Coffee is better with fresh roasted beans. FreshRoast SR500


Home roasted coffee is superior to store-bought because it is so fresh. Coffee loses flavor after being roasted, no matter how carefully it is packaged. Plus, you can control how dark you want the roast with a home roaster. This is important. The darker the roast, the more you taste the roast. The lighter the roast, the more you taste the bean. This distinction is mostly lost on Starbucks, who generally almost burns their beans. Also, lighter roasts have more caffeine!

We were living in an apartment with a tiny interior deck for two years and roasting wasn’t possible there. The roaster is somewhat noisy and the aroma of roasting coffee would pervade the interior deck area. Happily, we are back in a house now and roasting has re-commenced. Roasting should be done outdoors to prevent the possibility of smoke detectors going off.

Sweet Maria’s sells a multitude of carefully graded green coffee beans for $6-7 a pound. I just bought the Nesco FreshRoast SR500 from them for $169. Do the math. Coffee shops generally sell coffee for about $15 a pound, so a home roaster pays for itself quickly. Plus, as mentioned, the coffee tastes way better too.

I’ve owned previous Nesco roasters. The SR500 features several improvements and is dead easy to use. Put 43 grams of green beans in the hopper and set the timer to 5.9 minutes. Push the roast button. It’ll roast the beans using air, similar to how a popcorn popper works. Fan speed, temperature, and timer can be adjusted, so you can do custom roasts. At the end, it does a cool down for a couple of minutes. Wait for everything to cool down before transferring the coffee to a container.

I’m enjoying my first cup of home roasted in two years, a fine Sumatra Peaberry. If you are a coffee aficionado, check out home roasting!

Dean’s Beans. Great mail order coffee, reasonable prices


Dean’s Beans sells top quality organic and fair trade coffee at attractive prices. Their roasted blends are $8.59 lb. Green beans are $6.25 lb. This is way less than Starbucks or Peet’s and the quality, taste, and roasting is excellent. Shipping costs are reasonable.

I’ve tried numerous mail order stores for coffee as well as buying locally, and keep coming back to Deans’s Beans.

Check out some of their descriptions:

Ring of Fire
A dark, smokin’ blend of high mountain beans from the active volcanic soils of Indonesia, Timor and Papua-New Guinea. Eye-opening!

Rise up singing with this soft and smooth blend of Vienna roasts: Bolivian and El Salvadoran(hearty), Peruvian (sweet), Nicaraguan (bold and dry).

Moka Sumatra
Combines the dry, rich cocoa undertones of hard bean Nicaraguan and the full body of Indonesian Sumatran and Java. Our best seller, feels like silk on your palate. Wow!

Roadhouse Blend
Our truckers wanted a high test, low acid coffee to help them beat that white line fever. Dark-roasted Nicaraguan and Mexican help you go the distance.

Kickstarter campaign for coffee roast-grind-brew machine


Fresh roasted coffee is absolutely better than using pre-roasted beans. A Kickstarter campaign has funded an innovative coffee maker that roasts, grinds, and brews. There are, however, some major drawbacks to this approach. Coffee roasting produces lots of smoke, as well as chaff and oil. This machine is so compact and integrated it could be difficult to properly clean the roaster.

Smoke is the big problem. If you roast indoors in the same place, after a few weeks, the area will probably permanently smell of coffee and it might even affect wall colors. This roaster can handle up to twelve cups. That’s probably enough smoke, unless you are careful, to set smoke detectors off. Also, roasting, depending on the roaster, can be quite noisy.

I applaud their idea for this 3 in 1 coffee machine. However, I’m not sure it’s practical.

Dean’s Beans on the confusing Fair Trade coffee standards

We are drowning in a sea of seals! There are so many different seals on products these days, all promising to solve this or that problem and make the world a better place. What do they really mean? Who do they really benefit? Here is a very rough primer to help navigate around the seals, at least the ones that swim in your coffee.

Read on!