If you’re a coffee connoisseur, chances are you do something special when preparing your coffee at home. Perhaps you buy your favorite whole beans, and grind them yourself right before brewing. Maybe you use a brewing method that brings out the best in your bean of choice, such as a fancy Technivorm, or a French press. You may be happy with your particular coffee-making method of choice, but have you ever roasted your own beans? If you haven’t, then get ready to take your coffee game to the next level, because today, we’re explaining how to roast coffee from home.
Afterwards, check out this coffee crash course to learn everything else about this miraculous nectar.
Roasting Coffee From Home
Roasting coffee in your kitchen is easy and fun, and it cuts out those pesky coffee-roasting middle men that have been taking your money for all these years. It may take a little bit of practice, but it will be that much more satisfying when you’re sipping the coffee that you brewed from the beans that you roasted. If you’re more of an espresso person, this course on the secrets of espresso makers will help you get the most out of your machine.
What You’ll Need
- Roaster: Whatever roaster you decide on will depend on how much money you want to spend, and how much coffee you want to roast. For first timers roasting a small amount, you can simply use a skillet, wok, or a hot air popcorn popper. The popcorn popper yields more evenly roasted beans, while the other methods are more uneven, and require more practice. If you’ve got a bit of money to spend, then go all out and get an actual coffee roaster, which will give you better temperature control and results in an evenly cooked bean.
- Green Coffee Beans: You can find green coffee beans online very easily, with handy sampler packs offering beans from different parts of the world so you can find your favorites. You may be able to buy green coffee beans from your local roaster, but may be difficult to find.
When roasting beans at home, be prepared for a few things to happen so you don’t burn your beans (or your house). Keep the following things in mind when roasting coffee:
- Keep the beans constantly moving in order to ensure an even roast on all of the beans, and to prevent scorching.
- When done roasting, the beans must be cooled quickly in order to stop the roasting process.
- The roasting process produces a lot of smoke, so be prepared to vent it properly.
- The outer skin of the beans, or chaff, will be shed during the roasting, so be ready to deal with those.
Steps for Roasting Coffee
- First off, get your heating source up to a temperature of about 475° F. Once at the proper temperature, add about 8 oz. of the green beans. Make sure you’re stirring constantly, or at least every 30 seconds.
- After a few minutes, the beans will start turning from green to a yellowish tint, and will start emitting a grassy smell.
- A few minutes later, the beans will start smoking and steaming, so be ready for that.
- Next, the beans will start making cracking sounds as the water escapes and sugars start to caramelize. Technically, the beans are roasted at this point, but you’ll want to play around with the roasting time to figure out what type of roast you prefer.
- The beans will next start to expand and darken in color, and they will stop cracking. Most roasters prefer to stop the process at this point.
- If you want to keep going and achieve a darker roast, the beans will begin to crack for a second time, but more violently this time. After this second cracking, pull off the beans and cool them quickly, as any longer of a roast, they’ll be burnt.
- Finally, pour the beans onto a cookie sheet and allow to cool completely – anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours.
So there you have it – your own roasted coffee! Once you master this step, all that’s left is to grow the coffee beans yourself, and you can stop visiting the local coffee shop altogether. This is a pretty easy process, just remember to keep stirring, and be ready for that smoke. If you have some leftover coffee, this course on liquid substitutions for soapmaking will show the crafty caffeine addicts out there how to use every last drop.