A few months ago, I finally took the lead of my friend Elizabeth and began to dabble in the practice of home coffee roasting. I ordered a started kit from Sweet Marias and one of the leading books on home coffee roasting from Amazon. After reading the book, I dove in and made a few batches of coffee. They were all drinkable but at the same time, I wasn’t completely sure what I was doing. Its one thing to read about how to do something, and another to actually be doing it. When I saw that the Institute for Domestic Technology was going to offer a class in Home Coffee Roasting led by one of the roasters from LAMill Coffee, I was intrigued.
The Institute for Domestic Technology grew out of the now
defunct (on temporary hiatus) Altadena Urban Farmer’s Market (a rogue farmer’s market) and offers classes mainly at the historic Zane Grey estate in Altadena. They offer classes in cheese making, bread making, food preservation and other domestic arts that are less practiced these days.
The class began with a tasting of a tea (known as cáscara) in Spanish) made from the dried fruit of the coffee cherry. It’s rarely exported outside of the coffee producing countries and most notably drank in Bolivia.
Underneath the fruit, the bean still has a hull coating that needs to be removed before roasting:
Once the hull is removed, you can roast the green beans. I’ll let that story be told in this LA Times Piece:
The next DIY frontier: roasting coffee beans at home by Betty Hallock
In the end…I ended up with these: