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Roast your own coffee beans - it's easy as making popcorn

Updated on December 31, 2011

Why roast your own coffee beans? You'll get the freshest, best-tasting coffee you've ever had. It's cheaper than buying roasted beans. And roasting your own is much easier than I thought. If you can make pop-corn then you can roast your own beans.

First you'll need some green beans. I buy my green beans at JJ Beans in Vancouver - I suggest Guatemalan Palhu - about $16 a kilo. You're going to spoil some beans in the beginning - so I suggest starting with the cheapest beans you can get. Sweet Maria's is the go-to place on line for green beans.

You're going to need an electric pop-corn popper. There about $20 to $30 new. If you've got some time on your hands then check out the Thrift shops. That's where I got mine; a Kenmore for $6 and a WestBend Poppery 2 for $2. What else? A scale to weigh out your beans, a kitchen timer and a metal strainer.

I roast my beans in 70 gram batches, roasting them for 8 minutes. Plug in the popper, dump in the beans. As the green beans gradually brown scents of chocolate and spices waft out. The beans gradually expand and white paper-like chaff starts floating up. After 8 minutes, your beans are done. Dump them into the metal strainer and shake them a bit to cool them off..

A few warnings - some people mod their popcorn makers so they run hotter. Not a good idea - your popper will burn out more quickly and you may burn down your house.

Along with the wonderful smell, and lots of chaff your popper produces smoke - your smoke detector may go off.

Watch the popper carefully - don't leave it unattended. Popping corn takes a couple of minutes, but when you roast coffee beans, the popper is running steady for 8 minutes. Your popper is going to get extremely hot. The removable top on the popper may start to melt. So watch carefully. Also the chaff that's thrown off is very flammable.

Store the roasted beans in an air-tight container. It takes a couple of days for the flavor to peak. I grind my beans using a cheap Braun electric grinder. It was less than $20 at London Drugs. You can get a more consistent grind using a burr grinder like the Bodum Bistro electric burr grinder, but they'll set you back about $80. After grinding I brew using a Bodum French Press.

There's nothing like the taste of freshly roasted coffee.


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    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 6 years ago

      I never thought about roasting my own coffee beans, so after reading this, you have me seriously thinking about it. Something to try in 2012??? Thank you for your Hub. Bookmarked, voted up, and everything else.

    • SantaCruz profile image

      SantaCruz 6 years ago from Santa Cruz, CA

      Brilliant! Thanks, Johndvan :-).