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Home Coffee Roasting

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Roasting coffee at home is something most drinkers have pondered at one time or another. Most dismiss the idea thinking that it is either too difficult or too expensive. We are going to bust both of these myths and show you a variety of different ways to roast coffee at home. Scroll further down for a list of general tips about roasting coffee at home. You can also check out our Roast Profile Chart for Coffee to learn more about the different styles of roasts.

Campfire Coffee Roasting
A fun way to be a little bit rustic on your next camping trip is by drinking coffee the way the cowboys did it; roasting green coffee beans over an open fire. Cowboys often roasted their own coffee beans because green coffee beans stay fresh much longer than roasted coffee beans, which is why roasted coffees come in air-tight containers now-a-days. Green coffee beans will actually stay fresh for more than a year.
More about roasting coffee on a campfire…

Home Coffee Roasting on the Stovetop
Most people do not realize that you do not need any fancy equipment to roast coffee beans. In reality, home coffee roasting does not require any fancy equipment. Coffee beans can be roasted with an ordinary frying pan or cast iron skillet on your stovetop with surprisingly good results.
More about roasting coffee on the stovetop…

Home Coffee Roasting in the Oven
If you would like to roast larger amounts of coffee at one time, you can use your oven to roast coffee. Home coffee roasting in an oven should produce a fairly even roast if you are using a gas or convection oven. While far from being a perfect roast, coffee beans roasted in an oven will be more evenly roasted than in the two methods listed above. Please note that it is not necessarily true if you are using a plain electric oven. Because of the way it heats, it is very difficult to roast coffee well in an electrical oven.
More about roasting coffee in the oven…

Home Coffee Roasting in a Popcorn Popper
As strange as it might sound, you can also roast coffee beans in a hot air popcorn popper. This has actually become a popular method over the years. Not just because a lot of households have hot air popcorn poppers but also because roasting coffee in hot air popcorn poppers usually produces surprisingly well roasted coffee beans.
More about roasting coffee in a popcorn popper…

Useful Information about Roasting Coffee at Home

  • The ideal cooking temperature for roasting coffee beans is 500-550°F (260-290°C). The only exception to this is when coffee beans are roasted using hot air, like in a popcorn popper. Then the temperature can be considerably lower.
  • To get the right temperature every time, use a thermometer to check the temperature of the coffee beans while they roasting. Candy thermometers work very well.
  • Coffee beans will crackle when you roast them. There are two distinct times this happens, the first crack and the second crack. Check out our Roast Profile Chart to learn more.
  • Coffee beans smell sort of like grass when you first start roasting them. That smell will change to the familiar roasted coffee smell as the begin roast. With some practice you should be able to smell when the coffee beans are roasted the way you like them. 
  • It’s a good idea to keep some coffee around that is roasted the way you like it. Keep it close by when roasting coffee at home and use the color of that coffee as a guide.
  • Coffee beans must be constantly stirred about to produce evenly roasted coffee beans.
  • Coffee beans must be cooled as quickly as possible to prevent over roasting.
  • Roasting coffee produces smoke. The darker the roast, the more smoke that is produced. Be prepared.
  • Roasting coffee beans produces a lot of ash like material, which can be quite messy, called chaff.
  • An easy way to remove chaff is to pour the coffee beans back and forth from one container to another. If possible, do this outside.
  • You do not need to remove all the chaff from the coffee beans. Chaff is mostly tasteless but excessive amounts of it will change the flavor of your coffee.
  • Freshly roasted coffee beans usually taste better the day after you roast them and are at their freshest for about three days.

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