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Locally Roasted

Sitting here, drinking coffee I roasted two days ago. You really cannot beat it.

I decided to start roasting my own a few years ago, after watching a presentation about rural living in the 1800s in Ohio. I’ve played around with roasting in the oven, on the grill, on the stovetop, and even over embers in a fireplace. You can buy home roasting units for $150+, but I get my best results from a $15 air popper. The roast is even and because it works on only small quantities, it is easy to have fresh roasted coffee in 7-9 minutes.I get my beans from Sweet Maria’s, usually in one pound bags. I’ll order five different varieties at a time, and those usually last me several months. Since I roast in tiny batches, I can play with roasting time to see how to draw out various flavors. I really enjoy it. 

I just finished my recent batch of an organic Mexican Oaxaca, which had some amazing cocoa notes and a light acidity. My next batch is an Ethiopian Yirga Cheffe. Looking forward to what I can coax out of it. 

If you enjoy coffee, it’s never been easier to do this at home. I highly recommend trying it. It’s very rewarding.

Published in My Thoughts


  1. When we were on the west coast of Thailand, we discovered fantastic coffee (read: the only good coffee) sold by a place called Gong Valley. It was about an hour north of where we were, so we made the trek and got a chance to meet Gong himself. He roasts all of his coffee — even the coffee he distributes — in woks. Yes, _woks_.

    He keeps some tiny ones on hand for visitors to demonstrate the process. There’s something special about roasting your own, a few dozen beans at a time.

    Funny thing: You use your air popper to roast coffee beans. I use my wok to make popcorn. Odd.

    • ctmiller ctmiller

      I hadn’t considered trying to use a wok before. That makes a certain sense. I’ll have to give it a shot.

      …for popcorn too.

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