How I Got Hooked: Journey to Roasting Green Coffee

The Social Drinker

My love for coffee started in a small dorm room my first year in college. Tired from study and a little lonely, I accepted the invitation from a friend across the hallway to have some coffee in his room. I didn’t really like coffee at that time, but I wanted the company for a bit. Being poor college kids, we also didn’t have milk or sugar on hand, so it was black, cheap cup of coffee. That cup was not particularly tasty, but it sparked my interest in coffee as a social drink. From that moment on, I started using coffee shops for just about everything. I went there to study, to catch up with friends, meet mentors, to go on dates. Coffee was more than a social drink for me, it was the whole of my social efforts. Yeah, it was a little sad, but I had some good coffee.

 Blueberry Bomb

A few years later I was in a class with a friend of mine who in passing one day mentioned that he roasted his own coffee beans. This was novel to me. How does that work? He kindly gave me a sampling of his Ethiopian Yirgacheffe he recently roasted in his air popcorn popper, and, wow!!!!! I never had anything like it (and I have yet to replicate it); the coffee tasted like a cup full of blueberry juice! I couldn’t believe it. I had only recently transitioned from whatever cheap coffee I could find to Starbucks. Now I had a whole new passion. I had to become a home roaster.

Home Roasting

My first fore into home roasting was to buy a West Bend Air Crazy popcorn popper (the link is an updated version, mine was discontinued). For $20, it’s hard to beat as an intro level roaster. Shortly thereafter my parents gifted me a Fresh Roast SR500, which I have been using pretty much ever since. I also have a Frankenstein roaster that I put together from an old gas grill my neighbor gave me using a rotisserie and an RK Drum batch roaster. As I am the only one in my house that drinks coffee, I mostly use my SR500.

Tell me your story about how you fell in love with coffee!

“This comprehensive but accessible handbook is for the average coffee lover who wants to make better coffee at home. Unlike other coffee books, this one focuses exclusively on coffee—not espresso—and explores multiple pour-over, immersion, and cold-brew techniques on 10 different devices.”

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