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Coffee roasting class at the Domestic Institute of Technology

December 2, 2011 |  6:00 am

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If you want to start roasting your own coffee beans at home -- or are at all interested in how beans are roasted -- check the website of the Institute of Domestic Technology for upcoming classes. The first coffee roasting class took place in October, taught by LA Mill coffee roaster Ian Riley. Another is scheduled for Jan. 22, says Joseph Shuldiner, founder of the Institute of Domestic Technology, which offers a variety of workshops about food crafting at the Zane Grey estate in Altadena. 

Students use stove-top, hand-cranked Whirley-Pop popcorn poppers to roast green coffee beans. "I think it’s a surprisingly sort of accurate representation of commercial roasters," Riley says, "in that there's an adjustable heating element and a mechanism for agitating the beans so they roast evenly, and a de facto air flow.... It's accessible, cheap and uses very simple technology. It provides a really great path to understanding this thing that’s normally shrouded in mystery."

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Photo: Top, cooling freshly roasted coffee beans using colanders at the Institute of Domestic Technology; Whirley-Pop popcorn poppers. Credit: Betty Hallock

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