Institute of Domestic Technology: Coffee Roasting 101


Morning. Coffee. Mmmmm.

If you are a coffee addict like me, then you know exactly what that means.

Glory, consciousness, love, and everything in between. As much as I loved my coffee, I knew little, until now. A few weeks ago, I attended the Home Coffee Roasting class taught by the Institute of Domestic Technology. Daniel was an amazing instructor and coffee expert, and the location at the Zane Grey Estate in Altadena was perfect.

We started the class learning about cupping, which is essentially coffee tasting – understanding the aroma and tastes of coffee. Africa, South America, Indonesia.

Then, we learned to roast. From green beans to a light, medium or dark roast, anything we preferred. I let mine roast a little more because I like a good dark roast. To my disappointment, I learned that a light roast allows good coffee beans to shine, while a dark roast, on the other hand, can make any beans taste great. It made sense to me though. It’s the same principle as enjoying a perfectly seared piece of fresh fish versus having a braise where it would probably taste pretty good despite the quality of the meat.

My French roast! Not bad, huh? At least they look like legitimate coffee beans.

We ended the class on a happy note, with a bag of our own roasted beans to take home and another bag of green beans from Daniel’s coffee company, Plow & Gun. They also prepared cheeses, chocolates, and dried fruit, which all went surprisingly well with our coffee. Over coffee, I learned that there is this small Italian deli nearby that has a specialty called “The Sandwich” (because it really doesn’t have a name) that is to die for. How can I miss something so mysterious sounding? So of course, my husband and I went to check out this sandwich place. We walked into the shop and saw a man behind a counter of imported meats and cheeses. He seemed to sense what I was looking for and called out, “you want the sandwich?” Too excited to speak, I nodded and held out two fingers. Two.

It really was divine. Such a simple sandwich, mortadella, coppa, salami, provolone, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil in fresh crusty bread, and so, so good.

Back to the estate for a second… adorable goats on the estate that came to say hello after class.



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