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Home Roasting your own gourmet coffee y
Roasting coffee at home used to be the norm rather than the exception, before big companies took over the process towards the end of the 19th century. The revival of home roasting coffee followed in the wake of a general interest in gourmet coffee in the seventies and beyond, even to this very day. Nowadays, we have more knowledge, skills and tools to make coffee roasting easier and more enjoyable than years ago.
Coffee is a small red fruit (also, it can be yellow) that goes through many steps before it becomes a coffee drink. The coffee berry is usually wet processed to remove the outer skin or pulp (which is actually fermented away). The inner seed, or bean, is then dried and becomes the green bean that is sold and shipped throughout the world.The green bean can be stored away for up to two years and still remain fresh and delightful to the taste once it is roasted.
For home roasting coffee, beans need to be heated from 370°F to 540°F—faster air currents permit lower temperatures. The beans must be kept in motion to prevent scorching or uneven roasting. The cool down of the beans must be done quickly to avoid over roasting. Make sure that you have plenty of ventilation as smoke often accompanies the roasting. Also, do not be intimidated by the outer skin or chaff that will be blown off the beans midway through the roasting process. This is why if you're roasting indoors, it's best to do it in the kitchen sink or on the countertop next to the sink, so as not to make a mess in the process.
Let the coffee beans rest for 24 hours as that is when they reach their peak in flavor and aroma. However, beans can be used as early as 4 hours after roasting.


A Short History of Coffee
There are two competing stories on the origin of coffee. The first one (around 850 AD) is about the Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi, who discovered that his goats began to dance joyfully after eating the red berries of a dark green leafed shrub. The goatherd tried some himself and he too began to experience the euphoric effects. He gave some of the berries to monks who found the stimulant would keep them wide awake during their prayers. They, in turn, passed it on to other monasteries, and so began the story of coffee.
The second story tells of a man condemned by his enemies to wander the desert outside the Yemenite port of Mocha, and to eventually die of starvation. In his delirium, the young man heard a voice instructing him to eat the fruit from a nearby coffee tree. Confused, he tried to soften the beans in water, and when this failed, he simply drank the liquid. Interpreting his survival and energy as a sign from God, he returned to his people, spreading the faith and the recipe.
Coffee eventually made its way into Europe where the beverage eventually gained popularity with the masses when street lemonade vendors began selling it in addition to cold beverages. It was introduced to Latin America when the French brought a cutting of a coffee plant to Martinique.
Coffee was declared the national drink of the then colonized United States by the Continental Congress, in protest of the excessive tax on tea levied by the British crown.
Today, coffee is a giant global industry employing more than 20 million people. This commodity ranks second only to petroleum in terms of dollars traded worldwide. With over 400 billion cups consumed every year, coffee is the world's most popular beverage. If you can imagine, in Brazil alone, over 5 million people are employed in the cultivation and harvesting of over 3 billion coffee plants.

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