Have you ever thought…
WHY does coffee smell so damn good, but taste so bitter?
If you are the kind of person that loves the way the house smells when a pot of coffee is brewing, you need to read on…
All roasted ground and most roasted whole bean coffees at the grocery store try to blend coffee beans from different origins to achieve a consistent single flavor profile year over year. All this effort to be consistent and find the flavor at the right price that appeals to the broadest cross-section of America – causes these coffees to be overly bland, bitter and have little distinctive character. That’s why you see some brands add grains to the blend, so they can include cheaper beans and still provide a smooth cup, examples include: the brand that tells time and your favorite doughnut shop around the corner ;-). Unfortunately, this means most consumers have never tasted how good a cup of coffee can really taste. Single origin coffee beans from Indonesia, India, Ethiopia, Brazil, Mexico, Hawaii and Jamaica (to name a cross-section) all taste radically different when brewed individually. Characteristic flavor profiles would be: thick textures from Indonesia, spiciness from Ethiopia, creaminess from Brazil, chocolaty from Mexico and sweet from Hawaii/Jamaica. Perhaps now, you are beginning to see how coffee CAN taste as good as it smells?
So, can you enjoy high quality coffee and save money in the process?
YES you can!
Roast your own green coffee beans! It’s easy, takes a bit of time and you will need to order the coffee beans from the internet to get the best quality and selection… BUT, YOU WON’T BE SORRY! Green coffee beans of good quality cost between $5-8 per pound. If you are like I was, I paid $9-12 per 1/2 pound of premium roast coffee at the grocery store. Based on your consumption, calculate your savings by roasting your own. If you are like us, we consume roughly 15 lbs of coffee every 3-4 months. That’s roughly 45 lbs per year. With a cost of $9 per 1/2 lb at the grocery store, this would calculate to $810/yr in coffee expense vs. $270/yr roasting your own! If you enjoy good coffee regularly like we do, you will pay for your equipment in savings in a little over one year!
Here are two roasters that I have owned and have worked well for me:
The first only lasted me 18 months and did not handle dark roasts especially well. Although, if you only drink coffee at home a few days per week, this will be fine. The second was just right for me and my wife. Obviously, we drink way too much coffee…
Coffee vs. Espresso
Espresso has less acid and less caffeine than drip-brewed coffee and is my preference. I would drink a plain Americano any day, over brewed coffee. Although, I do realize… espresso equipment can be expensive, but again the flavors added by the espresso process are so much more enjoyable!
If you must drink brewed coffee…
BUY A FRENCH PRESS! … and throw your drip coffee maker away. French press coffee is so much richer and has much more complex flavors with less bitterness.
This is my espresso machine. It is a 2 year old model and I am VERY happy with it:
Here is my burr grinder:
I bought the two on sale two years ago for a package price of $499. If you go down this path, you will learn quickly how the build quality of the grinder is more important to the taste of the espresso, than the espresso maker. If you can afford one, spend the money on a quality grinder. I had a cheap one at one time… but with my current grinder the espresso tastes so much better.
Where to buy green coffee beans
These are my two favorite web retailers for green coffee beans:
I have purchased beans from several retailers and you would think it might not make a big difference, BUT IT DOES! These retailers provide consistent quality, detailed accurate descriptions of flavor profiles and finally just plain good tasting coffee. If you try others I am sure you will find some awful coffee, like I did. Not to say there aren’t other quality suppliers out there, but I found these and they have fit my needs very well.
So, when do you start home roasting?
Less than half the cost, better tasting coffee, more diverse flavors… Why are you waiting?