Do you want to enjoy coffee brewed from freshly roasted beans in the comfort of your home? This in-depth guide on how to roast coffee beans is what you need. It’s true what they say – home roasting coffee is a form of art!
The process changes raw coffee into freshly roasted beans. You can then turn these into the most delicious beverages. But before you attempt this at home, you should know exactly how to roast coffee beans. In this detailed guide, we’ve shared everything you need to master the art of roasting coffee.
- Select A Home Coffee Roaster
- Stovetop or Grill
- Stovetop or Hot Air Popcorn Popper
- Small Home Coffee Roaster
- Select The Coffee Beans
- Getting Started With Roasting Green Coffee Beans
- What Do Different Coffee Roasts Mean?
- Visual and Flavor Profiles
- What About Pairings?
- Which Coffee Roast Is Stronger?
- Final Verdict – Should You Roast Coffee Beans At Home?
Select A Home Coffee Roaster
Before you begin home roasting your coffee, you must have the appropriate tools. The roasting method is all about the details, so choosing a good home coffee roaster is critical. Most companies use specialized equipment to roast coffee. But you don’t need to invest in industrial equipment for home use.
Instead, you can opt for smaller-scale roasting options to roast coffee. Here are a few options you can choose to roast coffee beans at home.
The easiest and most cost-efficient way to roast coffee is by using your oven. All you need to do is layer the beans on a baking tray and place them in the oven at your desired level. It will take about 15 to 30 minutes to achieve the perfect roast level.
How Do You Roast Coffee Beans In The Oven?
There are a few steps to take when roasting coffee beans in an oven to get flavorful and delicious coffee.
- Ensure ventilation in your kitchen to avoid a mess
- Preheat your oven to about 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Line the beans on a perforated tray and leave appropriate spaces between them. Your tray should not have large holes, as this can make the coffee beans stick to the surface when they expand.
- Place the tray on the middle shelf of the oven and begin roasting. Wait for about 3 to 5 minutes to listen for the first crack. After that, your beans have reached light roast levels.
- Continue roasting the beans and listen for the next crack. The second crack takes about 6 to 7 minutes and indicates that the beans are now city roasted.
- After about 60 seconds, remove the tray to prevent it from burning.
- Wear oven mitts to protect your hands and pour the beans into a metal colander. You should continue stirring and shaking the beans over the sink to cool them without making a mess.
- After they’ve cooled down, store the beans in an airtight container or leave them out for the next 12 hours. This will help to remove the excess carbon dioxide.
|Affordable, as all the tools are available at home||It may be difficult to control the roasting|
|You don’t have to put in much effort during the roasting method|
Stovetop or Grill
Another quick and cheap way of roasting your coffee at home is using a stovetop or grill in your kitchen. All you need is a regular frying pan. I recommend not using coated or non-stick pans, though, as they may affect the flavor of your beans.
How Do You Roast Coffee Beans Using A Stovetop Or Grill?
- Ventilate in an open space to prevent smoke and smell buildup.
- Pre-heat a thick pan on medium heat (around 450 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Add a handful of coffee beans to the pan in a single layer. Begin to stir the beans immediately after and then wait for the first crack.
- Continue stirring the beans and listen for the next crack to know when they’re roasted to a full city level.
- Remove the pan from the heat after 30 seconds so that they don’t end up burning. Make sure to wear oven mitts to prevent any injury or accidental burns.
- Pour the beans into a metal colander and then continue stirring and shaking to cool them off.
- Finally, you can either store them in an airtight jar or leave them out for the next 12 hours for a French roast.
|It is pretty cheap since you’ll find most of the tools at home||Difficult to control the temperature|
|This process is much faster compared to some other ones||Your beans might end up being too smoky|
Stovetop or Hot Air Popcorn Popper
You can also roast your coffee with a stovetop or hot air popcorn popper. While using a grill or oven is cheaper, popcorn poppers or domestic coffee roasters give the best results.
This method is perfect for those who want to roast large batches and have more temperature. Besides, it allows you to control and achieve the best flavor. This is because you can adjust the flame and agitate the coffee beans by crackling the handle. You can even find some of these poppers that do automatic agitation.
While popcorn machines can roast coffee beans, not all are suitable for the task. Also, since these are not made for roasting beans, the more you use them, the more likely they break down.
Using a popcorn popper to roast your coffee beans implies that you’ve nullified its warranty. To cut down on your costs, you can invest in an affordable popper.
How Do You Roast Coffee Beans Using A Popcorn Machine?
- Ventilate your kitchen to prevent smoke build-up and start your popcorn machine. A hot air popper is an ideal choice. Make sure it uses side-vented heating to ensure proper rotation and to avoid burning.
- Preheat the machine for about 30 seconds and add about half a cup of green coffee beans.
- As the coffee beans rotate, you can aid the agitation by using a wooden spoon, then cover the beans with a lid.
- You’ll soon notice husks coming out through the machine’s spout as the heat grows. You can use a large bowl to collect these husks and avoid a mess.
- Listen for the first crack, then continue roasting before the next crack comes. At this point, your coffee beans are full city roasted.
- Remove the beans after about 60 seconds so that they don’t cross the roasting limit.
- Continue to stir and shake the coffee beans as you pour them into a metal colander.
|Relatively easy to use||They are not built for home coffee roasting – you will lose your warranty|
|Automatically rotates the beans for a perfect roast||They can easily break down if you use them frequently|
If you want to have even more control over your roasting, you can opt for domestic equipment such as coffee roasters. This will allow you to control the temperature, airflow, and even the husk collection.
Domestic roasting equipment creates minimal scorching and tipping on the beans. Instead, it allows for even coloration on the surface of the beans. This, though, comes with some limitations.
Due to their specialized designs, coffee roasters tend to be more expensive than other options. You might even end up paying up to 20 times more for a home coffee roaster compared to a popcorn popper.
Drum roasters are another option if you’re looking to roast coffee on a commercial scale. Drum roasters are medium-sized plants that can roast greater amounts of coffee at a time.
How Do You Roast Coffee Beans Using A Home Coffee Roasting Machine?
A home coffee roasting machine is designed for the task and is much more consistent. You may want to opt for the best-selling models such as the Fresh Roast SR800 and Jiawanshun Household Coffee Roaster Machine.
- Ventilate your kitchen to prevent a build-up of smoke.
- Turn on the machine, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and add the beans.
- Observe the coffee roasting process and keep the temperature maintained. Most home coffee roasting machines claim to be automated, but you might still want to track the progress.
- Listen for the first crack and then the second crack to know when your beans start to be full city roasted.
- After the second crack, wait for around 60 seconds before removing the beans from the heat.
- Continue to stir using a wooden spoon and shake the beans till they cool down.
- Store the beans in an airtight jar or leave them out to remove any excess carbon dioxide.
|Designed explicitly for roasting coffee beans||Slightly more expensive than other kitchen appliances|
|It offers perfect coloring and consistency|
|Easy to use and clean|
Select The Coffee Beans
The roasting process of green coffee beans involves the Maillard reaction. This takes the blended coffee beans through a taste and texture transformation journey.
This way, it changes the flavorless chlorophyll compounded beans into toasty home-roasted coffee.
Regardless of the type of roast you want to achieve, you must always begin the process with raw green coffee beans.
Green coffee beans from different countries and regions give varying flavors. This is because of the harvesting technique, soil condition, and bean variety.
So, before you start roasting your beans, choose the bean – whether it’s Ethiopian Arabica or Brazilian robusta.
When choosing your green coffee beans, make sure you pay attention to their quality. This is because the quality affects the taste and consistency of your coffee.
To maintain the quality, pay attention to the size and color of the beans, and make sure that they’re all compatible. Uniformity in color and size gives the beans a consistent taste and color.
Getting Started With Roasting Green Coffee Beans
For the coffee roasting process, different methods require slightly varying approaches, even though the final product is the same.
Understanding the Roasting Stages
When roasting coffee, you can use several techniques and equipment. However, the roasting stages won’t be much different.
So, make sure that you master the key stages, as they are crucial in ensuring the flavor and development of the green unroasted coffee beans.
During the roasting process, the ideal temperature ranges between 350 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Furthermore, throughout the roasting stage, never let the beans rest. You have to constantly stir them and make sure to roast evenly.
Color And Aroma Changes
Color and aroma changes are essential physical characteristics as they tell you a lot about the strength of the roast. When roasting, the green beans begin to change color within the first few minutes.
First of all, they turn into a yellowish-gold peanut color. You will also notice that they begin to give off an aroma.
At this light stage, you will be able to smell fresh notes of grass and hay.
The second stage is when you begin to notice the first crack. As you’re roasting the green beans, their appearance begins to change, becoming drier and wrinkled.
The stem inside the beans starts to rise as it releases a more toasty aroma.
As the aroma intensifies, you will hear the first crack or popping sound after 3 to 5 minutes. This is the stage where roasting becomes more intense.
You’ll see the sugar caramelize at the surface as water escapes in the form of vapor and steam at this stage.
This is usually considered to be the first completed roasting stage. This is when the coffee beans have reached a light roast level.
However, you can continue roasting them if you want to enjoy a richer taste as well as more variation in style.
Caramelization and Second Crack
As you continue to roast the beans, the increasing heat will cause the natural oils inside the beans to exit the surface. With the oil deposits, the beans begin to expand, and their surfaces darken.
Finally, you will notice them starting to crack again.
The second crack takes place about 7 minutes after the first crack. Once you get your desired color and roasting strength, pour the beans into a strainer or metal colander.
Then blow on them to remove the husks.
Your coffee beans won’t stop roasting immediately after you have taken them off the heat. Instead, they will continue to roast slowly on the inside.
So, if there is a specific flavor you want, make sure you remove them a bit earlier to prevent over-roasting.
Storing The Beans
Once you’re done roasting your beans, you can either use them right away or store them. But make sure to leave the roasted coffee beans in the metal colander or strainer until they are at room temperature.
After that, place them in an airtight container to keep them fresh and store them away. Make sure you keep the container in a cool and dry area away from direct sunlight.
Roasting the beans releases carbon dioxide, which builds up even after you store them. So, to ensure that you remove all the gases, you can leave the container unsealed overnight.
This will help develop the taste and eliminate any bitterness in the coffee – ensuring that you enjoy the best-tasting filtered coffee.
There’s a reason why you should let the CO2 escape from the beans slowly instead of leaving the container open. Carbon dioxide is what preserves the home-roasted coffee beans.
If you let oxygen into the container, oxidation can ruin their freshness and turn them stale. You must be asking yourself, why let carbon dioxide escape in the first place, then?
Well, the answer is simple.
Although carbon dioxide helps in preserving the roasted coffee beans, too much of it can spoil the beans.
Excess carbon dioxide gas creates too much crema, affecting the quality of the beans. To ensure the right balance of CO2, it is best to wait overnight, or at least 12 hours, before sealing off your freshly roasted beans.
Doing it immediately after storing the beans can cause CO2 pressurization and damage your container.
Using The Coffee Beans
In the airtight jar, your beans will remain fresh for up to 6 weeks, but the beans’ freshness will decline once the oxidation process begins. Unroasted coffee or green beans, however, can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
After the home coffee roasting and storage process, you should wait for at least 24 hours before grinding and using the coffee beans. This allows the beans to develop full-bodied flavors for the best-tasting coffee.
If you want, you can also invest in a specialized storage container that mimics pre-roasted coffee bean bags with a one-way valve system.
The one-way valve allows the carbon dioxide to escape without letting oxygen into the bag. This lets the coffee beans remain fresh longer.
As an alternative, you can find high-tech pressurized containers with inert gases that help preserve the coffee beans.
What Do Different Coffee Roasts Mean?
You may be wondering what I mean when I say ‘light’ and ‘medium’ roast. In simple words, the roast of your coffee bean refers to how dark your coffee beans are.
The longer you let your coffee beans roast, the darker they will be.
The darker the coffee bean, the more intense and rich the taste becomes. It is essential to pay attention to the roast levels, even when you are brewing at home.
You might already have a favorite kind of roast, and knowing how to achieve it will ensure that your cup of coffee is always to your liking.
Learning about the different roasts will also allow you to experiment with various coffee flavors and expand your palate. There are three main roasts – light, medium, and dark.
Lightly roasted coffee beans retain their toasty, woody, and fruity or floral notes based on the type of beans you use. In addition, the short roasting time allows them to hold on to their fresh scent and light brown color.
Coffee beans achieve a mild roast after 3 to 5 minutes – just after the first crack.
Lightly roasted coffee often looks dry and pale. When brewed, a light coffee bean doesn’t show any traces of roasting and remains somewhat acidic.
Typically, lightly roasted coffee beans are used for a milder-tasting coffee.
Medium or Full City Roast
Medium or City roasted coffee also looks pretty dry since it doesn’t have any oil on the surface. However, compared to the more acidic profile of lightly roasted beans, medium roasted beans are rather sweet. It is also called “Full City Roast” because of its balanced taste and color.
Medium coffee has a more condensed flavor, which gives it a mild body. Within the medium range, you will also come across medium-dark roasts.
These beans have a dark brown color along with traces of oil on their surface. Medium-dark roasted beans exude the entire bean’s aroma and provide a deep flavor with a bittersweet aftertaste.
Dark roasted coffee beans are the most intense in color, flavor, and taste. These include Italian, espresso, and French roasts. Dark roasts have an intense flavor like that of charcoal-grilled food.
Also known as the second crack, these beans are black, shiny, and oily. This makes it easy to recognize them at first sight. When drinking coffee brewed from dark roasts, you will be able to feel a slight oiliness.
The principle is that the darker the coffee beans, the richer the taste. As a result, the beans offer a unique flavor profile that is more on the bitter side.
Still, the second crack is well-roasted. It also has thick and spicy notes to complement its profile.
Visual and Flavor Profiles
This roast has acidic, light-bodied, and floral notes. It also has a diverse and vibrant aroma.
Medium roast is less acidic, medium-bodied. It has a rich and well-rounded flavor with a smooth, & sweet aroma.
Dark roasts are the least acidic, heavy-bodied. They’re deep, rich, spicy, and toasty. They also have a dark chocolate flavor and a soothing aroma.
What About Pairings?
Darker roasts are more common due to their non-acidity. Light roasts are ideal due to their floral and fruity profile. Still, they may not be the best choice. This is because they have a strong acidic concentration. As a result, it’s quite tricky to balance the flavors.
Pour-over filter coffee with cones
Light roast coffee is better because its flavor is less intense.
Darker roasts blend better in a French press. This is because of their deeper chocolate, caramel, spicy, and rich flavors.
All three roasts do well, depending on your preferences.
Which Coffee Roast Is Stronger?
Coffee roast and its caffeine level are two separate things. Many people believe that dark roast means high caffeine levels. But coffee strength can be both the boldness of flavor, as well as the caffeine level. Yet in taste, dark coffee roasts are richer and stronger.
On the flip side, light roasts have a fruity flavor. You can find different roasts with different levels of caffeine. Generally, dark roasted beans weigh more than lighter ones. Still, light coffee has more caffeine in comparison.
If you brew light and dark roasted coffee of the same weight, the caffeine level will be the same. But, if you do so by scoops, light roasts will have a higher caffeine level.
On health benefits, both light and dark roasted coffee beans have similar advantages. Nonetheless, dark roasted coffee has a higher amount of antioxidants. But this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your favorite flavor and roast levels. You will get a good dose of antioxidants from either method.
Final Verdict – Should You Roast Coffee Beans At Home?
There is nothing like the smell of fresh coffee beans roasting away in the oven. That incredible aroma also accompanies you as you brew your morning cup of coffee. This experience is something local coffee could never match up to.
It’s true that pre-roasted beans take little time to prepare. But if you roast your own coffee at home, you will be able to enjoy a fresh cup of delicious coffee every day. Besides, it gives you control over the flavor and aroma of your coffee.
Moreover, you can choose the type of roast you want to drink, whether it be light, medium, or dark roasted coffee at home.
Roasting coffee beans at home guarantees the freshest and richest flavor. On top of that, it is also a gratifying experience. This is especially true for people who like crafting.
You’ve seen for yourself how easy it is to roast coffee in your kitchen. Still, it takes some investment since you’ll have to buy a grinder and coffee maker. Despite that, it’s well worth your time and money. You’ll get an amazing experience and save money in the long run.
So, the next time you want to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee, don’t go to the local coffee shop you frequent. Instead, try your hand at roasting your own beans and share them as gifts with your friends and family.
How long does it take to roast coffee beans?
The amount of time it takes you to roast coffee at home depends on two things.
First, the method you use. Each method has a different process, so it’s challenging to say how much time it could take.
The second factor is the size of the batch of coffee you’re preparing to roast. On average, you can expect the home roasting method to last around 10-20 minutes.
What is the best way to roast coffee beans?
Since there are various ways to roast coffee, it’s hard to say which is the best one. However, the most common way to roast coffee beans is by using an oven.
This isn’t too surprising since most people already have ovens at home and are familiar with their use. With that said, you can use any of the methods above to roast coffee at home and get equally good results.
Is Roasting your own coffee worth it?
One thing’s for sure, home roasting your coffee takes up a lot of time and effort. It also gets difficult to do the whole thing over and over when your coffee runs out.
Yet, roasting your own coffee is worth it if you value freshness and flavor. Besides, nothing can replace the original taste and aroma of coffee roasted at home.
Learning how to roast coffee beans is a pretty useful skill! The bottom line, roasting coffee beans at home is a rewarding experience.
It puts your coffee roasting skills to the test, and also lets you brew the drink you want from scratch!