My home-roasted espresso blend.
I roast my own coffee.
This may be the epitome of coffee geekiness, but it really is the only way I can ensure a proper supply of fresh, quality espresso blends for personal consumption.
You would think that Fairfield County with all of its affluence would be fertile ground for real coffee, perhaps a “third-wave” cafe or at the very least access to freshly roasted coffee in the supermarkets.
You would be wrong.
After coming to this sad realization, I set out trying to bribe friends from New York to supply me with beans, I subsequently switched to mail ordering from places like Counter Culture and Intelligentsia and then after quickly recognizing I would go broke air-freighting Black Cat to my doorstep, I settled on home roasting.
The first step in home roasting is generally the use of a popcorn popper as a roaster. They are cheap and available at Target. There are many limitations to this method (the potential for uneven roasts and a extremely limited batch size), but its a good way to start roasting at a minimal cost.
THE CATCH: roasting coffee produces smoke so you really need to do this outside…but it is winter and the cold extends your roast-time, possibly by so much you end up with undesirable/undrinkable coffee.
[At this point the LBC would like to note this blog, the Advocate and Hearst Communications shall not be held responsible for any ensuing structure fires and/or personal injury].
Fortunately I moved up to a small Gene Cafe home roaster and the low temperatures present less of a problem. Roast time is still extended but not to the point of failure.
Or you can put it off until spring.