Guest Author - Gayle E. Santana
If you are serious about the freshness of your coffee, you have probably considered roasting your own beans. While many people have experienced hit or miss results, it is becoming a highly popular practice.
Home roasting is not new. It was done at least a century ago here in the US but lost popularity with the advent of modern conveniences.
It is not always as easy as whipping up your favorite dish either. The process can be messy and results inconsistent. In fact, because of the smoking that can occur with some methods, you had better set up outside along with your grill. It may also take a bit of practice to get even results. Yet there is a feeling amongst the home-roaster crowd that badly done home roasting beats commercial pre-ground coffee any day.
There are a number of methods that can be used. Here are a few:
Heat Gun & Dog Bowl
I know this sounds weird, but a heat gun, which looks much like a blow dryer and a dog bowl (hopefully new) is used. The metal dog bowl has a convenient shape that accommodates this process.
This, like the Heat Gun & Dog Bowl method, will take a bit of practice and preparation but yes, you can use a skillet or even a wok.
Hot Air Popcorn Maker
While not every popcorn maker can roast coffee beans, there are some that can. You must use a popcorn popper where the hot air enters the popcorn chamber from the side vents.
There are a plethora of dedicated home roasters out there on the market. Just choose the best one for your budget.
Green Coffee Beans
Now with all this equipment you will need a supply of green coffee beans. Green coffee beans can actually be stored for years. Because this practice is becoming so much more common, sources do abound. If you canít find them in your neck of the woods, there are plenty of sources online.
If you are feeling adventurous or just want the freshest coffee you can get, try your hand at home roasting. But before you do, be sure to educate yourself thoroughly. You will need to understand how to properly handle the combination of high heat, smoking and volatile beans (much like popcorn), especially for the stove top and heat gun methods. And of course after all that work, you will want that cup it to be worth your while.
Wikipedia: Home Roasting
Swingley Development-Heat Gun and Dog Bowl Method
About.com-Buying Green Coffee Beans