Seriously, have you? My parents have been doing it for years and it really makes a difference if you’re into that lovely coffee goodness. Aside from all those snobbery type things you could say about roasting beans (like you can create your own mixes and it changes the bouquet and all that stuff), the biggest selling point for roasting your own beans is you are guaranteed a fresher roast every time. As soon as beans are roasted they begin to go rancid, so if you keep your beans green until you’re ready to make your coffee then your beans will stay fresher for much longer. Green beans stay good for like, ever.
My dad gets his beans from Equator Coffee Roasters in Almonte, but you can get green beans pretty much anywhere, if you look. I know that Fat Nanny’s in St. John’s sells them as well, and you can get them online or in any big city. And if you’re lucky enough to live in a middle eastern neighbourhood, like we are, then you can pick them up from your local halal grocery store, which is just down the block from us.
The roaster my parents have comes from this company, and it’s great. All you do is pour the coffee in, set it for however many minutes you want, and let ‘er rip. Because you control the roasting time you can control the flavour of your coffee, so it’s a great way to experiment with what suits your taste. These beans are from Mexico, and my dad roasts them for about eight and a half minutes.
The coffee sits in this little tube and the machine forces hot air through it.
The hot air exits through this vent, which also catches the chaff (the little coffee bean skins).
You can see the beans are already darker.
Here they are jumping up and down in excitement.
And fully roasted, cooling down. The machine gets very hot, and if you over-roast your beans you will likely set off your smoke alarm. We’ve done that.
When it’s cool, you can remove the top of the machine to empty the chaff (sorry the picture is blurry, not sure why).
Then you have your beans, ready to grind into a hot cup of coffee.
You can store the roasted beans for a few days, but it’s best to use them as soon as possible.