Home roasting coffee is something that every coffee lover should do at least once in their life. Like learning any new cooking technique it demystifies the process into a simple process. And if you learn how to roast your own coffee beans you can oneup your coffee snob friends.
I'm not going to give you a step-by-step process on how to roast coffee beans. There's countless tutorials online you can use a resource. Instead since I recently took a family vacation to the big island of Hawaii, I'm going to be discussing the process that turns a coffee cherry into your favorite part of waking up.
That in the left corner is a flowering coffee plant. Let's take a closer look.
Smell that? It's a coffee flower! No, it doesn't smell like a cup of freshly brewed coffee. The coffee flower gives off an extremely sweet and strong fragrance. Eventually those flowers will produce a fruit or a "cherry", which then be harvested, processes, and dried.
The photo above features coffee cherries being dried. After the cherries dry out they'll be milled to remove the dried fruit and further processed and shipped out. Or the beans will stay in Hawaii and be roasted by local roasters.
Or a Portland kid with a cooking blog will bring a pound home to do some home roasting. The only thing you need to roast your own beans are a campstove, skillet with a lid, and green coffee beans.
Oh and some oven mitts!
After about 7 minutes of roasting and some "cracking" your beans will be ready to rest. For the next 12 hours or so the beans will be letting off gasses. Just hold onto your horses and just walk away from them, no matter how good they smell and how tired you are. Tomorrow morning make yourself a damn fine cup of coffee.
Seeing the whole process of growing, drying and roasting coffee makes you appreciate that it's so much more than the liquid that gets you through that sales meeting. Coffee, especially Hawaiian coffee, is a specialty ingredient that should always be treated that way.