ahmahler posted at 12:48:03 PM on Apr 05, 2017:
Ooh- begs the question-
What is the best coffee in Toledo? Not cupcakes, not yogurt, not music, coffee. Beans or brewed?
I enjoy supporting the local roasters and coffee shops, but like other things, such as bread, pizza, beer, yogurt, kombucha, etc., sometimes the "Best of" can be what you produce at home, provided that you have the time and desire.
I occasionally roast coffee beans at home, using an old air popcorn popper, which is a lot cheaper than buying a drum roaster. I've been pleased with the results of roasting in the popcorn popper. But roast outside.
I buy the green coffee beans online at Sweet Maria's. Match the bean with the type of roast and flavors that you want.
I roast 2/3 a cup of beans at a time. It only takes a few minutes to roast. I use a stopwatch as a guide, but I roast mainly by sight and sound. First crack and second crack.
If you like a French roast or a dark roast, then you will roast until or through the second crack. I tried that once, and I didn't like the taste. It tasted burnt, which would probably satisfy Starbucks fans.
I stop roasting during first crack or shortly after first crack ends for a medium roast.
Sound is a good indicator of temperature during roasting. There are two temperature thresholds called "cracks" that roasters listen for.
Light roast ... immediately at first crack ...
Medium roast ... developed during first crack ...
I have never liked decaf coffee produced by anyone. My wife wanted me to roast decaf beans to mix with the regular coffee during brewing. I reluctantly roasted the decaf beans, and I was shocked at how well it tasted by itself. Decaf beans roast differently than regular beans.
We store coffee beans in a glass jar that sits on the counter. We grind the beans using the whirly blade grinder, which, apparently, is not the best way to grind beans. A burr grinder is recommended.
As to brewing, I think that the Aeropress produces the best tasting coffee, but it's a single-cup brewing device. At times, my wife will make herself a pourover. I brew mainly in a large French press pot.
Numerous brewing methods exist. The exact same beans with the same roast can taste differently, depending upon the brewing technique.
I like the muddy coffee produced by a press pot. A chemex will produce a "cleaner" and maybe smoother cup of coffee.
Since we have broken so many glass press pots over the years, we switched to a steel Bodum press pot that's also somewhat insulated.
A key piece of equipment is an electric tea kettle that permits programming the desired water temperature. We use a Bonavita.
I use the tea kettle and the press pot to brew tea too. That's one advantage of the French press pot. And no filters are required for a press pot.
The Sweet Maria's website contains info and links about buying and roasting coffee beans.
These were some of the green coffee beans that I have roasted. You can buy larger bags of beans if you find a favorite.