El Chris Roasts Some Coffee

Freshly roasted beans cooling in my roaster
Freshly roasted beans cooling in my roaster

What a year. The business I started is chugging along slowly but consistently. I’ve slowly reduced the amount of jobs I’m working from four to two. I set my goals and followed them, but I didn’t get the results I hoped for. I’ll update all of you on this soon.

Two full years ago, a guy out west named Jack read my blog. He was intrigued that I was roasting coffee and whipping up sass way up here in the frozen north, so he reached out and told me he liked my moxie and what I was doing. He also told me he liked food. He and I were a match made in Heaven. He asked if I would somehow get a video of myself roasting coffee, and of course I said yes! Then I realized that I’m an idiot with video. Sure, I’ve made a sex tape or two in my day, but a polished, fully clothed, edited video? I had no idea what to do.

Enter Mr Joe. A man I knew from middle school and high school knew what to do. He owns a successful media company that could do exactly what I needed. I hated that I couldn’t afford to pay him what he was worth, but he graciously accepted an offensively small amount of money to shoot this video. He shot it, he polished it up, and he sent it off. Done.

Now this didn’t happen without a hitch here and there. When Jack contacted me, it was January. Due to the amount of smoke generated when coffee is roasted, we would need a LOT of light to get a good video. Bright studio lights would make a nice haze in all that smoke. To vent the smoke, we would have needed to open the garage door. When it’s 20° below zero outside, that’s just not an option.

Spring came late that year. We had record snowfall in Minnesota as late as May 1st, and it was cold ALL. OF. THE. TIME. It wasn’t until mid-may until we could shoot, but thanks to Joe’s kindness and patience, we pulled it off. And God in Heaven was it terrifying.

I can feed off of an audience. I LIKE speaking in front of groups. But a camera? A camera doesn’t react. A camera doesn’t give you a helpful YOU SUCK when you don’t nail a punchline. The camera just stares. Thank God Joe was kind enough to feed me a courtesy chuckle or two as I talked.

I’ve posted the video below. I really hope you like it. I have since cut my hair and shaved my beard, grown both out again, and cut each again. Many people are mystified by the process of roasting coffee, and I hope that this is a nice, introduction. I hope you learn something, and I hope you keep reading.



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Author: El Chris

I’m full of snark that doesn’t always come out. I have a soft spot for kids and people with special needs. I’m a disability advocate by day, and a coffee roasting photographer by night. You’ll love me, but your parents will love me more.

2 thoughts on “El Chris Roasts Some Coffee”

  1. Hi Chris

    Really enjoyed your video on home Roasting. I really enjoy Coffee and all the methods of brewing. Do you make any profit from Roasting? I would love to break in on the coffee market, but we have so many franchised shops here. I wanted to start a coffee lounge with a beatnik flavour, but it would take too much up front $$$. So I thought I would work from the ground floor up by roasting and maybe making some money at it…Any suggestions?

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