OK, I came across this TEDx video that… well… be warned—if you’re a coffee lover, you’re not gonna like what you learn here.
What you didn’t know about coffee: Asher Yaron at TEDx Ubud
Premise: Coffee beans, once roasted, is a “living thing.” It’s organic and it has a short shelf-life. The roasting process changes the dried beans from an inert, “stored” thing into a complex organic compound that is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and flavor. And sadly, this lasts about a week. You really don’t have any sure way of preserving the state of these beans once roasted. Your only imperative is to take a portion, grind it up into coffee grounds, and brew it as you need it.
What that means is that most of the coffee on the market that you buy, is dead. After that week, the nutrients and flavor diminish drastically. Certainly you can have coffee roasted a few months ago that tastes quite good to your palate for coffee as you’ve got it right now. And the caffeine content is still good. Because that’s what you’re used to. But like sleeping on a 15 year old spring mattress, what you’re used to isn’t necessary all that great. Once you’ve tasted coffee roasted within the week and brewed right after grinding… you basically never want to go back.
That’s the gist of this video. It helps explain why so many coffee aficionados in the Western hemisphere have gone to the trouble of roasting their own coffee beans. Meanwhile, in some of the most dirt poor communities you can find in Africa and India, there are people who roast their own coffee beans as a matter of course on a daily basis.
I’m not on this bandwagon yet. But after reading up on a few blogs about how people are doing it and even with the most simplistic of appliances (some people use an air popcorn popper, others just a cast iron skillet), I’m very intrigued and going to make a serious exploration of it.
I’m curious if anyone here is into roasting their own coffee beans — would you be able to share how you do it? Thanks!