Attempting to fathom everything in the universe (mecurious) wrote,
Attempting to fathom everything in the universe
mecurious

An update on my journey to better coffee...

A while back I posted about how one can roast their own coffee (from green coffee beans) using nothing more than a popcorn air popper. This works quite well and I recommend it, however the air popper almost does too fast of a job of it. I desired to slow the roasting process down a bit. I found a nice plan for modifying the air popper. It took about $25 worth of parts and when it was done I had a plastic box attached to the air popper which holds two switches (one for each of the two heating coils in the air popper) and a transformer/dimmer switch which was now controlling the air popper's fan motor. I also got a big metal (dial face) thermometer and put it in the top of the air popper with the probe reaching down into the beans, so I could monitor and record the temperatures.I've just begun working with this this past weekend, but so far I am very satisfied with the results.

My journey into making espresso drinks at home is on hold until I get my coffee grinder. Believe it or not, some people pay $200-$300 (and more) for an electric burr grinder. I was interested in getting the best grind I could, but not interested in spending that much, so I went the "low tech" route and got a well-respected Zassenhaus hand grinder. You can purchase them lots of places, but I got a nice one on eBay and saved about $20. (Hopefully it will arrive sometime this week!) The burrs on the Zassenhaus are made of tool steel and are supposed to last forever. You can vary the size of the grind by simply turning a nut on the top of the grinder, which moves the burrs closer to one another.

I also got a sampler pack (8 different 1/2 lb bags) of green beans. I also purchased two pounds of Kenya AA beans from a local roaster. There is also a green coffee co-op that I may be trying which offers green beans at rediculously low prices. I'm looking at getting some Nicaraguan Segovia for $1.26/lb.

So my Gaggia Carezza & Reg Barber tamper will be getting a workout soon! For now, my home roasted coffee is being consumed via the drip method (using a Chemex). I may be getting the French Press out and trying that again when my grinder gets here.
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