Home Coffee Roasting
Roasting Coffee at Home
First, we'll start with the fact that you can buy green coffee beans and roast them to your liking right in you own home. One way to roast coffee beans at home is to skillet fry the beans until they are brown. They need to be cooked somewhere between 460F degrees and 530F. Beans must be kept moving so it won't cook them unevenly. The roasting must stop at the right time and cooled down quickly. This is the old method but definitely won't taste like today's methods and needs proper venting.
Another way to roast coffee beans is with a hot-air corn popper. Hot-air poppers roast pretty quickly causing a bright, medium roast and strong flavored dark roasts. Giving a clear-cut taste opposite of beans roasted in a gas oven or in a stovetop popper. This may be a little easier than other methods. There is less to worry about, such as setting the temperature just right.
Although a great taste, there is a down side to using these poppers. First of all only not all poppers are designed to roast coffee. You should only use the ones with the proper roasting chambers. This way makes a less amount each time than other methods. Roasting with the popper will also cause smoke to be more difficult to vent. Most of these poppers can be used to make French or Espresso coffee, which is darker but are not recommended. This may cause your popper to be over worked and shorten its life.
Roasting beans in a gas oven was also popular. You could roast more at a time and the oven did the venting for you. Just set the ovens temperature like baking. This had to be a much easier way and the results were rather good. Don't forget, the timing and cooling process for all roasting is very important and may be different in other blends to achieving the goal for a great cup of coffee.
The only way you are going to find out which technique you might enjoy to use is to find a whole bean coffee roasted style that you already like, then try to make it yourself at home. Do a little experimenting!
Coffee Brewing Methods
Next let's move on to the many different brewing methods. There are several different ways in which to brew coffee. Before you choose a coffee maker you need to understand first what you demand out of the machine. It will be a question only the person using it can answer. Let's examine the differences a little closer.
The filter drip is the most popular method used to brew coffee because it is easy to operate and consistent. Water is poured in a chamber where it is heated and slowly poured over the ground coffee. This can be done two ways. It can be electronically dripped or manually poured over the grounds. Some electric machines can be preset to have the coffee ready for you when you wake up in the morning. Others may prefer the taste of hand-brewed coffee for a different flavor.
The French drip is another form of drip coffee making, which is made without paper filters. A separate top sits above the porcelain coffee pot and acts as the strainer as the water soaks into the grounds. Working its way through the strainer, coffee liquid makes its way to the bottom pot for hot steaming coffee.
The Percolator was the preferred way to make coffee in the 1950's. Now coffee drinkers see the light that the coffee made this way was thin, watery and bitter. Most people may remember it by the perking pot and the aroma it gave off.
The Neapolitan flip device is made up of two segment. The whole product comes in aluminum, copper or stainless steel. An area in between the two segments holds the coffee grounds. The lower part is poured with water and put directly on the stovetop to heat. While boiling the steam goes through a hole under the grounds. After that, the pot is removed from the stove, flipped over to drip the water on the grounds, which go into the serving pot. The down side to this is that it only makes about 3 or 4 cups per serving.
There are two different types of espresso makers, stovetop and household electric counter top model. A nice characteristic about the counter top model is it can steam milk for cappuccino and latte's. Stovetop on the other hand have two parts similar to the Neapolitan flip method only no flipping needed.
French Press is a trendy European way that allows for more oils and coffee solids that give you a cup of coffee with a lovely smell and has a dense body. More of your strong coffee drinkers would prefer this technique. Although good and strong, some grounds may enter the coffee during process.
Vacuum procedures are more involved and are used for ceremonies mostly by the Japanese. They are rare and very hard to find. The Middle Eastern way is popular of course in the Middle East and also Greece and Turkey. Their form of making coffee is also very different and comes out to be dark, thick and syrupy tasting. Because it is so rich, one or two cups a day would probably be all I could drink.
Last but not least on the list, the cold water method. Simply soaking the coffee grinds in cold water for about a day, straining the grounds, and storing the liquid in a refrigerator for a few weeks. When you want a cup, boil some water and add liquid to desired taste.
Makes a rather mild cup for those of you who like it that way.
If you're not into roasting the beans yourself, your choices are still many. Coffee manufacturers have given us an almost unending list of different blends and flavors. How the coffee's ground after its roasted will have a major effect on the taste of the coffee. There are regular, coarse and finely ground coffees. The taste is also affected by the combination of the type of coffee used. The two categories of trees from which the coffee beans come from are called Arabica and Robusta. The Arabica is a milder coffee and the Robusta a much stronger coffee.
Another important addition to the coffee world has been the addition of many flavorings, and flavored creamers. If you haven't browsed through coffee selections lately, you owe it to your taste buds to check out the many varieties and flavors of coffee.