Sure, any old coffee roaster with a deep commitment to environmental sustainability, the ability and stamina to pursue grant money and other sources of funding, and a willingness to wrestle through miles of red tape can outfit their roastery with solar panels to power their operations.
But what about going straight to the source — harnessing direct sunlight to actually roast coffee?
Obsessive coffee tinkerers and Amsterdam-based friends of Daily Coffee News Frans Goddijn and Tije de Jong recently gave the latter a shot, attempting to roast coffee with only a magnifying glass, a metal bowl and a motorized shaking device. On his Kostverlorenvaart blog, Goddijn shares this delightful premise:
Tije wondered if it would be possible or even easy to roast with sunlight and a magnifying glass. As a boy he was successful at setting stuff on fire with his magnifying glass, so there might be enough solar energy to collect in a metal, reflective bowl catching the full blast of solar heat on a handful of coffee beans.
Unlike Goddijn and de Jong’s previous experiments — including the FrankenMoka, the motorized HG One manual grinder, the espresso-steam-poached-egg, and the hand-built fluid-bed roaster — the solar roasting experiment was a dud, yielding just a few sorry wisps of smoke. But you never know until you try, right?
See for yourself: