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Best Green Coffee

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  • Kater Dec 18, 2006 01:05 PM
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I'm looking for a source for green coffee, or rather I'm looking for a chowhound recommended source! I'm particularly interested in estate grown coffees. Also any tips on roasting/blending would be terrific.
TIA!
Kate

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  1. There are probably a dozen or more sources of green coffee on the web. First and foremost is probably www.sweetmarias.com. Typically they have about 60 green coffees in stock, all of very high quality. They are not the cheapest, but they may well be the best. I have purchased from them since 1999, and have been very happy with them.

    For the beginner, they have lots of roasting tips. You might want to work your way through some of those on their web site.

    Unfortunately, they are about to close for their Christmas break from December 20 to January 1.

    My one tip for getting started in roasting - buy a used hot air popcorn popper to start. It will cost you $2 - $5 at a thrift store. If you like roasting, you can then move on to a dedicated roaster (though many don't). If roasting is not for you, you've made only a minor investment.

    Oh, one more tip. Roasting is smoky and smelly. Roasting coffee smells like burned toast. You'll want to do it under a range hood that vents to the outside, in a fireplace with the damper open, or outside.

    1. Depends on what you want.

      sweet marias (www.sweetmarias.com) is killer for a huge variety and decent prices. Plus the owners are uber cool and care about quality.

      www.greencoffee.coop it is a co-op (as the name implies) and has great prices, though this is not a company so if you had a problem (and I haven't) it might be difficult. Selection is also a bit hit or miss but when they have good stuff, it is CHEAP. I get 10-15lbs at a time of the good stuff from them when I see it.

      I use an SC/CO to roast after replacing the stock motor with a much larger version sourced from an internet company. I am going to modify it to increase the chaff removal, and add more arms to keep the beans moving around. I find it to be fairly even, but a few beans somehow stay near the top and burn each time. Good for around 1-1.5lbs.

      I roast for espresso... so my choices in beans probably don't mean much for a cup.

      1. I will add another recommendation for Sweet Marias. Loads of great beans, loads of roasting tips, loads of tips and info on practically everything they carry. Excellent site.

        1. "Oh, one more tip. Roasting is smoky and smelly. Roasting coffee smells like burned toast. You'll want to do it under a range hood that vents to the outside, in a fireplace with the damper open, or outside."

          Agreed, sorta. It definitely does smoke and you do need a powerful outside vent, but the smell is nothing like burnt toast IMO. I actually love the smell. By the time it smells like burnt toast, I find the beans to be over done.

          1. hello, if you prefer to cook with gas as I do, and your best ventilation/fan is through the hood over your range, you might consider the stovetop popcorn maker (very similar to 19th century coffee roasters) with the crank and internal rotor that stirs the beans. Available at Sweet Marias, as is K.Davids' book on home roasting, if you want more guidance than the plenty they offer via the website. I'm another very satisfied customer of theirs; after a little trial and error the home roaster with high quality beans can equal the best artisan/small batch professionals. I've made good to great coffee from dozens of different varieties S.M. imported, the majority of them in the $4.50-7./lb range (the 7. will get you Yemeni mocha that will cost 16-18 at the 'gourmet' roster/retailers). have fun