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Nov 29, 2009 11:25 AM

Roasting coffee with brown sugar?

Heard some fantastic stories from a Dominican Republican man the other day about his home town. One of the description of home roasting coffee beans was especially intriguing. I'm just curious if anyone has heard of roasting coffee beans with some brown sugar thrown in? Since I've started to roast green coffee beans at home this year, I'd like to hear in more detail if others have done this.
Also, the way he described how they make coffee in a double-boiling fashion sounds like another method not commonly heard of.

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  1. i think your sugar would burn, as well as mess up your roaster.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jaykayen

      i was worried about the sugar burning, but since it's time for next week's roast, I tried it just after I posted the query. I use a stove top skillet, so no roaster to mess up. I do the usual heating up of the skillet until almost smoking, add beans, shake, set off of fire for 30 seconds, then at this point I added about a teaspoon of sugar in the raw, lid back on, put back on fire, and shake the pan continuously. The beans cracked as usual. The sugar seemed well distributed. I got reddish caramel colored beans (picture attached) that looked glossy, not the oily gloss, so must be the sugar. Will have to wait a couple days and try the coffee.

      at worst it's home made flavored coffee....I guess.

      1. re: HLing

        This is a really old thread, but I was wondering how the coffee turned out. When I was in the DR, we went to a farm where they roasted their own coffee, with the sugar. I remember thinking it was fabulous- but maybe it was because I had never had freshly roasted coffee before! Anywho, I am now intrigued with home roasting, and have a bid in on a West Bend popper on EBay. I also just found out there is a place where I can buy green beans about 5 miles from my house! I think I am going to be in heaven!

        1. re: Arwen in NJ

          Congratulation on your new adventure!

          The coffee turned out well, though i had to get used to the slightly crunchier outer side of the beans, which just mean i feed it fewer and slower through to my stone grinder.
          *Edit to add: also, the caramelized sugar made the beans appear darker, so i had to gauge it somewhat and learn to catch the point just before 2nd crack.

          I'm not sure you want to try the sugar with the popper though. I used a pretty hardy cast iron skillet over the stove. That's a different set-up. Besides, you'll be finding out and improving on your home roasting. There's a lot going on just getting the timing and the sense for the degree of roast without adding another variable at this point.

          Have fun and please report back with how you're doing!