At this time when the world is shaken due to Coronavirus outbreak and everyone is trying to be creative and positive to keep their sanity intact, I am no exception to this. While following a healthy daily routine with exercise time in it to keep my weight gain in check, it is also difficult to not try making something new to eat or drink. Lately I felt the urge of trying to make my own coffee and experience the experience of making coffee! But, being inexperienced in coffee making it was difficult for me to do so and specially in the absence of required coffee making appliances such as coffee bean roaster, coffee grinder and French press or the filter paper. I knew that I had to follow a DIY approach and overcome the limitations. Hence, I decided to go ahead with regular pan to roast and blade grinder to grind my coffee. Let me take you through my experience with some photographs!
I had gotten a box of Arabica green coffee beans in an attempt to drink green coffee extract but I was tempted to also try make my own coffee from it. How to do that was a big question for me having no experience in coffee making and no coffee making appliances in hand. I knew, I had to take a DIY approach. But before starting I had to know how to roast well the beans and when to stop without burning them.
1. Reading various articles I was sure I had to roast them evenly for about 10 to 15 mins and to look for that sound of first crack. To be on the safer side I decided to stop roasting just after hearing the first cracks of the beans.
2. Roasting: The first challenge was to evenly roast the beans in Skillet pan or in the “Indian Kadhai” (round bottom frying pan) which I had best in hand. Taking a cup (~250 gm measuring cup) of beans in Kadhai, I started to roast them on medium heat/flame mixing them continuously just as they would be mixed in a popcorn popper. With time, the smell and colour of beans kept changing and when they started to turn brown I was alert to roast them more evenly and to catch that sound of first crack.
After roasting for about 15 mins I heard the first crack and followed for a few more. This is when I decided to stop roasting and let the beans cool down completely. The colour of roasted beans is visible in picture.
3. Grinding: Alike roasting, grinding evenly is also important for brewing good coffee. Absence of a coffee grinder was the second challenge for me. I had to use the blade grinder at home. So what??
A little trick will overcome the problem and would give good results. The trick is a: to mix the beans in grinder pot every 10 seconds, b: sieving the grounded coffee to separate medium fine grounds and the bigger particles. Then repeating this step two more times to get most of the particles to medium fine size.
Putting all the beans in the pot I started to grind them as mentioned in points a & b. At the end I had only a spoon of coarse particles left which I decided to discard. You can use them as well separately with increased brewing time. The medium fine grounds I achieved is good for French press method and for filter coffee based on the limited knowledge and experience I have with coffee.
4. Brewing: Now it was the testing and tasting time. I was challenged here also missing a French Press or a filter paper for my coffee, hence, I took a DIY approach here also. I added four teaspoons full of the coffee in a small pot and poured over some warm water. Mixed it well and let it sit for some time.
a. After 10 mins I filtered half of the brew and with milk made a mug of coffee (equivalent to two tea cups) the Indian way. Basically a “Cafe latte”.
b. The rest of the unused coffee was left undisturbed overnight. Next day in the morning I filtered this overnight brewed coffee and made my mug of coffee the same way as above.
I must admit that the taste and smell of coffee was so satisfying and delicious. Brewing time of 10 mins yielded a milder coffee and the overnight brewed yielded a more strong flavour. Having roasted the beans till only first crack, flavour was mild in general and fruity. Those who like intense flavour can roast for longer till the second crack. But try not to burn them!
So this was how I made coffee from scratch without any experience in it. And, if I can make it then you can also make and enjoy your own coffee of the flavour and strength you like! Don't forget to share your experience here!!