So, I’m a musician. I avoid day jobs like the plague. I am a privileged white lady from a middle-class background and I am definitely not starving. The advice that I’m giving here definitely falls into the how-to-save-money-if-you-already-have-money category that’s described in this article/excerpt from a book on poverty in America.
Keeping all that in mind, I still want to talk about how we at my house roast our coffee.
Want to know more about brewing up some delightful hot brown bean-juice?
Even if I had all the cash I could ever want, I would still roast coffee because it’s fucking delicious. Last year a friend of mine turned me on to Sweet Maria’s, a distributor of fair trade, organic green coffee. They seem to have personal relationships with each of their growers (although I can’t really find that much info about that on their site—they mostly focus on the flavors of the coffee itself). These people know stuff about coffee, and they will tell you all about how you can go about roasting and brewing it.
As a coffee-snob-in-training, this is just the best. I roast my coffee 1/3 cup at a time in a hot air popcorn popper I picked up from a thrift store. The roasting process takes only about 4-5 minutes per batch, can mystify and impress your friends if they ring your doorbell mid-batch, and can add excitement to your life if you go too dark with the roast (i.e. burn your coffee in a starschmucks fashion), setting off your smoke alarm.
Want to know more about brewing up some delightful hot brown bean-juice (this guy’s words)? Chuck Wendig talks about how he makes a perfect cup of pourover coffee in detail over here at his blog. (Word to the wise: you don’t need a Chemex to make a really good cup of pourover coffee.) Or, if you make ice cream out of your fresh beans, so much the better.
But here’s the clincher: green (unroasted) coffee can be less than half the price of decent (and likely stale) roasted coffee, and is going to be much more affordable than nice coffee from fancypants roasters and—I shall say this unequivocally and with complete confidence even in the face of my own ignorace—will be as good as or better than the fancypants coffee. And you don’t even have to know that much about coffee.
Because I don’t know that much about coffee. But I do know, that after roasting it at home for a year (a year in which I purchased all but two—two!—8 lb samplers of green coffee), I’ll keep doing it indefinitely.