The Elektra Micro Casa a Leva home espresso blog

The Elektra Micro Casa a leva is a beautiful home espresso machine. But is it capable of making great coffee? Follow my pursuit of ultimate espresso coffee as I learn to use this exciting machine.

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Location: Trondheim, Norway

Wednesday, July 6

Roasting coffee at home

I bought an Imex CR100 coffee roaster a couple of years ago. I am happy about this simple and robust roaster. I fill it with about 140 g of green beans, and end up with typically 120-125 grams of roasted coffee.

Home roasting is fun; it allows me to have many different kinds of green beans in storage, and I can roast little by little, depending on how much I consume. My friends also like to take part in the roasting, and everyone think it´s great to drink coffee that was just roasted!

The Imex roaster is a simple device. The beans move slowly around, and are roasted partly from hot air, and partly from the heat from the metal container. The beans reach the first crack after 5-5 ½ minutes, and I use to roast just a little further, 6 ½ -8 minutes. I listen to when the beans are definitely through the first crack, and I pretend ☺ that I can smell when the second crack is right around the corner, and I don´t want to roast that far. The beans are easily observed through the glass lid. Color is also an important roast indicator, especially when you already have some experience with the particular bean.

Roasting to medium brown in 7 minutes might be a little fast, but I think that it is slow enough to avoid too much acidity. With my first roaster, a popcorn popper, the roast was done in 4 minutes, and I think the acidity was too dominant. In my opinion, the taste of an Imex roast is better.

And you know what? Fresh coffee, 0-5 days after roasting, is a taste bomb that I have become addicted to :-) Almost all the filter coffee that I drink is home roasted. I recommend everyone who cares much about coffee to do the same. I buy my green beans mostly from Skien Kaffebrenneri, sometimes from Stockfleth´s Prinsens gate, Ottolina Classica espresso blend green beans from Temperato, and when I had the popper I bought the green beans from Stavanger Kaffebrenneri (when I´m into links –let me mention www.sweetmarias.com, a great site for info about home roasting. The best book about the subject is Kenneth Davids´ “Home coffe roasting –romance and revival”).

My approach to roasting hasn´t been very scientific so far. The good news about home roasting is that it doesn´t have to be very advanced. The Imex roaster is simple, and do not have adjustable roast profiles –it just roasts….. Some beans roast very well, according to my taste, and some beans end up a little flat or dull or with lacking sweetness. I usually don´t buy enough of each type to do experiments, but I try to adjust roast times when it seems to be necessary. But 4 out of 5 times, I´m really thrilled by the coffee I get!!

I don´t roast for espresso. I have tried, but I think it ends up being too acidy. I really want to buy a drum roaster, with a slower roast that can develop the body that espresso needs, and diminish the acidity. I´m surfing the www these days, looking for a nice roaster. A Hot Top, maybe? But it should wait till I get a job. It costs.....

But roasting for espresso would be a natural development of my hobby. My Elektra, like all espresso machines, performs much better when the roast is at its optimum freshness. There are two ways to actually know which day the coffee was roasted -to buy from a micro roaster or to roast the coffee yourself.

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