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January 9, 2018 (Updated February 21, 2020)- by Steven E. Greer, MD
I used to go to Whole Foods for coffee beans and meat. The Tribeca store roasts onsite. In fact, I only started drinking coffee several years ago when the smell of some light roast aromatic beans caught my attention. Pour-over cups of coffee became my daily vice, just for the flavor.
Then, Amazon acquired Whole Foods and destroyed the company. Gristedes is better, literally.
So, I explored local pretentious coffee shops looking for sources of beans. I found that they all had stale dark roasts and hyped the origin of the bean rather than the type of roast. I taste tested several at One Line Coffee in Columbus and was disappointed. I then became shocked to see that they were charging $30 per pound.
Frustrated, I looked for a better solution. I thought to myself that it cannot be too hard to roast beans. I was right. It is literally just like popping popcorn, except that the coffee beans are more temperamental and will burn.
I watched a few YouTube videos and started to experiment. In a pinch, you can microwave green beans at 30-second bursts, careful to not burn them, and get a roast. You can also roast them on the stove top, but it requires nonstop stirring.
I decided to buy the $160 Nesco coffee roaster machine. It has a screw that constantly rotates the beans over hot air. It works great.
I can now obtain that delicate light roast, which is so hard to find in stores. There is much more flavor. Of course, I make the actual cup of coffee using the Greer pour-over method.
By the way, the reason Starbucks or any other large establishment serves dark roast is because it is the only way to make large consistent batches.
(At the time of this posting, there was nothing in the press about any trend of roasting coffee beans at home. But there soon will be because we set the culinary trends.)