Roast Your Own!  I've been reading much of the database of coffee knowledge accumulated at Sweet Maria's Roasting Supplies and came to the conclusion, "I can do that!"  Sometimes these are famous last words, sometimes these are life-changing epiphanies.  I hope that in this case they are the latter.

I picked up two pounds of "green" (unroasted) beans; one pound of the Guatemala Finca La Bella JBM (Jamaican Blue Mountain) Cultivar, and one pound of the India Robusta Jeelan Estate Nirali

The first type was upon their recommendation for a novice roaster, the second... just for kicks.  I say just for kicks because Robusta has as much as twice the caffeine as Arabica - Sweet Maria's seems to be the only place that sells Robusta unblended with its more flavorful cousin, Arabica.

They recommend a "lightweight skillet with a good tight lid, or a heavy skillet for a real aerobic workout," I used a heavy copper-bottomed pot because I wanted to punish myself with a real workout.  Having roasted plenty of nuts before, my biceps were unprepared for how long coffee takes to come to a French Roast.

Nevertheless, we don't have any lightweight skillets that are non-non-stick, and nothing with a lid either.  It was just me, some beans, my two guns, and Chester Copperpot.

I preheated Chester (the pot) until I couldn't hold my hand over it for more than a few seconds and tossed about 1/4 pound of the beans.  I roasted in batches so that if I royally screwed up, I wouldn't ruin everything.  Toss the beans in and "start shakin'" were the instructions and that's what I did... for about ten minutes.

I realized that #2 (second from the highest setting) on Old Yeller's push-button heating options must have been just shy of roasting capabilities; however, HI (the highest setting) was too hot.  So there we went; back and forth, shaking the pot, 2-HI-2-HI, shake shake shake - like a Paso Doble - smoke pouring out, until they started to look like what you buy at store, dark chocolate.

The results?  Delicious.

Authordavid koch
CategoriesDrinks, Recipes