WHY ROAST YOUR OWN COFFEE?
The most asked question regarding home roasting is
"Why home roast?"
The answer to the question is as simple as is roasting coffee itself: "enormous benefits to the quality, cost, society, and environment".
One of the truest statements ever made about home roasting coffee is "the worst home roasted coffee is better than anything you can buy".
Unfortunately, despite the proliferation and growth of the gourmet coffee industry, more often than not coffee sent to market is either stale or made with poor quality beans. This, in many cases, is because of logistical issues of shipping from point to point, not because of outright neglect.
The fact is, coffee begins losing its key flavor characteristics within seven (7) days immediately after roasting. According to coffee experts, there is no bag, can, or container of any type that helps to retain these essential qualities. 99% of all coffee drinkers have never experienced the naturally occurring characteristics such as blueberry, chocolate, lemon, currant, or even sassafrass. With home roasting, however, these flavors come to life.
Next you have issues of quality. According to FDA rules and lax industry standards, coffee can allow up to 30% rocks, twigs and moldy beans (called triage) and still be labeled pure coffee. In some cases beans are so moldy they require steam cleaning to remove the mold. In other cases, the coffee is so bitter, that it must be steamed to make it somewhat palatable, inevitably weakening the flavor. Compounding this reduction of quality is the fact these same companies that allow for triage also receive coffee that is machined-picked. This often involves the mixing of ripe, juicy, red coffee berries with over-ripe and/or un-ripened bitter green ones. This makes for a bitter cup of coffee.
Home roasting, with your help, can work to change all that.
It affords the home roaster the opportunity to control quality and to enjoy something that only a small group is and has been enjoying for decades, possibly centuries.
* Some leading experts feel the degradation of flavors begins in as little as three (3) days.
* An excellent article on quality issues pertaining to coffee is "Coffee that's Good to the Last Twig" by Katy McLaughlin .
* New Orleans is the largest coffee import location in the USA. After Katrina much of the rain-soaked and damaged coffee still made its way to market. Possibly into the cup you had this morning or are having right now.
Everyday, coffee drinkers worldwide spend $2 - $5 for a simple cup of coffee or coffee-based drink, and anywhere between $10 and upwards of $75 for a pound of coffee.
Why do that?
Home roasting affords you the opportunity to drink the finest coffees in the world for an average of $6 a pound or an astonishing $0.15 (fifteen) a cup.
Our home coffee roasters you to enjoy the world's greatest coffees and save money all while helping the coffee workers and the environment.
Societal benefits are perhaps the most overlooked of benefits to home roasting.
Currently, the coffee industry statistics show approximately 80% of the worlds production of coffee is controlled by the canned coffee industry. The large agri-businesses and their suppliers care almost solely about profits and buy/supply the cheapest, lowest quality beans possible. This often results in dangerously low wages for the workers and their families. In many cases, due to these low wages, men from small villages in coffee growing regions are forced to seek work, often illegally, in other countries merely so they can feed their families and possibly provide an education.
In other cases, large government-supported coffee farms dump low-quality excess coffee into the market. This drives the price of coffee down so low that in some regions, such as Colombia, coffee farms are forced to shut down or turn to growing other commodities, such as coca - the base ingredient for cocaine
Home roasting can work to change all that.
By home roasting, you can directly decide on where to buy your green beans. You can decide if the supplier is offering "fair trade" coffee, which guarantees a living wage to the worker. You can decide to buy from a green bean supplier who strives to guarantee (even if the coffee is not fair trade), that the coffee farmer pays a living wage to the workers.
By home roasting you can make the choice that agri-businesses deny you.
For decades, large coffee farms that mainly supply the canned coffee market have required huge swaths of land to grow coffee. This land, more often than not, sits on the edge or even in the middle of rainforests or other areas that balance the earth's ecosystem. But in order to farm such lands, the areas must be cleared of brush and denuded of trees to allow for large chemical sprayers, bean picking combines, and other equipment to drive through. This destroys the natural order of an extremely delicate environmental system that countless plants and animals call home. The destruction of the rainforest also has devastating effects for earth's human inhabitants. Rainforests supply not only 25% of the world's oxygen, but also play a major role in regulating the earth's climate. Many ingredients for necessary medicines such aspirin and quinine are found in the rainforest - as well as possible future treatments for cancer, some scientists believe.
This says nothing of the gas consumed and air pollution caused by people driving to coffee shops, waiting in drive thru lines and all the related pollutants from the cups, cream containers, and other garbage.
Home roasting can work to change that.
By home roasting, the coffee offered and supplied will be coming from the small and medium sized coffee farms. These farmers recognize the delicate balance of their ecosystem and work to integrate the coffee plants into the natural environment without destroying it.
It is not often that can we do something so enjoyable with so many benefits.