I don't know when it happened. But it happened. And as much as I hate to admit it – well, here I am. Admitting it. Lettin' it loose. Slippin' the lips. Confessing to the world…
…friends, I'm a coffee snob.
I remember back in college, sipping on my pre-ground Folgers, thinkin' I'd hit the good life. But then, as fate would have it, I met my husband. Who also happened to love coffee. And through the years, our love for one another… and coffee… only grew.
When my parents gifted us a hand grinder for whole beans a few years into our marriage, we began flirting with whole beans. And that opened us up to a whole new delicious world – freshly ground coffee far surpass the taste of pre-ground beans. It's no secret. Why do you think espresso all over the world is made with freshly ground beans?
Because freshly ground beans are ridiculously delicious, yo. That's why.
But let's take that a step further, shall we?
After a few years of freshly ground beans, our palates started to desire more. More freshness. More flavor. Even more ‘oomph' in the ‘ol morning cup of joe.
And so. Naturally. We headed for thrift stores. Lookin' for one thing… one specific item that we needed.
A Poppery Popcorn Popper. Circa 1980's. One of the only popcorn poppers available on the market that gets hot enough to home roast coffee beans (for a complete list of popcorn poppers that you can use, check out this page). After a few weeks of us looking for this gem of a popper, a friend finally found us one during a trip to Good Will. $4.
$4 for a home coffee roaster.
And thus, our love for freshly roasted coffee was born. And miraculously, it's as easy as popping popcorn. Stu is the coffee roasting expert around here – the last time he roasted, he documented his journey in photographs. Let's give him thanks.
How to Roast Coffee Beans
– Poppery Popcorn Popper (you can find them on eBay if you can't find 'em at your local thrift store)
You'll notice that our popcorn popper has an aluminum can in the opening. It didn't come with a lid and in order to keep the beans from coming out as they turn, we've replaced it with a can to allow for more room.
– 2 colanders
1. Set up the popper in a well ventilated area. We roast our beans outside on our porch so that the chaff can fly free. Fill the popper with 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup green coffee beans. Plug in the popper and allow it to slowly start heating the beans.
2. In about 3 minutes, you'll hear the first ‘pop' of the beans. Once this happens, monitor the color of the beans closely. Mild roasts will continue for about 1 more minute (total time, 4 minutes), average roasts about 2 more minutes (total time, 5 minutes), and a dark roast about 3 more minutes (total time, 6 minutes).
3. Once the beans are close to your desired roast, dump them into a colander. Moving quickly, pour the beans from one colander to another, allowing the air to completely circulate around them. Keep pouring for another minute or so, until the beans are completely cooled.
3. Place the freshly roasted beans into a breathable bag. They'll continue to give off CO2 as they cool, so it's important to not seal them into a glass jar for at least 12 hours.
We do 2-3 batches each time we roast, and it provides us with enough coffee for the week. But it's never as good as it is the moment it comes out of the popper. Good Lawd, that's some delicious coffee.
I suppose it's like picking a tomato from the garden. Eating that perfectly ripened fresh fruit from the vine. So much better than the store-bought variety. Not that I'm tryin' to rag on your store-bought coffee. By all means, enjoy that deliciousness.
I'm just sayin' – I'll never go back. You can't make me! I won't do it, I say!
Home roasted coffee. If there's a more delicious luxury in life, I've yet to find it.
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.