For the serious coffee drinker, the new pot of java gold isn't found at the corner coffee shop: It's right in their own home, made from coffee beans they roasted themselves. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the rise in those willing to endure the misfires and the smoky kitchens typical of DIY bean-roasting, and finds that they're largely willing to do so because of the freshness. The trend is particularly taking hold in California's Bay Area, which also birthed the slow food and organic movements. "It's part of the culture," says one aficionado.
Raw coffee beans typically run between $5 and $7 a pound, and vendors such as Sweet Maria's Coffee have flourished in recent years. Home-roasters run the gamut from those who scrape by with old-fashioned popcorn poppers to those who plunk down up to $4,000 for a sleek propane bean-roasting machine to heat the green beans to 450 degrees until they turn a rich brown. "Having a hobby like this is a way to have some fun and get out of the mundane life routine," says a home roaster.