Do you love coffee? Have you ever tried roasting your own coffee beans? Here I recount my first ever attempt at home-roasted coffee beans, using a kit from the good people at Cracking Beans.*
Gentle reader: My name is Michael, and I must confess that I am rather fond of coffee. I somehow steered clear of the stuff (and, indeed, of all hot beverages) until the age of 18 (although I always liked the smell of coffee). I can’t remember why I finally gave coffee a go once I was 18. But I am eternally grateful that I did.
Coffee has fuelled my world for a good many years. I do wonder if the blog on which you read these words would ever have existed, were it not for the coffee bean?
If you love coffee, how do you most like to consume it? Over recent years, I have come to favour coffee in what I consider to be its purest form: Espresso, with nowt added.
The years leading up to this preference were years of coffee experimentation. I have liked and enjoyed most forms of coffee (but I could somehow never get behind the latte – although I will of course defend to the end your own right to latte, should that be your preference.
If you love coffee, how do you most like to prepare it? Or do you prefer to outsource it completely to your friendly local barista?
Late last year, my wife realised that after more than three decades’ coffee appreciation/addiction (delete as applicable), there was perhaps something missing from my caffeinated life. To fix this, she got me a quite lovely Christmas gift: a home coffee roasting kit from Cracking Beans, with which to roast my own coffee beans for the first time. It consists of a stainless steel saucepan with a turning mechanism to ensure an even roast. The kit comes complete with a bag of unroasted coffee beans, and an instruction sheet so simple even I could follow it.
I finally got around to my inaugural attempt at roasting my own coffee beans on Saturday 12 March 2022. The resulting roast then had to be allowed to rest overnight, so the first cup was brewed and drunk the following day (Sunday 13 March 2022). Here is a brief visual diary of this wonderful coffee experience.
Stage one: The roasting!
My first ever home-roasted coffee beans!
Post-roasting, I have to leave them to ‘breathe’ overnight before they can be ground and slurped.
Will they be worth the wait (and the earlier smoke alarm activation)?
Stage two: The grinding!
First roasted beans now ground. Looks and smells rather nice, I have to say!
Stage three: The brewing!
The ground beans are brewed with my trusty and long-serving Bialetti Moka Express stovetop espresso maker. But how will it taste?
Stage four: The very first cup is poured!
A Cyberman cup seemed a good choice for this first ever cup of MJCarty Roast.
Stage five: The sipping!
The first sip! This is remarkably nice. A mark or two deducted for the barista** spelling my name wrong. But otherwise a highly acceptable espresso!
Post scriptum: The caffeination!
My first cup of espresso with my home-roasted beans seemed to be a good bit stronger than I had imagined it would be. The caffeination was real! On reflection, this must have been the most recently-roasted espresso that I had ever in my life sampled, and so the resulting brew was probably a good bit stronger than I would have guessed. I have used a smaller quantity of ground coffee in my subsequent espressos using this home-roasted blend, which seems to have solved that initial issue of mild over-caffeination.
Roast, sip, repeat? Yes please!
* This post is 100% not sponsored. I was so pleased with my wife’s gift of the Cracking Beans home roasting kit that I wanted to celebrate and share its greatness here.
** The barista on this occasion was, of course, me!
- The images in this post originally appeared in an MJCarty Twitter thread tracking the roasting and brewing as it unfolded on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March 2022.