Do it yourself coffee roasting!

Ever thought you could roast coffee in your frying pan at home? We tried it with Carlos in Neira (see previous blog), using some green coffee provided by Don Rafael. Maybe this method won't produce the perfect professional roast, but it certainly is a fun experience that will fill your home with freshly roasted coffee aromas!

Step 1: Roasting

We carried this out in the restaurant owned by Carlos's sister as she prepared lunch for the day's clients.

After cleaning and preheating the pan on a hob, we put the green beans in and covered with a lid (this is very important to ensure an even roast). Carlos constantly swirled the pan in a circular motion above the heat, mixing up the beans to ensure they roasted at the same rate. You need to be careful not to burn them and kept an ear out for the first 'pop', a sign that the beans are nearly ready. Once done, we transferred the roasted beans to a cold container to stop the roasting.

We went for a medium roast known as 'Monk's Robe', named after the colour of the monastical garment. To be honest, it's a bit hit and miss, although Carlos has an impressive swirling technique! A longer roasting will hide some of the coffee's characteristic flavours, potentially a good thing if the coffee is partially defective. 

Step 2: Grinding

We left the kitchen (to the relief of Carlos's sister) and ground the freshly roasted beans in an old grinder originally designed for nuts. The result was a thick coffee powder that smelled wonderfully!

Step 3: Tasting

And to finish this incredibly ‘scientific’ exercise we decided to make two pots of coffee, one using a French Press to draw out the floral/fruity notes, and another using an Italian Moka, for strength.

Conclusion? The frying pan method probably won't give you the best results in the world as it's difficult to control the level of roasting. But hey, it's actually surprisingly good considering the basic equipment, and a huge pleasure to drink coffee you've roasted yourself!

We finished up the morning discussing the coffee in front of an excellent ajiaco soup - a Colombian classic perfect for Sunday lunch. 

Thanks again Carlos!