Popcorn popper: $15. Electricity is about $0.10 per batch if I'm calculating it right. First batch was drinkable (by my standard of "it's better than the preground stuff in the can they get at the office"), third batch was up to good. Investment in time was about two hours, spread over a weekend.
It's not as fresh, as what you can catch in the open waters, but it's not as expensive as buying all the requirements to go fishing.
I find that to be a bad analogy. It's more like the difference between eating in a restaurant, reheated take-out food, and home cooking.
I don't think anyone is going to disagree - enjoying the work of a professional chef at a restaurant can be significantly better than what a dedicated amateur can produce at home, but taking a great dinner home, sticking it in the refrigerator for a day and a half, then trying to reheat it in the microwave will pale in comparison to either.
Sure, a pro roaster can produce results better than what I can do when it's fresh, but the stuff I roast at home will probably be better because it will be fresher.
Home roasters tend to measure freshness in hours, not weeks. 2 weeks old is ancient. 12-16 hours out of the roaster is about right for my taste.
Someone asked about how the quality compares between home roasting and commercial roasting at the beginning of this discussion. Well, I'm not doing this to save money - my time is more valuable than that. I'm doing it to get fresher coffee than I can get from other methods. Small batch sizes help dramatically on that front. I don't appreciate the subtle nuance that they can develop with their roast technique after their coffee goes stale - I don't get all that subtlety in my roasts, but my roasts are fresh.
I'm happier with a fresh cheeseburger instead of a steak that someone grilled 4 days ago. That should sum it up.
CajunCoffeePress Senior Member Joined: 20 Jul 2013 Posts: 9 Location: San Diego Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Wed Jul 31, 2013, 6:55pm Subject: Re: How a home roaster cannot compare to a high tech commericial roaster
Flyrod, do you have a video showing your heat gun and metal bowl technique? I was wondering about a low tech way of roasting beans as a way of putting all the technical things I have read to practical use and observe the process as it happens! and sounds like a fun hobby!
Posted Thu Aug 1, 2013, 6:16pm Subject: Re: How a home roaster cannot compare to a high tech commericial roaster
Popcorn poppers work well, are cheap and low tech. And can always make coffee flavored popcorn. ;) lol
I just started roasting in a P-popper, but a cousin of mine was talking about it to me 20 years ago. I can certainly enjoy what I roast better than anything I can buy in the store. And not just because I did it myself.
AS to the OP, perhaps the reason pro equipment is so complex and exacting is that it takes a lot more control to roast large quantities effectively than it does to micro roast. But this applies to all "Roasting". If you are cooking dinner for 10-20 people, you can easily accomplish this with standard home kitchen equipment in a standard home kitchen. When you bump that up to 100-1000 people, you better have pro equipment, or even something as simple as a saute pan or a spatula will hold you back. Volume always makes a task more difficult. That is a standard in all things. Mass production only becomes easier with an assembly line situation, which simply cannot occur with roasting beans.
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