Pan Roasting My Own Coffee

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Pan roasting coffee beans

Taking a handful of unroasted Indian Malabar coffee beans (purchased at Brûlerie de Jourdain—see the post on Tuesday, March 2), I placed them in a cast-iron skillet over a high flame. I rapidly tossed the beans with two wooden spatulas until they became as dark as the sample of roasted coffee beans that had been given to me. The roasting process took about ten minutes. I heard the beans crackle as they roasted, a good sign! Eventually, the beans began to glisten and smoke rose from the skillet, indicating that coffee oils were burning. Finally, I removed the roasted beans to a cool dish.

Coffee beans - before roast and after

The beans were unevenly roasted, but I don’t think that this can be helped if roasted in a skillet. After they had cooled, I transferred them to a coffee grinder. As I ground them, they gave off a wonderful, sweet coffee aroma. I brewed the grind in a French coffee press, the water heated to 80° C. When I poured a little water the grind it gave off a tarry aroma. This, I think, indicates that some of the beans were over-roasted, possibly burnt. In any case, I added additional water, and then tasted the brew. It had a strong, dark-roast flavor that I found quite agreeable.

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