The coffee evangelist

Pan roasting coffee beans with a rice pot.

Pan roasting coffee beans with a rice pot. Photo by Ace Reston

These past months, I’ve been working hard converting fellow coffee lovers to homeroast their own beans for guaranteed freshness.

Only yesterday, I had eight guests who came for a coffee party as I brewed Sumatra Lintong Blue Batak, Kenya AA Nyeri Tambaya, Yemen Mokha Ismaili, Ethiopia Harrar. I roasted two more coffees for the occasion — Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe and Guatemala Huehuetenango — but could not serve it anymore as everybody was already drunk with coffee.

Part of the party was the roasting tutorial, using the most primitive, and least expensive, of roasters — a modified aluminum rice pot with a handle attached, and an egg whisk. (I’ve been using the rice pot these past few weeks coz the motor of my oven toaster with rotisserie broke down. The replacement motor, which isn’t designed to withstand high heat, just couldn’t do the job as it stops in mid-roast as the heat builds up. So until I can have the motor replaced, it’s the rice pot for me, or maybe the Whirley Pop popcorn popper for bigger batches.)

Cooling the beans.

Cooling the beans. Photo by Ace Reston

A couple of weeks earlier, I was in Dumaguete City letting friends try my homeroasted beans (Mexican and Ethiopian Harrar). One of them was so convinced that homeroasting is the way. Rayvin thus ordered a Behmor drum online, the same drum I use for my oven toaster. Fellow photographer Greg Morales wants a roasting tutorial, too. Since I’ll be visiting this city often with my boy now studying at Silliman University, I should be doing a tutorial on my next visit.

Back in January, I taught fellow journalist Jon Joaquin how to roast right in his own kitchen. He’s been roasting since then. He’ll never be buying stale coffee from the grocery, and the coffee shops, again. Months earlier, another journalist and a doctor in Davao got hooked after a roasting demo.

Some folks in Cagayan de Oro want a tutorial, too.

So now I’m the travelling coffee evangelist.

Coffee and hotspot, they go together.

Coffee and hotspot, they go together. Photo by Ace Reston

Coffee party in Dumaguete's Cafe Antonio.

Coffee party in Dumaguete's Cafe Antonio. Photo by Greg Morales


26 Responses to “The coffee evangelist”

  1. Charo on June 19th, 2010 10:18 pm

    Let me know when you’re going to CDO. I have a friend there who wants to get in touch with any coffee aficionados in the area. He’s very particular about coffee, having trained as a barista in another life. (No, not with Starbucks.) Told him about you and he would love to meet up with you one of these days. :D

  2. Bobby on June 19th, 2010 11:41 pm

    that’d be cool. gotta sell one of them L lenses so i could get me a good home espresso machine, eh. :D

  3. Charo on June 20th, 2010 8:50 am

    You don’t want to use the moka pot anymore?

  4. Bobby on June 20th, 2010 2:57 pm

    i use it every now and then, but more of the stainless version more than the aluminum. but my everyday coffee is either with the french press or the aeropress.

  5. Charo on June 20th, 2010 10:59 pm

    When you’re around Metro Manila again, teach me how to roast coffee in a kaldero ha? :D

  6. Bobby on June 21st, 2010 7:33 pm

    sure mama! pero may ilan na akong disipolo dyan ah, mga fotogs din. :D

  7. Charo on June 23rd, 2010 11:40 am

    Ang alam ko lang si Dante. But he’s got uber-high nosebleed high-tech stuff. :) ) So, who else roasts coffee here? Anyone I know?

  8. chong on June 28th, 2010 7:49 pm

    I’m chinese , hope u understand me .
    I saw u use rice pot to roast coffee bean , how long do u roast ,
    please answer me . tq

  9. Bobby on June 30th, 2010 8:36 am

    hi chong, i usually roast between 10-15mins, medium fire. maybe you can extend that up to 20mins, but that would be maximum coz it’s not advisable to roast coffee more than that. besides, with the manual stirring of the beans, it’d be quite tiring the longer the roasting is.

  10. benson on July 9th, 2010 7:15 pm

    nice imong cooling tray. : )

  11. Bobby on July 13th, 2010 9:52 am

    custom-made na benz. :-)

  12. Elmer on July 13th, 2010 11:34 am

    Where can I buy unroasted beans in Metro Manila/Quezon City area? Been to all the coffee joints (Starbucks, SBC, Figaro, etc.) but all of them only sell the roasted, ready-to-grind types. Help please. Thanks.

  13. Bobby on July 19th, 2010 6:40 pm

    You can’t buy greens from the usual coffee houses. In MM, all I know is Serenity Coffee, in Las Pinas. There in my blogroll. Or you can call / text Garcia’s coffee in Baguio, also in the blogroll.

  14. BB on September 26th, 2010 11:11 pm

    Hello my friend I really enjoyed your website. I am located in Davao City in Buhangin for the last nine months and am very interested in meeting you. I am interested in roasting and carrying a whole green bean in the U.S. for the U.S. market. I buy Guatemalan beans now and have them roasted in Canada and mixed with another seed. But if you can call me when you have the time it would be greatly appreciated. 0917-632-2511

  15. Bobby on October 4th, 2010 7:53 pm

    BB, you may wanna check out the US market first. AFAIK, the specialty coffee industry there is quote crowded. :-) Start with reading the posts at

  16. Francis on December 16th, 2010 2:26 am


    I’ve been reading your coffee blog and I now realize I need to roast my own coffee! I take coffee black and most of the time I don’t like the taste of coffee at the usual coffee shops. The blog is really interesting and well done.

    I’m also into gadgets / tech computers before and what is plain is that the people who really knows anything are those who are into it because they have a passion for it. And you are really into coffee…(I believe Sherlock Holmes was also a hobbyist???)

    Hoping you could give me pointers, I don’t know where to begin. I would try your primitive method of course using the pan over the fire method. Beyond this, would getting a popcorn popper be the next? Would a turbo broiler explode if used for coffee roasting??? (newbie question). Trying to start on a budget…

    Lastly, my brother is sending me some green beans, could you suggest a place where this can be roasted as a reference for me?

  17. Francis on December 16th, 2010 2:27 am

    Sorry, I forgot to say that I live in Metro Manila…

  18. Bobby on December 22nd, 2010 5:54 pm

    ops, sorry didn’t notice this earlier. i was in metro manila at the time of your comment. :-) i have a few friends there who are into roasting. but most of them have expensive gizmos, unlike my primitive ones. one good place to start reading is, also or the forums at the

    best of course to start with a rice pot, coz you can’t go cheaper than that. and from there decide if you need something more hitech. me, i vacillate between the kaldero and the whirley pop popcorn popper, now that my oven toaster with rotisserie’s motor is dead.

    there’s a coffee shop at cubao expo named manila collective. the owners are good friends, and one of them is a lawyer who roasts his own beans. he roasts teh beans for the cafe; check it out. just tell the barista to brew it for you in the french press for 4 minutes, not shorter.

  19. Francis on January 5th, 2011 2:49 am

    Thanks Bobby for your suggestions. I will try the cubao coffee shop.

    I am into gizmos, but I prefer the things that work better. I’ll start with the rice pot, hehe.

    Thanks and hope you keep posting on this site :)

  20. Francis on January 14th, 2011 12:23 am

    Have you heard of Conlins Coffee based in Manila? The web site is this:
    This is not a plug – They supposedly roast to order and count the freshness of roasted coffee in hours not days or weeks, hmmm. They offer the Ethiopian coffee that I would like to try but they only sell newly roasted coffee beans. But if they’re fresh and newly roasted, they roast according to your specs (city / city + etc.) – is this the same as getting coffee from coffeemarias and roasting this at home? Its just hard to get green beans from the boondocks (i.e. Philippines developing country) where supposedly the coffee green beans should be planted and available.

  21. Bobby on January 17th, 2011 12:46 am

    I’m not familiar with conlins, so I really don’t know. The trend these days in developing countries is to be as transparent as possible, declaring where exactly you got the beans. It’s not just Ethiopia Yirgacheffe or Harrar anymore; they’d usually declare whose farm it is from, because coffee from the same country and even the same region/province can vary greatly depending on whose farm it is from. I know we’re still not at that level here in Pinas, but hopefully with more hobbyists like you and me getting into this more seriously, maybe things will change. But conlins’ is a small step towards the right direction — declaring when exactly the beans were roasted is a first step.

  22. Francis on January 25th, 2011 4:00 pm


    So the trend is going the way of wines? I guess the problem with going down to the farm level is that these would likely be expensive coffees?

    Found a web site selling Hacienda Esmeralda coffee – is it worth it when its this expensive?! Only roasted coffee available at USD 4-5 per ounce!


  23. Bobby on January 31st, 2011 8:55 am

    Yeah, looks like coffee is going the way of wines. The beauty with going to the farm level is, reducing the number of middlemen along the way, which brings down the price of coffee. esmeralda coffee has always been expensive, being consistent winners in several cup-of-excellence contests. lucky me i tried a few pounds, and i didn’t like the coffee. :D so no craving for the esmeralda coffee here. my current favs are the bolivian coffees from and to my surprised, i like their cheapest (A) coffee more than their expensive ones (A4).

  24. Delle on March 3rd, 2012 9:46 pm

    That man next to you in the first photo looks familiar. He looks like the MSU-IIT Integrated Performing Arts Guild’s (IPAG) Chairman. :)

  25. carz on May 27th, 2012 10:39 pm

    hi sir do you know what i can buy roasted beans in manila for Ethiopia Harrar?

  26. Bobby on September 10th, 2012 2:14 pm

    Check out Craft Coffee Workshop –

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