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I used to roast my own. Coffee, that is. It was back in the sixties, and I was living in a little basement apartment in Chicago. I had an Italian Moka coffeepot, which was how people made their own "espresso," but the proper coffee was not available outside of Italian specialty stores. I bought A&P's "eight o'clock" coffee beans, roasted them in a skillet over an electric stove, and then ground them. I think I had a hand grinder. I don't remember, but if it was, I wish I still had it.
Now lots of people and even some small cafes roast their own. I have read that the Ethiopians use to roast their own in butter right at the table when they served coffee. They invented the stuff (coffee as beverage, not coffee beans. The gods invented coffee beans.) My cousin who lives near Seattle roasts his own with a recycled thrift store corn popper, which is how the extremely hip prefer to do it. He and his wife make great coffee. They scrupulously avoid scorching it and they get their beans by mail-order from Oakland, of all places.
I don't roast my own any more. In fact, I rarely brew my own, although I have the gear to do so. I have fallen for the sales pitch of the global premium coffee roasting cartel, epitomized by Victrola Coffee and the somewhat more corporatized Peets. They recommend professional roasting, a combination of art and science, and consumption of the roasted coffee within a few days after roasting. In rural Forestville, California, I recently found a place which roasts its own. It is in a hideous little strip mall, but the coffee beats Starbucks in an area where good coffee is hard to come by. I tasted some espresso, and unlike the product elsewhere, it was drinkable. On the other hand, it was nothing to blog about for Mother, unless you have another angle, such as roasting your own.Permanent Link to This Entry | | | Technorati Tag: Coffee
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