If you're interested in the booming home roasting business in Portland, you might want to read this Willamette Week piece on that subject. Ristretto Roasters owner Din Johnson is featured there, too.
Din Johnson, 38, recently took his tinkerer's curiosity public, opening Ristretto Roasters this past September in the Beaumont-Wilshire neighborhood with his wife, Nancy Rommelmann (a former WW freelancer). "I've used every kind of gizmo out there," he says, "from stovetop skillets to modified popcorn poppers to purpose-built sample roasters." His experience mirrors that of Domreis, that hand-cranking home roaster who began roasting with a "Pie-Iron" he bought at Andy and Bax. And like Quitslund, Johnson likens coffee to wine in its complexities, subtleties, and allure. He also stresses the importance of getting the roast timing right: "Five, eight seconds can make a huge difference."