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roasting coffee beans at home

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happyjacks

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I've thought about roasting beans myself but haven't crunched numbers nor looked at how much time it involves.
For those of you who are home-roasting your beans, how's it working out? Is it a cost-saving measure? or does it actually cost you more but you consider it one of the amenities you offer?
Does it take much time or a big learning curve? How easy or difficult is it to get consistent results?
There seems to be a big price range with home roasters. Any recommendations of features you need/don't need?
Any other thoughts welcome.
Thanks!
 

gillumhouse

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I am enjoying it. I think there is a difference in taste - but I have never been a gourmand about anything. Put it in front of me and I eat it is how I was brought up.
No, it is not a "big deal" operation. Costs, I really do not know once the roasting cost and shipping is added to the beans order, but I think it is saving me some. Once I start selling it (and actually have sold some) it will probably be a profitable item.
 

NW BB

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My DH is the one who does the roasting. It's a good hobby for him. He buys the green beans from a company on e-bay. We have 4 rooms and stay very busy, so he buys the beans in large quantity (40-60 lb bags). The green beans can be stored for a very long time without losing any quality. Once they're roasted, they have a shorter shelf life.
We started out with a small home roaster and our guests loved it so much, he burnt that one out in about a year, so he bought a bigger one. He roasts every 2-3 days. Unlike K, it's just roasters choice. We don't offer the guests a choice of beans. We do offer either drip or french press.
Here is a website that gives lots of information http://www.sweetmarias.com/
When we sell the beans, they are in a fancy one way valve bag. I don't have the exact figures for you, but I do know that it's cheaper, but even if it wasn't we would still do it because it's one of our special amenities that helps set us apart from others. I think the northwest is land of coffee snobs. On our 24 hour beverage station for the guests, we us a flavia machine for 1 cup brew coffee. The individual packets are kind of pricey, but it's a huge hit here.
 

gillumhouse

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My DH is the one who does the roasting. It's a good hobby for him. He buys the green beans from a company on e-bay. We have 4 rooms and stay very busy, so he buys the beans in large quantity (40-60 lb bags). The green beans can be stored for a very long time without losing any quality. Once they're roasted, they have a shorter shelf life.
We started out with a small home roaster and our guests loved it so much, he burnt that one out in about a year, so he bought a bigger one. He roasts every 2-3 days. Unlike K, it's just roasters choice. We don't offer the guests a choice of beans. We do offer either drip or french press.
Here is a website that gives lots of information http://www.sweetmarias.com/
When we sell the beans, they are in a fancy one way valve bag. I don't have the exact figures for you, but I do know that it's cheaper, but even if it wasn't we would still do it because it's one of our special amenities that helps set us apart from others. I think the northwest is land of coffee snobs. On our 24 hour beverage station for the guests, we us a flavia machine for 1 cup brew coffee. The individual packets are kind of pricey, but it's a huge hit here..
I buy 5 lb bags of the regular and usually 2 or 3 lbs of the decafe because there is a LTO less request for decafe. I usually reorder when I get down to about 1 lb and I get it withing the week.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Nice thing about Kathleen's roasting our beans as we asked for espresso roast (dark roast). The longer the bean is roasted the less the caffeine, fyi. The greener the bean the more caffeine.
(That sounded kinda rude "Kathelnee roastin' our beans" ha ha)
 

gillumhouse

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Nice thing about Kathleen's roasting our beans as we asked for espresso roast (dark roast). The longer the bean is roasted the less the caffeine, fyi. The greener the bean the more caffeine.
(That sounded kinda rude "Kathelnee roastin' our beans" ha ha).
A roastin' you bean
Pleaseda Kathaleen!
I was just happy that you liked the coffee as I KNOW you ARE coffee gourmands!
 

gillumhouse

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Funny thing, the NPR types almost ALWAYS choose FTO Peru because it is Fair Trade. They have no idea if it is a good tasting coffee, it is FTO.
 

YellowSocks

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We're very similar to NW BB... it's dh's thing, as he is the coffee lovah. He burned out a couple of smaller roasters so I spent the big bucks on a nice one ($500?? Can't remember...). He also finally realized that a medium roast has more caffeine and more "undertones of flavor" or some such, rather than the black ashes he used to make. This may have also helped the third roaster to outlast the others. It's a much nicer machine all around.
Also like NW BB, he buys 50 pounds of regular and 25 pounds of decaf at a time... the green beans can be stored a LONG time when unroasted. He generally roasts the night before. We haven't gotten around to selling it yet, but we will be soon. (We need to research and order bags... guess I should delegate that to him.)
We get raves on the coffee, and there's definitely an "ooh" factor when people know it's fresh roasted, ground, and brewed for them.
It's definitely cheaper, too (if you discount the cost of the machine and his labor for roasting...). His last order worked out to about $3.85/pound, including shipping.
Just like NW BB, it makes a great hobby for dh, and he gets a lot of raves from it.
=)
Kk.
 

happyjacks

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Thanks, everyone, for your feedback. Care to share the make/model of your roaster? Also, do you blend different types of beans to make your own 'house blend'?
 

gillumhouse

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Thanks, everyone, for your feedback. Care to share the make/model of your roaster? Also, do you blend different types of beans to make your own 'house blend'?.
I sent you a link to mine offline. Did you get it?
 

YellowSocks

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I forgot to say that that price is for green beans... when you roast them they loose weight.
=)
Kk.
 

JBanczak

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I'm a coffee fanatic - very impressed that some of you guys are roasting your own!!! I've always wanted to do that, haven't had the time to get into it yet. I'm jealous!
I've gotten a good grinder and a couple decent ways to brew it, but from what I've heard, roasting your own is the way to go.
 

happyjacks

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I like the idea of selling the beans, and also roasting them to order the night before checkout so they are very fresh.
Years ago I worked the afternoon shift and my coworker would sometimes bring in a treat for us. He would stop at a little roastery on his way to work and pick up some still-warm freshly roasted Blue Mountain and brew us a great pot of jo. Ahh. I think I need a coffee...
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I'm a coffee fanatic - very impressed that some of you guys are roasting your own!!! I've always wanted to do that, haven't had the time to get into it yet. I'm jealous!
I've gotten a good grinder and a couple decent ways to brew it, but from what I've heard, roasting your own is the way to go..
JBanczak said:
I'm a coffee fanatic - very impressed that some of you guys are roasting your own!!! I've always wanted to do that, haven't had the time to get into it yet. I'm jealous!
I've gotten a good grinder and a couple decent ways to brew it, but from what I've heard, roasting your own is the way to go.
Y'all need to get over to Seattle where they replaced the old Rainier Brewery on I-5 as you enter downtown from the south end with a coffee roasting plant for Tully's coffee - Fivebucks arch enemy in the Puget Sound. The last of the Seattle independants.
I am not sure if it is still there in that plant - Josh could verify. I mean imagine driving through a major city and smelling freshly roasted beans ALL THE TIME! It makes you a maniac.
PS also wanted to add besides how it is brewed - how it is ground makes a huge difference. Ultra Fine vs coarse. We make a coarser ground for the percolators for guests and a finer ground for our own use (stovetop Moka pot) for espresso.
 

Willowpondgj

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I am enjoying it. I think there is a difference in taste - but I have never been a gourmand about anything. Put it in front of me and I eat it is how I was brought up.
No, it is not a "big deal" operation. Costs, I really do not know once the roasting cost and shipping is added to the beans order, but I think it is saving me some. Once I start selling it (and actually have sold some) it will probably be a profitable item..
Maybe you already answered this, what kind of roaster do you have?
 

gillumhouse

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I am enjoying it. I think there is a difference in taste - but I have never been a gourmand about anything. Put it in front of me and I eat it is how I was brought up.
No, it is not a "big deal" operation. Costs, I really do not know once the roasting cost and shipping is added to the beans order, but I think it is saving me some. Once I start selling it (and actually have sold some) it will probably be a profitable item..
Maybe you already answered this, what kind of roaster do you have?
.
http://www.burmancoffee.com/equipment/NescoPro.html
Actually made in the good ol' USA. Keep them in business! Roast your own.
Regarding what Socks said about weight - you will put about 5 oz in the roaster and the yield will be about 4 oz of raosted beans. This one does not smoke.
 
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