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The Connoisseur's Corner

Home Roaster Facts

Let's start off by saying that if you're not already a coffee purist, someone who pursues that "perfect cup" with a good to great pump-action espresso machine, a grinder, etc., a home roaster is probably not for you.

If, on the other hand, you want to produce an excellent brew at home, one that will match or beat what you get at your local coffee house, and if you're willing to dedicate yourself to the requirements of doing it, you'll need all of those things PLUS the home roaster as the final part of your coffee-making accessories.

True freshness in coffee is limited to 3 or 4 days after roasting the bean. After that it still tastes okay, but the volatile components have gassed off and the peak of power, the lingering aftereffect, is gone. And, you don't preserve it by storing your beans in the freezer.

Here's what our green coffee bean
supplier says about coffee's life span:

  • Brewed coffee: 15-20 minutes
  • Ground coffee beans: 3 days
  • Roasted coffee beans: 5-6 days
  • Green coffee beans: 1-2 years

  • Having a home roaster opens up the world of the green coffee bean. And world it is, since such beans are available from everywhere: Kenya, Indonesia, Mexico, Hawaii, Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, etc. Best of all, the one to two year life of the green coffee bean is at room temperature!

    Moreover, you get to control the degree of roast on each varietal or blend in order to get the most out of it and to satisfy your particular taste to the fullest.

    What downside is there? One thing the potential home roasterperson should know is that in order to manufacture a home-size roaster at a reasonable price, its size and capacity must be limited. The capacity of the Fresh Roast roaster is 2.5 oz. green beans. Depending on how much ground coffee you brew at one time, this translates roughly as 3 to 4 cups of intense espresso brew or 10-12 cups American regular brew per roast. That means you need to be ready to roast fairly frequently. But, since the process takes under 10 minutes, it's not so much of a burden as it might appear to be at first.

    Specs:

  • Capacity: 2.5 oz.
  • Height: 12 inches
  • Diameter: 6 inches
  • Weight: 6 lbs.
  • Volts: 120

  • One way to do it is to make roasting the first part of the meal when a fresh batch is needed. The roaster is doing its things while the meal is being prepared and eaten. By the time you're ready for coffee, it's ready for grinding and brewing. No big deal. Of course, the experts will tell you that roasted beans are not at their best immediately after roasting, so you might find advance scheduling will be more desirable. The point is to arrange it so it works for you and remains easy routine.

    We've been roasting up two batches at a time, ahead of running out. This method affords us the opportunity to do some killer blends. Blending is not just a matter of mixing beans. It includes the technique of using the same bean at different roasts. You'll be surprised how this can add to the complexity of flavor. With your own roaster, blending experimentation is almost limitless, and affords the opportunity to get the optimum out of the beans you choose.

    Then, there's cleanup. The chaff of the bean will accumulate in the cover compartment and needs to be brushed out after each roasting. The glass bean container can be washed with sudsy water or wiped with a dry towel to eliminate build up of oily residue. Again, this is routine and is also no big deal.

    If you're willing to take on these routine procedures, then the standard of true freshness and your own custom blending is yours for years and years. Plus, the lower cost of coffee beans will help you justify the expenditure--if you need any justification.

    If any of our customers would like to add to these observations, please email us. Your comments might be included on this fact sheet.

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