Hearthware i-Roast

May 9, 2005

Blogging has been a little light here the past few weeks… Not because I’ve lost interest in coffee (never happen), but mostly because I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about the latest thing I’ve gotten into — roasting my own coffee…

I picked up a Hearthware i-Roast Coffee Roaster, and have been slowly learning how to properly roast my own beans.

There’s a lot of good to be said about home roasting — green beans are often available much less expensively than the roasted version of the same bean, they store well for a very long time (whereas once roasted, coffee is at its peak for 2 – 6 days), and you can roast them to suit your preferences.

The downside is that getting good results is a real art.

Coffee roasting is a very hand’s-on process — with the i-Roast, it takes about 15 minutes end-to-end to roast a batch of beans. You’ve got a lot of variables you can change (darkness of roast, speed of roast, etc.) that can have a dramatic effect on the outcome, and how each variety of green bean reacts to each of these variables differs.

I’ve been mostly roasting Organic Columbian Mesa de los Santos beans, and comparing my results to what I taste in the fresh roasted Seattle Mountain Columbian Supremo I buy from Costco.

I’m now to the point where I’m getting something comparable, and that I enjoy, but it’s missing a bit of sweetness I liked in the Seattle Mountain; that could still be my roast, or it might be the difference in the variety of bean I’m using (“Columbian Supremo” isn’t a single-origin thing, it’s combined from many growers and graded by bean size, the larger ones becoming “Supremo”).

But I’m enjoying this none the less.

The i-Roast roasts approximately a cup of green beans at a shot (they expand somewhat in the roasting process). It takes 15 minutes to roast, and you need to let the result rest 12 – 48 hours before actually brewing. This gets me about enough roasted coffee to last two days, if it’s just me drinking it.

I’ll post more on what I learn, and on some of the varietals I’m playing with, as I learn more…

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3 Responses to “Hearthware i-Roast”

  1. The Village Idiot on May 11th, 2005 1:13 pm

    Love the coffee blog!

    I’m a big fan of Dunkin Donuts coffee and couldn’t find mention of it on your site, though. (I actually blogged abit about it today) Be sure to try some!

  2. Open Coffee Library Weblog on May 16th, 2005 9:38 am

    Hearthware i-Roast

    [Coffee, Tea or Blog?] Blogging has been a little light here the past few weeks… Not because I’ve lost interest in coffee (never happen), but mostly because I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about the latest thing…

  3. Jean Bean on June 24th, 2005 5:45 am

    Jean Bean here. That’s my new name since I began my path towards roasting my own beans. Not there yet…but getting closer to tossing my WestBend Poppery II cornpopper and moving onto the FreshRoast8 roaster. Not sure here that Hearthware i-Roast is not the same. If not, someone please correct me before I make a left instead of a right (Thank you…please be kind).

    I have purchased Blue Bell Moutain green beans and roasted in my Poppery. A mention of the sweetness loss previously causes me to step forward and say these are excellent beans, no matter what grade. I’m not weathly, and instead of using my credit card and going in debt, I’m buying the poor “woman’s” grade, and enjoying it tremendously.

    With the Poppery II, I must say that I’m hopping once the cracklin’ begins. Roller skates need to be added. Neighbors believe I have had several fires at my home, when in reality it my Poppery smoking my next brew.

    Any information pertaining to roasters in the home environment much appreciated as I begin to rollout my dollars getting closer to purchasing.
    Anyone know of the Zach and Dani Roaster? What is the difference between FreshRoast8 and Z&D unit?

    Raising my “cup” to each of you on the blog, that might help this novice move her hobby to a level or two above her corn popper approach to roasting.
    Jean Bean

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