Roast Your Own CoffeeWritten by Jim Cameron
For years, idea of roasting your own coffee beans has been kept a mystery by coffee roasting industry. It had been deemed “too hard” or “too complicated”. Well these are new times and truth is out; it’s easy, fun and economical and can be done in a number of ways using items you probably already own! There is nothing like a cup of coffee, which has been freshly roasted, ground and brewed to perfection. There are a growing number of enthusiasts who are roasting their own coffee beans and enjoying benefits of truly fresh coffee at about one-third to one half price of beans from your local coffee shop. All that is needed to roast your own coffee beans at home is green coffee beans, available from a number of sources, an oven, cookie sheet, oven mitt, metal colander and a wooden spoon. Preheat your oven to 500F, spread raw beans evenly one layer deep on a cookie sheet, place on middle rack of preheated oven and watch them roast. In about 8-10 minutes there will be a crackling noise and smoke with a coffee essence. At this point roast moves quickly and you need to pay close attention. About 2-3 minutes after crackling, your coffee beans should be at shade you like them. Carefully (using oven mitt) remove cookie sheet from oven and pour beans into metal colander. Stir beans with wooden spoon to help cool quickly. Do this over a sink or outside, as there is chaff that comes off beans during roasting. And remember; NEVER leave your roasting coffee beans unattended. Almost any appliance used to pop popcorn can be used to roast coffee beans. The hot air poppers are great, however, you may want to roast outside or in your garage as they blow chaff out and can be messy. There are a number of manufacturers of home coffee roasters, including several that use a gas grill and rotisserie. The internet is full of sources to purchase raw beans, but you want to make certain supplier you use knows their beans and “cups” their coffee before selling it to you (see supplier list below). Many other sources can be found using your favorite search engine. If you’re interested in using a gas grill to roast your beans there are several manufacturers of drums fitted for gas grills that work great (See suppliers below
La Minita Coffee – It’s in the Green BeansWritten by Jim Cameron
La Minita; Spanish for “The Little Gold Mine” says it all. La Minita is arguably best coffee in world and is sipped by who’s who in specialty coffee industry as well as by those of us who have access to it in our businesses. Similar to wine industry, best coffees are not always most expensive. There are many factors involved in determining final price of a coffee, unfortunately quality of bean is only one of them.
La Minita comes from Tarrazu region of Costa Rica in Central America. This region has long been known for it’s quality coffee and remains one of finest growing regions in world. The La Minita Estate is located at pinnacle of this region on a spur between two rivers 5700 feet above sea level. The farm actually has several “Micro Climates” within farm which effect crop in different ways. The meticulous way in which coffee is grown, pruned, fertilized, shaded, and weeded all add to final product. Long before “Organic” was popular, this farm was using machetes to cut back weeds rather than chemicals. Long before “fair trade” was popular this farm was treating it’s employees with respect, providing dental and medical resources right on farm, paying above local scale, providing household items at below cost prices, and encouraged a coffee workers association to promote fair, safe and equitable conditions.
When “new crop” is in, samples are taken from each of micro growing regions on farm and cupped to determine years mix. The pickers start at daybreak and finish picking about noon. The days harvest is measured from each picker then at a central pick up point and again at mill. Every La Minita coffee bean arrives at mill same day it is picked which is essential in producing world’s best coffee. The milling process is more meticulous than other mills and beans are watched at each stage of preparation. When they have reached point where most beans would be bagged up and exported, LaMinita enters its final stage. Every bean is looked at by trained coffee sorters who go over and over beans removing any bean that may taint final cup.