So my new kick and plan for the new year is EXERCISE… No, jking… my 2012 kick is to get a roasting machine and attempt to roast our own coffee.
WHy you say? Well, let me back up. Last year or so we decided to start grinding our own coffee. In sufficiently large quantities of roasted beans we were able to get a FAR fresher taste and better coffee AND save money over the little containers of ground coffee at the store. Over the last year though, coffee has gotten more expensive making it more costly to get whole roasted beans now in what are the largest bags you can get at any of the grocery stores, the 2 pound bags. They are between $15 and $18 now :S. We WERE getting them for around $12.
So I said to myself, I said ‘Self, this is crazy, there must be a more cost effective way’. So I thought, why not step back one more level, how about I roast AND grind my own coffee, now we’re talking. You can’t get coffee fresher then that. In bulk, you can get a pound of green beans (unroasted beans) for 5 or 6 bucks compared with 8 or 9 bucks which is the cost of the smaller bags of beans. Our beans in the 2 pound bags are basically 8 a pound now. Bulk means 20 or 30 pounds of green beans. More cost savings the larger the quantity you get of course.
We spend between 300 and 400 a year on coffee bean (2 bags a month X $15 a bag). So at that rate, we might save $75 or $100 a year roasting our own. This doesn’t include the start up of a home roaster – $150 or so, and a grinder if you don’t already have one, $15 or so.
I found a great source online, greenbeanery.ca. They sell all things coffee for home roasters. Bulk, Roasters, Roasted beans, accessories, a large variety of beans from all over, AND its a non-profit created by environmentalists, how tree hugging is that eh?
Green Beanery is a Canadian non-profit company, created and staffed by environmentalists at Probe International and its sister organizations. We not only strive to bring you extraordinary coffees and coffee-making products from around the world, we also work to right failings in the world-wide coffee industry.
I’d like to start out with a small roaster and see if, like bread making, we can make this stick and become part of our routine. Ya it takes more time, but otherwise most people watch TV right? Instead, I’ll be roasting my own coffee, no chemicals, supporting free trade beans and generally hugging trees as much as I can.
My main purpose though is to save a tiny bit of money and maybe be able to make an even BETTER cup of coffee in the morning.
BTW, did you know you can use a popcorn maker to roast beans? Not sure I’ll bother trying that since if I spend $200 on a bulk bag of beans, I won’t want to waste any of it by accidently burning it 😛
Wish us luck! I’m sure I’ll be blogging on it as soon as I get a roaster! Watch out too, if it works, I may be starting an online ordering system where you can get your own hand roasted and ground Island coffee!
Interesting Information – not sure its fact or not but:
- Green Beans will store for up to 2 years
- Roasted Beans will be fresh up to 2 weeks
- Ground Coffee will stay fresh only up to 24 hours
(note that the above doesn’t take into account freezing, air sealed bags, refrigeration. I think its safe to assume though that even with your best sealing and preserving methods, if you can, its best to roast and grind only when you want brew a pot!)
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