Coffee & Tea

San Francisco Bay Area

Coffee roasting: web source


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Coffee & Tea 3

Coffee roasting: web source

Phil Coffino | Sep 27, 2001 05:20 PM

It is easy to think that people who roast their own coffee are fussy/peculiar, a belief that I shared until a few months ago. My small family makes and drinks 4-6 espresso cups a day, and until recently bought beans from Peets or other local SF suppliers. In a search for a web source of espresso cups (porcelain, not cup contents)I happened on Sweet Maria's ( Among other coffee-related products, they offer green beans from scores of regions, each described in excruciating detail, and the equipment for roasting same. I ended up buying a popcorn-type hot air roaster for a little more than $100, and a variety of coffees at $5-7 per pound green. I have not bought store-roasted coffee since. Each night I roast a half cup, the capacity of the roaster and by good chance the family's daily need.

The process takes about one minute of my active involvement, and a total roasting time with this device of 6-8 minutes roast time plus 5 minutes cool down- the gadget does it all, except measuring, loading and unloading beans.

The results are great tasting coffee and access to varieties not available locally. The good results presumably result from some combination (in proportions unkown to me) of fresh roast, quality beans and the novel experience of appreciating the varietal character of beans from a highly specific source, rather like single malt scotch versus a blend. You also get to control the extent of roast, a simple matter of timing. It also saves a bundle- the cost of the roaster is quickly amortized, and you are then drinking better than Peets at less than half the price.

Give it a try. You don't need to be fussy/peculiar (although that is certainly no obstacle!). There may be better sources than Sweet Maria's and in fact the roaster comes packed with a list of green bean suppliers, some in San Francisco. I have no stake in SM's, except as a satisfied customer.


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