Inspired by down–to–earth‘s On Your Mind Fridays.
Last year I bought a small iRoast2 home coffee roaster for my husband, because he was interested in learning more about coffee roasting (like most true coffee geeks). When he was working for Starbucks we got free coffee every week, so there was little need to use the roaster and it didn’t get pulled out very often. Now that we’re not getting free coffee, using the roaster seemed like a good way to reduce weekly coffee costs. At first we purchased green (unroasted) beans from our local Whole Foods, but this was not much of a savings, the beans he liked were $9.45/lb.
Enter online shopping! We just purchased a sample pack from Sweet Maria’s, which includes 8 different coffees from Central/South America, Africa, and Asia/Pacific. At $45 including shipping, this comes out to about $5.60/lb. in comparison, a pound of coffee from Starbucks ranges from about $9 to $15/lb. A pound of coffee lasts approximately a week, so this shipment should last until April. Averaging at $11, 1 year of bought roasted premium coffee would be ~$575/year, home roasting at $5.50/lb would be ~$285/year, a savings of ~$290 or ~50%. Not bad!
Coffee roasting is definitely a fun way to geek out about coffee. You get to play around and learn what it means to the flavor when specific beans are roasted at different temperatures/times. If you’re interested in giving it a try, I suggest Home Coffee Roasting: Romance & Revival by Kenneth Davids. While we have a dedicated appliance for coffee roasting, you can take a more homesteader angle and roast in a cast iron pan, or use a modified whirly-pop on the stove or even modify an air popcorn popper to roast the coffee. This book has instructions for making the modifications and how to roast.