A Journey to a Better Roast
In the journey to find a better, more effective way to roast coffee, I found myself working to understand my personal roaster. I have gone through two different types: one the is like a hot-air popcorn popper, and one that uses a rotisserie basket and an electric heat source. Each one had it pros and cons so I wanted to find something that could utilize the benefits of both.
They both were able to rotate the beans through the heat source very effectively, so I knew that that was an important factor. They also had adjustable heat sources, also an important factor. Both used electric heat, but one used air to deliver it and one was the rotisserie. One factor that I also noticed is that the beans took twice as long to complete in the rotisserie, but max temperature was lower. They both cooled the beans effectively for similar amounts of time. They both also had an effective means to catch the chaff that was created during the process. I also noticed the differences between the two roasting methods. One could only do about 8 ounces at a time while the other could do 16 ounces. The time for one took about 9 minutes while the other took 30 minutes. This led me to look for a system with a different heat source and had the advantages of both systems.
I found a way to use gas and a burner, which created a very consistent amount of heat to create the heat source. This allowed me to move the flame as close as I needed to adjust the temperature of the beans. I then utilized a rotisserie method in a container that allowed for the beans to get rotated through the heat source. I was able to roast a full pound of beans in about 12.5 minutes to a very dark and oily state. During the roasting process, the flame actually touches the beans, fully purifying them and pulling out their incredible flavor.
When we tasted the coffee that was produced from these beans, regardless of the roasting level, the coffee was bolder in flavor than our previous home method. We will never go back to the old way and have found that this way is very sustainable.