Mundane Japan

Home Roasting

Check out these beauties:

My first coffee roasting experiment. The lighter one is the first attempt, and the darker one is the second try. I have not tasted them, though, since I try not to have caffeine in the afternoon to improve my sleep. 

I ended up opting for an alternative roasting method. I looked into the air popper option pretty extensively to select the best one among a few models available in Japan. It turned out that all of them had some significant issues with factory-default thermostat settings, and many people have had trouble with their air poppers shutting down way too quickly. It’s likely that all of the ones sold through Amazon Japan are some no-name cheap hardware from China.

So, I watched a bunch of YouTube videos about home roasting to see how it can be done a little differently. It turned out that I could use an inexpensive hand roasting basket and a cassette stove like these:

My parents already had the stove, so I got the hand roaster and the beans from Amazon. 

For the first batch, I pre-washed the beans (one YouTube video said I could remove some chaff and make it “taste cleaner.”) and went for a lighter roast. It took me 20 minutes to dry water and finish the first crack phase. For the second batch, I did the standard procedure (no pre-wash) and went for a darker roast. I realized during the first attempt that I probably needed to crank up the heat a little more, so I did that, and I reached the end of the second crack phase at the ten-minute mark. 

I will need to try a few more batches to nail it. When I finished, I cooled the beans very quickly using an electric fan. I tried to smell coffee, but it didn’t smell that much. One article said that it might take a day or two to “settle its flavor.” The beans look good to me, but I will find out whether they turned out ok for real probably tomorrow. In any case, I enjoyed the process, and I am looking forward to experimenting some more.