Black Coffee in Bed

 Believe it or not, someone has compiled a ranking of the best songs with a coffee flavour. My all time favourite - Black Coffee in Bed by Squeeze - topped the list. Does that mean I have good taste as far as music goes?

Video 1: Black Coffee in Bed by Squeeze

I have been roasting my own coffee for about 5 years now using a basic roaster. Indeed, today is the 'Wood' anniversary of my first roast: Ethiopian Sidamo. 

Video 2: Coffee Roasting - First Crack

I have always bought my green coffee beans from Rave Coffee - they offer a good choice at a reasonable price with free postage & packing on orders over £25 (typically, 5 x 500 g bags).

One of the advantages of roasting your own coffee beans is that you get the opportunity to taste a wide range of flavours from many coffee-producing regions. So far, my roasting efforts have encompassed the produce from 17 different countries (Table 1). You don't get that sort of selection at the local supermarket!

Table 1: Home-roasted Quantities (kg) and Countries

A full list of coffee beans roasted at home is given in Table 2.

Table 2: Country of Origin, Coffee Type/Name and Roasted Quantities (kg)

Country

Coffee Type/Name

Quantity

Brazil

Amecafe Blend

0.5

Brazil

Santos

0.5

Brazil

Zona de Varginha

1.5

Brazil

Fazendre Campestre #109

4.5

Brazil

Swiss Water Decaffeinated

0.5

Burundi

Gisha

0.5

Colombia

La Crystalina

0.5

Colombia

Suarez Project

1.5

Colombia

Monteverde

1.0

Colombia

Villamaria

0.5

Colombia

El Carmen #50

4.0

Colombia

El Carmen Sugarcane Decaffeinated

4.0

Costa Rica

La Candelilla

1.0

East Timor

Raimutin #71

0.5

El Salvador

El Horno

3.0

Ethiopia

Sidamo

5.5

Ethiopia

Yirgacheffe Bollodu #1

0.5

Guatemala

Bosques de San Francisco

3.5

Guatemala

Bueno Vista Concepsion

0.5

Honduras

Clave de Sol Honey (organic)

0.5

India

Monsooned Malabar

2.0

Indonesia

Kerinci

0.5

Indonesia

V Tani Gayo #100

3.0

Indonesia

Ihtiyeri Keti Ara (IKA)

1.0

Kenya

Tinganga Estate

0.5

Kenya

Kagumoini AA

0.5

Kenya

Ndaroini AB#10

0.5

Kenya

Tegu AB

1.0

Kenya

Kii

0.5

Mexico

#88 Paraje los Machos

0.5

Papua New Guinea

Elimbaria

1.0

Papua New Guinea

Lamari #51

1.5

Peru

Cajamarca Regional

1.0

Rwanda

Baho #87

0.5

Sumatra

Tano Batak

1.0

Sumatra

Mandheling

2.5


In total, I have roasted 52 kg during my five years of home roasting. As I would typically roast 500 g at a time, this works out at a roast every 2½ weeks. Very easy in the spring, summer and autumn when at least one day of the week is dry - roasting always takes place outdoors as there can be quite a bit of smoke and stem. Logistics in winter can be a little trickier so it helps to plan ahead.

Apart from the wide selection of coffee beans available to home roasters, the other major advantage of home roasting is that freshly roasted beans taste so much better. Even if you do not roast them yourself, it is still worth buying roasted coffee beans for home-grinding because these remain fresh for 3 - 4 weeks. Ground coffee, on the other hand will start to go stale after about one week.

[Note: green coffee beans stay fresh for 6 - 12 months so you can keep a small stock on hand ready to prepare freshly roasted coffee]

Can you save money by roasting your own green coffee beans? Let's do a few sums!
  • Firstly, you'll need a roaster. The type I use costs £90 on Amazon although I paid somewhat less than this 5 years ago. If I assume my current machine lasts for another 4 years (9 years in total) then the capital outlay would add £1 per 900 g of roasted coffee. [Note: processed green coffee beans contain about 10-12 % water that is reduced to about 2 % in the final roasted product. So, 1 kg of green coffee beans will produce about 900 g of roasted beans]
  • My 1.2 kW machine takes about 20 minutes to roast the beans, so just under 1 kWh to roast 1 kg of coffee beans. I estimate electricity costs to be around £0.30 per kg 
  • Green coffee beans cost between £10 - £25 per kg provided you avoid the silly prices being asked for Jamaican Blue Mountain green beans (£130/kg). Since a kilogram of green beans will yield about 900 g of roasted coffee, this works out at £11 - £28 per kilogram for roasted coffee beans
  • Adding up all the costs for home-roasting (capital outlay for the roaster, electricity usage and the cost of the green beans), you can expect to pay somewhere between £12.50 and £30 per kilogram; typically, £20 to £25 per kilogram
  • What is the price for roasted coffee beans? £25 - £45 per kg seems a fairly typical range, with an average around £35/kg
  • Consequently, do-it-yourself coffee roasting not only gives you fresher and better tasting coffee (IMHO), it also saves you money - about 30% - 40%.
Finally, I would like to give a shout out to the coffee blenders. While I'm very happy enjoying my single origin home-roasted coffees, I very much appreciate those skilled in the art of blending different origin coffees. Which is why I still enjoy seeking out good coffee from independent coffee shops.

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts