So you’ve decided to roast your own coffee beans! This is an exciting step in your coffee journey and is sure to be a fun process you’ll learn a lot from.
While the process can seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be. In order to help you get started, we’ve broken down the process of how to roast coffee beans from start to finish. Read on to get roasting!
What You’ll Need
What exactly you’ll need for roasting your beans will vary depending on which roasting method you’re using. But to start off, you’ll need a few key things:
- Green coffee beans
- A heating element (oven, stovetop, popcorn maker or coffee roaster)
- Heatproof mitts
- Two colanders
- Airtight storage container
Choosing Your Beans
You’ll want to choose beans that suit whatever flavour profile you like most. Whether you’re into nutty, chocolaty, or fruity, the most important aspect of choosing your beans is to ensure that you’re picking a consistent batch. The beans should be consistent in both size and colour, to ensure an even and reliable cup of coffee every time.
Different Ways to Roast
In this article we’ll be discussing roasting with equipment you have at home in the oven, on the stovetop, or in a popcorn maker, as well as in a dedicated coffee roaster. There are pros and cons to each method, so you can choose the one that suits you best!
The key to this method is ventilation! You don’t want your kitchen to get too smoky. If your oven blows a gale, it’s best to try a different method.
Additional equipment you’ll need for this method includes:
- An oven
- A perforated oven sheet
First, spread your beans over the perforated sheet in one even layer. A perforated sheet is best for airflow, but if you can’t use one then a normal oven sheet will do in a pinch, just shake the beans a couple times during their roast.
You’ll want to open all the windows and doors in your kitchen before you put the beans in the oven, to help with the smoke.
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Place the tray in the oven, on the middle rack, and watch the beans until they’re finished roasting. This will take longer than other methods on this list.
- Don’t need to purchase another machine
- Can get very smoky
Stovetop roasting is a faster method than oven roasting, and doesn’t require any additional purchases.
Extra materials you’ll need for this method are:
- A thick pan
- A wooden spoon
- A stovetop
You’ll want to ensure your kitchen is well ventilated for this method as well. Open the windows and turn on a fan, it’s about to get smoky!
Heat the pan on a medium heat, and place your beans on the pan in a thin layer that allows you to stir easily. Stir constantly until the beans are finished roasting. Keep an eye out, because this will take less time than the oven method!
- No additional equipment required
- Hard to find the proper temperature
- Have to stir constantly for an even roast
Roasting in a Popcorn Maker
A popcorn machine is another great tool for roasting coffee beans that you might have lying around at home. If you go with this method, make sure your popcorn machine has side vents, otherwise things can burn.
For this method, additional equipment you’ll need is:
- A side vented popcorn machine
- A wooden spoon
As always, you’ll want to ventilate the room you’re in before getting started. Then, preheat the machine for about 30 seconds. Pour a half cup of beans into the machine, making sure they have room to rotate. Use the wooden spoon to help get things moving inside the machine, then close the lid.
Chaff will be coming out of the machine’s spout at this point, so collect it in a large bowl to avoid a mess. Watch the beans until they’re finished, stirring them midway through if need be.
- Beans are automatically agitated
- No need to buy a coffee roaster
- Can hurt the machine after a few times
- Creates a mess from the chaff
Using a Coffee Roaster
The final option in this list is using an in home coffee roaster. You’ll want to choose this option if you’re passionate enough about roasting your coffee that you’re willing to pay the extra money for a machine.
We won’t give a step by step breakdown here, as it will be necessary to follow the manufacturer's directions directly. But it’s always important to ventilate, as with the other methods!
Because these machines are made for roasting coffee, the whole process will be more convenient, and you won’t have to worry about the machine breaking like with the popcorn maker. It’s a great choice if you’re a real coffee lover.
● Machine is made for the job
● More smooth and convenient process
● Extra cost and counter space for the machine
When are The Beans Done?
In order to know when your beans are done roasting, you’ll want to listen for two audible cracks. The first crack will occur just as the beans really start to roast and become fragrant. You want to keep roasting past this first crack.
The second crack will tell you when to stop- it’s very important to be diligent at this point. If you stop the beans at the first pops of the second crack, you’ll have a light roast. If you wait until the final pops, you’ll have a French roast. If you wait too long, you might burn your beans!
As a rule, take your beans out less than a minute after the second crack the first time, and wait longer in subsequent trials. A little experimentation will help you achieve the perfect roast to your taste.
This process takes longer in an oven or stovetop than in a popcorn maker. It can be hard to measure in minutes when to take the beans out- your best bet is to listen for what they’re telling you!
After your beans are finished, you’ll want to transfer them to a colander, move to the sink, and pass the beans back and forth between colanders to remove the chaff, the outer skin of the coffee beans. This process will be messy, so be careful!
Once you’ve finished removing the chaff, leave the beans out for 12 hours to vent the C02. Then, place them in an airtight container until you’re ready to grind and brew!
While roasting coffee beans at home takes a few steps and some care, it’s definitely doable. You can choose to roast in the oven, on the stovetop, in a popcorn maker, or in a coffee roaster, whatever suits you best!
If you have any more questions about home roasting, let us know in the comments below. We’ll get back to you with all of your coffee knowledge needs!