Happy Home Coffee – Roasting My Own Coffee Beans

coffee canHave you ever cooked your own coffee beans, ground them up and then made coffee before?

As you all know if you’ve read the blog for awhile I’m an unabashed coffee addict.  I love coffee.  Give me a good strong cup of black Joe and I’m a happy camper.

Well, what do you think will happen to coffee when TSHTF?  You won’t be able to run down to the local Walmart to pick up a few cans especially if it turns into a long term event.  Eventually all those cans you have stored in your cellar will be used up and then what?  No coffee?  I might as well be dead.

Then I talked with Asher Angell at Happy Home Coffee and he told me a better way to do it.  If I were to buy the coffee beans and roast them myself I might be able to hold onto the coffee for a lot longer.  Imagine that!  I’ve never roasted my own coffee beans before, but I’m willing to try anything.  He sent me a can of his coffee beans and I set them aside for a few months just to see how it would affect the flavor.green beans

This weekend I dug the can out of my basement and brought it into the light.  There were instructions printed on the side of the can explaining how to roast your own coffee beans.  Brilliant!

I dug out my cast iron skillet, turned on my stove, and started roasting beans in the kitchen.  Allow me to help you if you’ve never done this before.  I like my coffee good and dark and when I cooked the first batch of beans I barely had them dark enough to tell they’d been cooked.  Fail!

So the next day I got out the rest of the beans and took them outside to cook on my grill.  I have a propane grill that has one of those burners on the side for heating corn or whatever, so I set the skillet on that and tried to roast them that way.

Ever had one of those days when nothing was in your favor?  The reason I’d gone outside was because of the strong smell these beans emit when cooked.  Mrs. Jarhead wasn’t all that impressed with yesterday’s trial and directed me to take my project outdoors.  Well, it probably roasting beanswould have worked well if the wind hadn’t been blowing about 25 mph.  It kept blowing the flame out on that little burner and even though the beans weren’t cooking all that good I personally was reaching a slow boil.  It was one of the these days where I tried to throw the spatula on the table and it bounced off and fell through the one crack on the deck big enough to allow it to pass through.  I tried to move the plate and knocked the chicken seasoning all over the deck.  I tried to make a wind break out of deck chairs and tarp and it kept blowing around with zero effectiveness for keeping the wind off the burner.  Anyway, you get the picture.  Imagine something going wrong and it probably happened to me that day.

Eventually I got sick and tired of that pathetic little grill burner and ran downstairs and grabbed my Coleman propane two burner stove. coffee beans Hell yeah, that did the trick!  I fired it up, put the skillet full of beans on it and within minutes the beans were cracking nice as could be.  This time I didn’t get scared and I let them darken right up.  I let them sit outside for a couple of hours and then made some coffee for some family we had coming over.

So how was the coffee after all that trouble?  It was delicious!  It seems strange to say it, but you could actually taste the freshness of the coffee.  I ground the beans up very fine and that’s when I really started getting an idea of how good it was going to be.  It smelled so good and fresh.  These were Arabica beans and I probably drank four cups of it that afternoon.

Hard to believe it came out of a can that had been sitting in my basement for months!  He packs the beans in such a way that no air gets to them keeping them fresh and ready to roast.

If you’re like me and love a cup of coffee you need to check out Asher’s web site and get yourself some of his coffee.

Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor

17 comments… add one
  • Don April 11, 2014, 10:44 am

    I will definitely have to get some and try it.

  • Neil TheSane April 11, 2014, 11:08 am

    I love the idea of roasting my own. Dark roast is good but I’ve had some that was almost burnt roast and I about died from delicious overload. This lead me into research on growing my own. Let me tell you. If you’re interested in this too, start NOW. It takes so much time to mature a plant, it’s fascinating. For my needs here in Ohio I’m going to be needing a year round green house. We just don’t have the climate currently to make this easy.

    But let’s think of storage space. One 18oz can will yeild about 45 cups for $15. While coffee seconds can almost double the usage depending on tastes, that’s still a steep cost. Compared to say a 34oz can of Foldgers for $8. Coffee is life for me. Space is restrictive as well. So a balance needs to be found. I’ll get back to you on this thinking. (to the spreadsheets!) I’ve got some calculations to run.

    Thanks for the article, I’ll be shoring up reserves soon.


  • Road Warrior April 11, 2014, 12:27 pm

    Hmmm…. Pretty damn cool. After the beans were roasted, how did you grind them? Do you have or suggest a manual means of doing it? Or did you use an electric one? I’ll admit I’m one of the schmucks who sits there at the coffee grinder in the supermarket making a huge mess with a sheepish grin on my face.

    • Don April 11, 2014, 12:57 pm

      Any of the hand grinders can grind coffee as well as wheat or corn. it’s just a matter of adjusting the grinder or changing out the stones, depending on the model. after grinding coffee, you should grind a few hand fulls of rice . This will clean it out and absorb any of the oils left in it.

    • Jarhead Survivor April 11, 2014, 7:55 pm

      I used an electric grinders I have at the house. It works great and I only use if for coffee.

  • s.q.whrill April 11, 2014, 12:29 pm

    fresh roast, fresh grind = good day

  • irishdutchuncle April 11, 2014, 1:26 pm

    I hope Neil TheSane can be induced to write a guest post on growing the coffee…
    will an un-roasted coffee bean sprout if you plant it, 40 degrees North of Colombia?

    • irishdutchuncle April 11, 2014, 1:41 pm

      … also, what did this process do for your skillet? do you need to re-season it afterwards? will my omlette or bacon have a strong coffee flavor for a few months afterward? (not that there’s anything wrong with that)

      • Jarhead Survivor April 11, 2014, 7:57 pm

        I did it dry and I did have to reseason it after.

        • irishdutchuncle April 12, 2014, 4:12 am

          seems like a dedicated cast iron coffee roasting pan is what’s needed then…
          our local “Ollies” outlet store has some cheap cast iron pots and pans. coffee is good for you again, I hear. time to upgrade my coffee preps.

    • Neil TheSane April 11, 2014, 2:03 pm

      I’m not a very good writer. I don’t think I could handle a whole post. I’m only just beginning with this process and am in no ways smart. Just a hack trying to learn a new skill. Here are some things I’ve found out. Fresh seeds take about 2.5 months to germinate, older ones can take up to 6 months. Northern climate weather is too volatile to induce the tree to grow, however they do thrive under artificial lighting indoors. I’m just starting on this.

      • irishdutchuncle April 11, 2014, 2:38 pm

        I couldn’t write a whole post either, not all at one time anyway.
        you have to eat the elephant one bite at a time…
        you’re smarter than all of the people out there that feel no need to prepare. (and now I know a lot more about coffee plants than I knew yesterday. Thanks)

  • Kris April 11, 2014, 1:48 pm

    I agree with Neal TheSane about the expense of whole unroasted beans. I do have to admit I’m not a coffee aficionado…just an addict, but not only is it less expensive to buy a can of pre-ground, I wouldn’t want everyone in 100 miles to start looking for who’s roasting coffee. The smell is enticing enough just brewing.

  • ArmyVet April 11, 2014, 6:30 pm

    Jarhead, great post! Like TRW, I wonder what were the after effects on your cast iron. Is this a dry roast proposition, or is there some liquid used? My blushing bride and I LOVE great coffee, and I’ve been considering the whole roasting and grinding scenario. I guess I need to track down green coffee beans and give this a go. Carry on my brother-in-arms.

    • Jarhead Survivor April 11, 2014, 7:59 pm

      Thanks Army. Like I said above I roasted them dry and I had to reseason the pan after I was done. I could have done it with a non stick but lord knows what it would have done to the pan. Definitely a good cup of coffee.

  • Prepared Associates April 14, 2014, 12:29 pm

    Now that is serious dedication to the craft of coffee brewing…roasting your own beans, I’m impressed.

    Excellent article.

    For SHTF, along with my coffee, I keep a some caffeine gum on hand as well to stave off the caffeine withdraw migraine.

    As far as brewing coffee, here’s a review I did on the AeroPress Coffee maker ya’ll might find interesting:


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