Roasting Coffee with Jake

Mary Dougherty

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ABOUT mary

I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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This post is brought to you by Jake!

I started drinking coffee at age 5. My parents and let me join their daily coffee ritual by drinking chocolate milk as my “coffee” while they sipped the real thing. One Christmas at Grandma’s, I sat at the table and asked her for my beverage of choice: coffee! My parents apparently didn’t inform Grandma that this meant chocolate milk, so without even thinking about it she poured my very first cup of coffee. Best Grandma EVER! (for that Christmas anyway: of course I don’t have favorites)

For the past few years our family has begun roasting our own coffee beans, and when I’m home I like to find time to fit in a quick roast. The roaster I uses an off-axis mechanical agitation with a hot air heat source. Without going into too much of the process, I set the temperature at 469 degrees Fahrenheit and set the timer for 25 minutes. I watch carefully when the timer is down to about 10-15 minutes starting the cooling process right before the beans are at the roast point I want. Like a steak, the beans will continue to roast ever so slightly when the actual heating stops. Different times and temperatures produce different roasts, and change the flavor of the beans. In the case of many African origin coffees, lighter to medium roasts will be fruity and sweet, but as the roast darkens, the notes turn to a chocolaty/cocoa base. My favorite flavor and not-so-much- favorite flavor come out of the same origin bean at different roast points. Who knew?

Read on to see what my roasting process looks like…

For some coffee roasting supplies and a wide variety of green (unroasted) coffee beans, check out Sweet Maria’s. They also have a huge library with articles on everything from coffee bean cell structure to diy roasters.

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