The basics: Some novices use a popcorn popper. But Henry’s recipe is far from basic.
The home cook: Ob-gyn Henry Chang made it through medical school drinking weak, thin coffee. Then, in Italy, he sipped his first good espresso—and life was never the same. He bought an espresso machine. Eventually, he began to buy fresh beans and take interest in their precise terroir. “Curiosity morphed into obsession,” he says. His first roaster, a Hottop set up in the garage, was fine but too small. Then Henry stumbled upon the Mini 500/Yang-Chia 800N. “The webpages were all in Chinese. I learned to type in Chinese and eventually flew to Taiwan and bought it. Now I am truly in coffee-roasting nirvana.”
About that first batch … Henry bought green beans and roasted them on pans in the oven. “The odor was terrible, and I set off the smoke alarm a number of times. So my wife suggested I buy a roaster.”