Miriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who had been imprisoned and sentenced to execution for refusing to recant her Christian faith, has arrived, along with her husband and children, safely in New Hampshire, where they will make their home. What wonderful news. Praise God! Read story HERE.
I visited a friend the other day and watched her roast green coffee beans in a cast iron skillet on top of the electric range. Looked easy enough to me and what fun to roast one's own coffee!
She had the largest burner on Medium and constantly stirred the beans with a wood paddle. Soon we heard the significant 'first crack.' Stirring constantly, after a while the beans went to 'second crack,' which seemed a little indistinguishable to me from 'first crack,' but I'm sure one gets the hang of this after a while. Evidently 'second crack' is a much sharper crack, so if you are very attentive (not my strong point) you can probably figure this out.
Sound is a good indicator of bean temperature during roasting. There are two temperature thresholds called "cracks" that roasters listen for. At about 200–202 °C (392–396 °F), beans will emit a cracking sound much like popcorn does when it pops, only much quieter. This point is called "first crack," marking the beginning of light roasts. When the beans are at about 224–226 °C (435–439 °F), they emit a "second crack." During first and second "crack" pressure inside the bean has increased to the point where the structure of the bean fractures, rapidly releasing gases, thus an audible sound is emitted.
From YouTube, here's a little video of that roasting and cracking.
Yes, that is smoke. The beans will smoke and you'll need to have a really good range hood on your stove to avoid filling the house with smoke. Because my range fan is far above our electric range, and not adequate for this kind of project, I'm going to purchase a hot plate that I can use outdoors for my personal bean roasting. I have quite a collection of cast iron skillets that have been in the family for years, so I'm all set on that point, and I just bought a wood paddle for the stirring.
This is a photo to show you the chaff that pops off the outside of the beans. You can just blow them off the beans (and have chaff everywhere), or I suppose you could leave it until you get outdoors. This is just a photo so you can see what the chaff looks like.
When the beans have reached the desired color - and it will not be uniform - then you can pour them into metal cake pans and set outdoors to cool and off-gas. The beans will be ready to use in about 24 hours.
Brewed from home-roasted coffee beans
Of course I've now ordered my own green coffee beans and can't wait to try my hand at the skillet roasting process! The beans I bought are from Honduras, Mexico, and Ethiopia, because I liked the descriptions, but
Hondoras, Ocotepeque Manuel Espana
Mexico, Oaxaca La Lagunilla
Ethiopia, Dry Process Gr. 1 Yirga Cheffe Konga
Beans are about $6.50/Lb. at SweetMarias.com. Sometimes they run specials. When I purchased mine, they had a special on shipping, so that was helpful. I need to spend more time learning the coffee lingo at SweetMarias.com. There one can learn all about the various roasts - City, Full City, Vienna, French, Spanish, etc. etc.
For example, from SweetMarias.com:
*City, Full City note: I have been dividing up the roasts around City and Full City into finer distinctions using the + sign. So City (or sometimes I write "true City roast" means the coffee has fully cleared 1st crack, and the roast is stopped (about 425-430 f). City+ means the coffee has cleared first crack, and time is allowed for an even bean surface appearance to develop, about 435f usually. Full City, or "true Full City" is where the coffee is roasted to the verge of 2nd crack without entering it, which is about 440-445f. Full City+ is where the coffee is roasted to the verge of 2nd crack and enters it slightly, but the coffee is dumped/roast is ended at that point, so the batch has no momentum to truly enter 2nd crack, roughtly 445-448f.
Beyond that and we are talking Vienna roast in my book.'
And you thought it was just a cup of coffee.
My friend gave me some roasted beans to take home. I brewed the coffee in my cool French press. I mean, after all, how could I possibly brew them in a plain old coffee maker? Now I'm hunting for some Icelandic wool so I can knit and felt an artsy insulating sleeve for my French press.
Thank you, Beth. Winter is starting to look promising.
For more information on purchasing green coffee beans and the roasting process, go to Sweet Marias. There's everything you'll need to know - and more - on that site.
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Although I usually forget to do it, there is a chance that this post will be linked to one or more of these great linky parties: Mop it Up Monday and Inspired Monday and Inspiration Monday and Make it Pretty Monday and Making the World Cuter Mondays and It's a Party at Creative Princess and Artsy Corner Thursday and Treasure Box Tuesday and KatheWithAnE and Rubbish Tuesday and Tuesday with a Twist and Knick of Time Tuesday (vintage) and Tweak it Tuesday and Adorned From Above and All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and Good Fences on Thursdays and Time Travel Thursday and Freedom Fridays and Junkin' Joe and Vintage Inspiration Friday and A Favorite Thing Saturday