He who types in the dark Andyman's Avatar


     

    Re: Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andyman
    PM sent!!!
    In a popper roaster how do you catch the chaef??

  7. #7

    Proud father of Zoe RcktS4's Avatar


     

    Re: Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andyman
    In a popper roaster how do you catch the chaef??
    It blows out the shoot and makes a mess...

    outdoors is better
    It's safe to assume you've created God in YOUR image when he hates the same people you do.

  8. #8

    Ask me why I dinged Black Mister Moo's Avatar


     

    Re: Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    The plastic chute thingie pointed into a bowl mostly works but it cracks or melts sooner/later. Mostly sooner.

    My pref is a glass hurricane lamp chimney pointing the smoke and chaff skyward (after the chute dies). Old-timey hardware stores still have chimney selections. Sooner or later you can match a chimney diameter to fit a popper.

    Outdoors. Yes - a very outdoors hobby. Or have a good window/exhaust fan very nearby. Or get used to yellowish-brown ceilings.
    "But with a little bit of luck You'll run amok!"

  9. #9

    Ask me why I dinged Black Mister Moo's Avatar


     

    Re: Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    There will be more coffee roasting cigar smokers in this world very soon. Woo hoo.

    The WBII's are gone. There remain two Poplites, one with glass chimney, the rare Popcorn Pumper and a couple of other I-don't-know-whats. They all roast coffee.... last call... offer of a popper and min. 1/2 pound of beans stands at $5 plus actual freight to destination.

    Last call.
    "But with a little bit of luck You'll run amok!"

  10. #10

    Proud father of Zoe RcktS4's Avatar


     

    Re: Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister MaDuroo
    There will be more coffee roasting cigar smokers in this world very soon. Woo hoo.

    The WBII's are gone. There remain two Poplites, one with glass chimney, the rare Popcorn Pumper and a couple of other I-don't-know-whats. They all roast coffee.... last call... offer of a popper and min. 1/2 pound of beans stands at $5 plus actual freight to destination.

    Last call.
    This is a killer offer from Mr. M - If you've ever even considered roasting your own, pease take him up on this!

    Quote Originally Posted by CS big brother
    you must spread some reputation around before giving it to Mister MaDuroo again
    It's safe to assume you've created God in YOUR image when he hates the same people you do.

  11. #11

    Dave's not here, man! hollywood's Avatar


     

    Re: Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    Quote Originally Posted by RcktS4
    This is a killer offer from Mr. M - If you've ever even considered roasting your own, pease take him up on this!
    Already talked to the man!! What a guy! Hooking a brother up to push him off another steep slope into the coffee oblivion! Can't wait to try this out.

    Thanks again!

  12. #12

    Maturing Puffer Fish kmaustin21's Avatar


     

    Re: Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    PM sent.

  13. #13

    Sneaky Bombin Bastage catfishm2's Avatar


     

    Re: Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    If you love coffee, you've got to try it. I had no idea what I was missing until I started roasting my own beans, The difference is like night and day. Great post Raney.
    "The denunciation of the young is a necessary part of the hygiene of older people, and greatly assists in the circulation of their blood."..... Logan Pearsall Smith

  14. #14

    Ask me why I dinged Black Mister Moo's Avatar


     

    Re: Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    All roasters promised were tested with a 1/2 cup of beans, packed with the test roast and 1/2 pound + of green sumatra and will be shipped Monday. Sorry for delays but family and travel slowed up the plan.

    There are two or three left.

    Those who get 'em - have fun.
    "But with a little bit of luck You'll run amok!"

  15. #15

    SvilleKid
    Guest


     

    Re: Roasting coffee 101 - It's Cheap!

    PM sent. Thanks for the offer and the kick down another darn slope!!

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