I remember years ago, before taking over the farm, a coworker/friend shared that you can roast small batches of coffee at home that are pretty good. The home roasting machines were increasingly affordable, sophisticated, you didn’t have to roast much, and it didn’t take too long. I mentally filed that away. From the start of our coffee business, I thought that I’d like to reach those home roasting enthusiasts. They’re into coffee, but it’s personal-sized small-batch.
We’ve had a few customers buy our green beans (unroasted coffee, not the green bean vegetables you might eat at Thanksgiving). I’ve asked them to report back or send photos, because I’m curious. But one can’t nag or beg the nice customers.
One green bean customer is originally from Eritrea. I asked about their coffee roasting story and learned that here in the U.S. they first roasted the beans in a pan on the stove. Then they used a popcorn machine, which had better results in terms of uniformity. But soon it broke from the weekly use. Finally they bought a good roasting machine, which has been working well for more than 10 years, which is the point when they bought their Bea’s Knees green beans. They bought a five-pound bag of green beans, and they roast maybe 250 g or so for the week. When the mom visits from Eritrea she roasts the beans in a little pan to have the smell in the room, before she serves the actual coffee.
A friend recently bought a bag of green beans for her home roasting enthusiast friend. She kindly shared photos.
I did my usual quick search on the internet. I liked the info about home roasters, from novice to semi-pro, on the beanpoet’s site. You can get lost for a while on sweetmarias’ site. I think if you have dropped some dough on any expensive home brewing equipment (like a fancy espresso maker), you should consider roasting your own coffee, too. Have fun exploring and experimenting!