Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sweet Maria's

My beans :]
I'm not too into coffee. I wouldn't be able to tell you the differences in the types of beans or notice any hints of chocolate or fruits that some beans exclaim they have. I know I like the taste of a bolder flavor and usually stick to simple coffees with an americano or drip with no sugar.

However, something awesome happened the other day when I was hanging out with my friend Derek and he made me one of his lattes from scratch. I was impressed by his process of preparing the coffee because you could see a real passion with his perfection and artfulness at each step. The latte was truly delicious and not bitter like the coffee I make at home. I was super curious of the type of beans he used and he said he had bought raw beans and roasted them himself.

My mouth dropped because I had realized that this latte, the best tasting latte I'd ever had, came from nothing but green coffee beans and a cow. A lot of us buy coffee from independent coffee shops that host fair trade organic beans, the good stuff. But this was starting at yet another level below, taking something raw and transforming it yourself to avoid buying it in a store for more money. It's about the craft and control of homemade things that I have a lot of interest in and respect for so I set a mission to try to roast beans myself. I was extremely excited when my friend said he'd give me some raw beans so call me a hippy or whatever but it worked and I'm sitting here happy and amazed at how simple it was.

The Process of Roasting

Derek explained the process to me and it was pretty simple. I used an air popcorn popper and just treated my beans like a popcorn kernels. Add like 3/4 cup of the raw beans into the machine and start it up. You have to listen carefully because two pops will occur when roasting. The first for me happened around two minutes and the second around three and a half. I finished roasting my beans in three batches after about four minutes each and that was that. They came out shiny and smelling a little burnt so I was worried but after they cooled it smelled like heaven..

I did some reading online and people who swear by home roasting say you should wait about three days before using in espresso form. Other than that, maybe next time I'll try adding an orange peel in there or some cocoa beans.

Watch my little Instagram vid I made of The Process:


I made an espresso shot with my backpackers version of a percolator which, to this day, is the coolest thing I ever found at the REI gear bin. Who would give that little thing up?

Questions? Email me -

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