This coffee tastes positively Parman!
October 12, 2008 6:36 PM   Subscribe

I need to be famous for other things. So I would like to make my own blend of coffee. At home and cheaply how can I get started?

In terms of style, I would like to do something like a French Roast with the aroma of tilled farmland after a rainstorm.

I have heard you can use a popcorn popper to roast beans, but what else should I consider getting or trying in terms of tech and beans/spices/additives?
posted by parmanparman to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I don't personally have experience with at-home roasting, but an acquaintance who does found Sweet Maria's to be informative. They seem to offer advice and sell roasting equipment and green beans. Also, check out this post.
posted by mixed greens at 7:30 PM on October 12, 2008

Best answer: This episode of Alton Brown's Good Eats has a bunch of good information.
posted by XMLicious at 7:33 PM on October 12, 2008

2nd Sweet maria's, especially pay attention to what type of popcorn popper to get, and don't get the manual one with a handle, it's too much trouble (unless you don't know what to do with your spare time).
posted by rainy at 8:33 PM on October 12, 2008

Best answer: I use an old breadmaker to agitate the beans and a paint-stripping heat gun as a heat source, as outlined here. I have found this to be far superior to a popcorn maker.

Those earthy farmyard notes are typical of Indonesian and Timorese coffees. Look for beans with "Mandheling" in the name, eg Sumatran Mandheling. Later, when you know how to control a roast and have more idea what you're after, you might dig the funky skanky taste of monsooned beans, eg Monsoon Malabar.

Poppers generally roast quite fast, resulting in a fairly sharp, acid coffee. This is pretty good in a plunger or filter setting, but usually doesn't work well in espresso. No matter what your method, roast time is a big influence. Even if the beans end up the same colour, a batch that took 18 minutes will taste way different to one that took 8.

An actual French Roast is so dark as to destroy most of the distinct flavour notes in the beans, and I encourage you to experiment with lighter roasts than that.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:49 PM on October 12, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, everybody!
posted by parmanparman at 4:44 AM on October 13, 2008

Roasting coffee makes more smoke than you'd think. If you have wired smoke detectors, roasting is a tiresome process, but at least you can offer the fire crew fresh coffee ...
posted by scruss at 6:59 AM on October 13, 2008

Response by poster: I was thinking of doing this outside on our patio
posted by parmanparman at 8:37 AM on October 13, 2008

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