My First Home Coffee Roast

I recently watched a recorded talk given by Asher Yaron on fresh roasted coffee:

I admit that I was absolutely floored by the bold claims that Asher Yaron made in his presentation. I’ve owned an Aerobie Aeropress (~$25, for the past year and a half, and I’ve been happily pressing cups of coffee daily since. I had to investigate for myself whether fresh roasted coffee would make a difference.

At the time, I was nearing completion of yet another bag of Starbucks whole coffee beans. Soon I would be due for a re-up. A couple of weeks ago, I took a visit to Java Coffee & Tea Co. (2727 Fondren Rd, Houston, TX 77063) to discover what I might find in store.

I explained to the man behind the counter that I’d heard some wonderful things about fresh roasted coffee, and that I’d found Java Coffee & Tea Co. after a cursory search for a local coffee roaster. I asked him for the freshest roasted coffee that they had available – he advised that the Costa Rican “La Minita” Tarrazu fit the bill. I picked up a half pound of this, as well as a quarter pound of green Tanzanian Peaberry, and immediately set out to try the fresh roasted La Minita.

I finished the La Minita a couple of days ago. Eager now to try my hand at home roasting, I read up on the skillet roasting method at

I used a copper wok that I have at home, working under the assumption that copper’s even heating properties would be of some value in this enterprise. The Polder digital in-oven thermometer (~$30, that I had at hand only measures up to 392˚F, significantly shy of the 500˚F air temperature that I saw mentioned on Sweet Maria’s. I measured out four scoops of Peaberry and started the roasting process.

I didn’t time myself, but I listened for the “cracks”. The Peaberry is meant to roll easily, making it a good candidate for skillet roasting. It’s possible that I didn’t roast the coffee to the second crack. There was also chaff remaining on a significant number of beans. I observed that they took longer to grind than I am accustomed to. I brewed myself a cup shortly afterwards and noted that the flavor was.. green?

The results of this first roast could have been better, but it was a fun learning experience, and I’m prepared to take another crack at it. Update to follow.