an interesting experiment to try, if you’re keen! You
can order your green beans through us.
can admit it here, we won't laugh. You want to roast your
There now, doesn't that feel better?
It's not a crazy idea. Green beans are far less expensive
than those that are roasted
ahead of time and can be safely stored for up to two years
without loss of flavour. By roasting your own, you also
know you're getting the freshest cup of coffee possible.
As far as flavour, well, that depends a lot on you. If
you favour the
light roasts, you will find it very difficult to approximate
their flavours using the pan method. If you favour the
darker styles, you stand a good chance of success simply
by using a common skillet.
Want to get started?
Okay, start by selecting some green beans. Take a common
skillet and place it on a burner set to high. You need
a temperature of approximately 500F to roast coffee.
When the skillet has heated sufficiently, pour the beans
in and begin shaking. Do not let the beans come to rest
on the pan surface. If you do, they will
burn. As you shake the beans, you will begin to notice
the beans changing colour, from an olive green to a yellow-green
You will also need a lot of wrist strength! You have to
keep the beans moving in the skillet from 6-9 minutes,
and perhaps much longer (depending on the roast style
If you can keep the pan shaking at the 6-9 minute mark,
you will hear the beans begin to pop. This is what the
roasters call "First Crack". Once this crackling stops,
the beans should have turned a light, golden brown and
you may stop. If you do, you have what many call a "New
If you're experimenting, go ahead and stop and, when they've
cooled, grind these fresh roasted beans and sample the
Be exact. Precisely measure the amount of ground coffee
and water you use, and then take notes on the flavours
you perceive in the cup. If you know you want a darker
roast when that first crackling stops then by all means,
keep shaking! The longer you go, the easier it is to burn
the beans so shake it baby, shake it. The beans will be
getting darker and darker and at
some point you will hear the "Second Crack". Get ready
now, when the crackling stops this time you will be at
what is called "Full City Roast". There are darker roasts,
including the level of roast used for creating beans for
Espresso, but you may not want to go there yet. Then again,
coffee lovers seem to have a sense of adventure. Roast
There was a time when the "chore" of roasting coffee was
replaced by roasting machines. In a world where clothes
were still scrubbed by hand, anything that lessened the
labours of life was seen as an improvement. But today
we have the luxury to choose to make our own pasta, or
bake our own bread, or roast our own coffee. Today we
realise that though it is often a lot of work, it is well
worth the effort to revisit the days of the home-grown,
the hand-made, the home-roasted .
Written by David Naugle
OF THE MONTH
tbsp orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup strong coffee (such as espresso)
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Blend the above ingredients until smooth.
with whipped cream and a fresh orange slice.