Next to military arms and oil, coffee is the largest commodity based industry in the world, it is consumed by 81% of Canadians and is the 2nd most popular drink in the world next to tap water.
There are two primary species of coffee beans produced around the world.
Arabica beans which represents 70% of the world's coffee products and are grown at altitudes over 2,000 feet above sea level. Arabica beans produce a higher quality more flavorful and aromatic coffee with approximately half the caffeine content of the Robusta bean.
Robusta beans are grown at altitudes under 2,000 feet above sea level and are easier to grow. The coffee bushes produce higher crop yields and are more disease resistant
Now, from the average coffee consumer's view point, I have seen a very good evolution of the coffee market in terms of the available quality. Not long ago we were basically drinking stale coffee, not to mention that most of that surely was Robusta. Nowadays, we can get at almost any local store premium Arabica coffees recently roasted, which means freshness and taste. On the other hand, there are many good Coffee Shops where to go to enjoy a real specialty coffee (lattes, Cappuccinos, Espressos, etc). Now, the coffee drinkers are going one step further in order to guarantee a superior quality; We are roasting our own coffee at home. Yes, we know that coffee tastes sweet and smooth when consumed soon after roasting. The taste becomes harsh and bitter as it stales because the oils in the roasted coffee go rancid. Since more than 50% of the coffee sold at supermarkets is stale coffee, we could say that most people have never tasted truly fresh coffee.
Can we roast coffee at home? Yes!
Home roasting is the process of roasting green coffee beans on a small scale for personal consumption. Personal roasting of coffee has been practiced for centuries, and has utilized numerous methods of roasting the beans such as heating over fire coals, roasting in cast iron pans, and rotating iron drums over a fire or coal bed. Until World War I it was more common to roast coffee at home than to buy pre-roasted coffee. During the 20th century, commercial coffee roasting companies became common, and with the creation of instant coffee in 1901, home-roasting decreased.
In recent years, an increasing number of people have returned to home-roasting of coffee to get the freshest possible coffee with flavor and aroma undiminished by storage.