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Roasting Coffees at Home

Roasting Coffees at home is a passion with many coffee aficionados, and there are even societies, special interest groups and online mailing lists dedicated to this hobby. But with so many options for pre-roasted, pre-packaged supermarket variety coffee, why would anyone in their right minds want to take the trouble of doing it all themselves? First, with a little practice you can soon learn to do it just right, to perfectly suit your taste buds. Secondly, you know exactly what goes into your coffee, without needing to depend upon the small print on shrink-wraps. Thirdly, there is of course the satisfaction of being able to roast good coffee yourself, and enjoy the rich taste of a pure home brew. Finally, there's the fact that green coffee beans cost about half the roasted variety. Even if you decide to buy dedicated equipment like a coffee popper instead of using the good old-fashioned gas oven, you can soon recover the hardware costs with Roasting Coffees at home.

Choosing the right beans is a very important step. There are numerous varieties of green coffee beans available; you need to read up a little and also experiment with different kinds before determining what's good for you. How much relative importance you attach to the smoothness, thickness, weight, flavor, complexity or body of your coffee will be the factor behind your choice. For Roasting Coffees at home, always buy Arabica beans rather than Robusta. Arabica, though costlier, is certainly more savoury, and has more richness and complexity.

Depending on whether you prefer a bright, acidy taste or a full-bodied flavor, vary the roasting temperature of your gas oven. Preheat a perforated pan to between 500 and 540 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures will yield more body, while the higher range tends to produce coffee with more pungency, brightness and acidity. Buying some sample roasted beans of your favourite flavor is good for comparison study in the early stages of your home coffee roasting. Arrange the beans one-layer deep on the pan and insert in the oven.

In about 7 to 10 minutes after you begin the coffee roasting, you should begin to hear the beans popping. Starting 2 or 3 minutes after that, keep peeping in every minute or so, to find out whether the beans are approaching the colour and texture of your sample variety. You'll see that coffee beans nearly double in size during the process, and develop an oily, dark texture. Conventional wisdom has it that you need to wait for at least 4 hours (and up to a day) after coffee roasting, before you can grind and enjoy your drink.

However, fresh roasted coffee directly from the oven is also delicious. Use a conical burr grinder for grinding if possible, because they use an optimal revolution speed. Other grinders that rotate too fast can generate excessive heat, thereby compromising the taste and flavor. Roasting Coffees at home is easy to do, and you should get the hang of it after only a few trials and errors. In addition to being cheaper and more customizable than supermarket varieties, Roasting Coffees also recaptures some of the romance about this passion that has been forgotten since the coming of mass coffee production and large scale advertising. If you want to really get into roasting your own coffees, you could purchase a Coffee Roaster.

At any rate, your coffee will be much fresher and better tasting if you choose to roast and grind your own coffees. .

By: Randy Wilson

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