OK, coffee snobs, I challenge you. You haven't tasted coffee (or even smelled it) until you roast it, from the green, in your own kitchen and then grind the beans while they are still warm.
I used to roast all my own coffee, until my consumption reached the point (8 cups a day) where I got too lazy to roast it so often. I could only do about half a pound at a time without setting off the smoke detectors, filling the house with the smell of coffee smoke (I say mmm, dh says yuck). But it is so much fun, and so worth it if you don't mind doing it more than once a week.
You can buy roasting machines, or even convert an air-popper to do th job. I found it cheapest and easiest to use the stove-top method. All you need is one of those covered popcorn pots that has a crank handle on top (come on, you must have one in the closet you got for a wedding present.) In a nutshell, you do this (but read the detailed instructions on the website below, if you want to try it):
1. heat the empty pan over medium fire for a few minutes
2. add the green coffee beans
3. stir like the dickens for about 4 minutes, until it starts to crackle
4. keep listening, as the crackle subsides
5. peek inside the pot as the crackle begins again ("second crack")
6. smoke will be pouring out at this point, and that is fine--I hope you have the fan on
7. peek in every 15 seconds or so, until it hits a color you like.
8. remove from the flame, and run as fast as you can outside with the pan and 2 collanders
9. dump the hot smoking beans into one collander, and then pour them back and forth between collanders to cool the beans quickly. Chaff will fly away.
10. peak flavor in 4 to 24 hours, but if you just can't wait, grind some right away and the smell is from heaven.
11. cool and store in an airtight jar.
If that sounds like something you want to try, please read the detailed instructions here so you don't catch your beans on fire:
http://www.sweetmarias.com/stovepopmethod.html Sweet Marias sells beans, roasters, and other supplies. Another great source is:
www.coffeebeancorral.com I use to order from both of these places.
Green beans are really cheap, especially if you buy in bulk (and they come in burlap sacks, how cool is that?) They also have some really funky coffees, like the Indian Monsooned Malabar, which is stored in a warehouse open to the elements during the monsoon season, and they also carry aged coffees like Aged Java. I find those taste very flat alone, but if you mix a handful of aged or monsooned beans, with another kind, you get a complex layering of flavor that is really wonderful. I always had fun blending coffees. I usually had an inventory of abut 10 kinds of beans, and then I would mix and match and see what resulted.
Just writing this has almost inspired me to put in another order for green coffee beans. My husband will die, because he hates coffee and he hates smoke in the house, but I miss the roasting days.