The perfect cuppa: home roasting and grinding
I've always been a coffee lover. I'd drink it all day long if it didn't give me the jitters. But trying to do what's good for me I gave it up recently for a few days, only to come across two things that made me do a complete 180.
1. A recent article by Business Insider, and similar evidence
Turns out coffee's not as bad as we all thought. It's rich in antioxidants, and may even have a part to play in reducing risk of illnesses such as diabetes, Alzeheimer's and Parkinson's disease. I was heartened.
2. A TEDx video by Asher Yaren
Asher is on a mission to create the perfect coffee, and his plantation in Bali it well set up to do it, optimising everything from bean to coffee bar.
In particular, he says most of the coffee we drink is stale - coffee only stays fresh for up to 7 days once roasted.
Why was I drinking all this old stale coffee? I decided to take matters into my own hands. Here's how:
Roasting and Grinding
1. Order the beans
I ordered raw green coffee beans (opting for the Peruvian variety) from the Coffee Bean shop - where else? They arrived within a couple of days but you do pay a significant portion for delivery.
Roasting is actually really simple. You put the beans in a pan on a medium heat and stir well for 15 mins or so. Getting the beans to roast evenly is the hardest bit, so I actually had a bowl next to me that I kept pouring the beans into and then back to the pan so that they turned properly. You keep going until the beans start to crackle and pop a bit like popcorn. You want them to look slightly paler than you'd expect as they'll continue to roast once you take them off the heat.
3. Cooling the beans
Next you spread the beans evenly on a plate, allowing them to cool and loose their bitterness. I've heard different things about what length of time is optimal - Asher recommends 11 hours, others up to 2 days. I allowed 12 hours and the beans we're bitter at all.
You need a good blender for this or maybe your coffee machine has a grinder built in. With the right equipment, though, this stage only takes a few seconds
Your freshly ground coffee is now ready to prepare as you wish. I opted for our Bialetti cafetiere to enjoy the taste pure and simple - stirring in a scoop of coffee and allowing to brew for 5-10mins.