In terms of coffee I’ve made a big change this year. Last year I was out of the country and so experienced a substantial period of withdrawal from Monmouth Coffee.


So determined never to be strung out again I took up home roasting!


I have been a keen drinker of coffee for years and a devotee of Monmouth Coffee, arguably the best coffee in London. However it hadn’t occurred to me that it was possible to roast my own until a work colleague of Jacqueline’s, Ljiliana, mentioned that she used to roast her own coffee, just put the green beans in a pan and put them in the oven – simple as that.


Apparently according to Kenneth David’s: ‘Home Roasting Romance and Revival

roasting your coffee at home was common in Mediterranean countries right up until the 1950’s. Read a review


The staff at Monmouth were fantastic! Helpful, enthusiastic with advice and support, and I now have a small home roaster and within 20 minutes or so and no fuss I have fresh roasted coffee.


I love the changes associated with coffee; the green grassy smelling beans transformed from this   nov21702   to this…. nov21711




roasting liberates the taste and aroma.




Here’s a great pictorial guide to the changes that take place in roasting coffee.


Why roast your own?

If you like coffee – why not have as fresh as possible? Roasted beans are best within a day or two maybe a month at best. Green beans stay in good shape for a year or two so you can build up a coffee cellar of beans from different countries, a variety for whatever taste.


It’s maybe a bit cheaper (even taking into account the purchase of a roaster, mine cost £112), green beans and roasting costs against buying good quality roasted beans from a speciality roaster. I now buy small quantities of green beans online from Stephen Leighton at Hasbean  who sources beans from speciality coffee growers around the world.


But heck mostly it’s fun! A chance to explore the diverse tastes of coffees from around the world and experiment with different roasts; even my small machine allows you to vary temperature & time to suit your own roast profile.


I like to drink coffee mainly by filter (or drip brew as it’s also known). I know most people seem to be obsessed with espressos, flat whites, square blacks and god knows what else but here’s Monmouth’s advice on how to make a good cup of filter:- 


Of course another change attributed to coffee is the physical change that results from drinking the stuff….the caffeine! Apparently contrary to the belief that coffee is in itself a stimulant and gets you wired, the caffeine actually inhibits the brain’s release of adenosine which calms us down and makes us drowsy. Coffee stops the brain naturally slowing us down.


But really above all Coffee is all about company and conversation and the changes arising from interacting with fellow human beings… the interview with Amber Fox in Erin’s excellent series of interviews sums this up eloquently:- “Enjoy the coffee for who you’re with……… just enjoy it!