Shoestring Savings - Home Roasted Coffee Time

In my last post, Shoestring Savings - Coffee Time, I wrote about a great way to economically take care of your coffee fix - Home Roasting. In this slow economic time we need to find ways to save money and still maintain the things that give us joy.

In our home one of those joyful pleasures is coffee.

Home roasting your own coffee is really quite easy. You only need two ingredients - green beans and a roaster. There are many coffee roasters available online. I haven't seen many in the mainstream stores like Target or Walmart but gourmet cooking stores carry them. The problem with these kind of home roasters is that they are expensive. We keep thinking that we will someday invest in one of these more pricey roasters. They do have their perks: you can set the roast level, there is a timer that let's you know when the beans have reached the level of roast that you desire, some of them have a place that allows the smoke to escape. Yes, a nifty expensive roaster that looks cool sitting on my counter would be nice to have, but we are shoestring people and we need to do what's the most cost effective.

The first time we tried roasting we tried it in the oven. Do Not Try This At Home! We followed the directions carefully but the part that said that the beans will smoke a little was clearly an understatement. Our house filled with greenish smoke and we found out that all of our smoke detectors functioned very well. Further research led us to a site that suggested roasting green coffee beans in a hot air popcorn popper. We searched our area for the right kind of hot air popcorn popper and found that there are two kinds of poppers available. One popper has a screen in the bottom. You do not want to use this kind because the oils from the roasted beans will clog up the screen causing it to cease to function (and with my luck, start a fire). The other kind of popper has air vents in the side of the cylinder. This is the kind that you want to use.

We searched high and low for the right popcorn popper at the right price and finally found one at Walgreens for only $10. Sometimes Walgreens has a rebate on these poppers and you can get them for $6. What a deal!

So, now we have the roaster. In my next post I'll tell you where to get the best prices on coffee beans.

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