How To Purchase Unroasted Coffee
Now that you know how to roast coffee beans, the next step is to buy the beans youll need. For any home roasting method youll need to purchase unroasted, or green, coffee beans. You can get them from your local roastery or order online.
One of the benefits of purchasing green beans and roasting them yourself is that its way cheaper than buying roasted beans. That means you can spend your coffee budget on better green beans that you roast according to your tastes. Thats a big plus.
Also, youll always have freshly roasted coffee on hand, as long as you dont forget to roast. That alone elevates your daily coffee experience.
When youre just starting out with roasting, dont worry about what country the beans are from or how they were processed. Just buy an available coffee bean. I would recommend buying one that isnt too expensive, since you will make mistakes and ruin batches until you learn what you like and how to achieve it.
As you get more experience, youll have fun experimenting with a wide range of regions, altitudes, and processing. Along the way youll learn how those variables change the characteristics in your coffee.
Green coffee beans, when stored properly, can last 6 months or longer. So once you find a coffee you like, feel free to buy it in bulk and save even more money. Ill give you tips for storing your unroasted beans at the end of this article.
What Happens To Coffee Beans During Roasting
Green, unroasted coffee beans have a significant amount of water retention. It would be impossible to grind and brew them. Nor would you want to: they have a distinctive grassy flavour.
Roasting kickstarts various chemical reactions, resulting in the development of more appetising flavours and aromas.
Find out more in What Happens During Coffee Roasting: The Chemical Changes
When green coffee beans enter a hot environment, the moisture content starts to decline. This is the first stage of roasting, and its known as the drying stage. Shortly into this phase, the beans begin to turn yellow. Many people refer to this as the yellowing stage.
Its when the beans start to darken, which is known as the browning stage, that the most important chemical reactions happen: the Maillard reaction, caramelisation, and Strecker degradation. These create many of the flavour and aroma compounds, including those responsible for sweetness and fruity acidity.
The browning stage ends with first crack, which is when the pressure inside the coffee beans causes them to crack open. Youll recognise it by a series of popping noises.
Eventually, all the water inside the beans evaporates and they reach second crack. The coffee steadily becomes darker and releases more carbon-like aromatics. The majority of the sugars break down, and as the roast progresses, the beverage will taste increasingly bittersweet with reduced acidity.
Vietnam G1 Arabica Green Coffee
“I normally like a mild coffee but I tried this as my first green home-roast . This is delicious! My roaster is a bit too hot and so stopping just after 2nd crack was difficult but these beans go a lovely dark oily black and taste fantastic. I was very surprised to see it was the strongest coffee on the strength chart. I will buy again!” – Des
Also Check: Verismo Coffee Maker Reviews
The Equipment You Need For Roasting Coffee Beans
My first few pounds were roasted in a toaster oven. I currently use a Victorio popcorn popper that I purchased from.Sweet Marias. It is designed with coffee roasters in mind. Skip the cheaper $25 aluminum popcorn poppers. The gears are plastic and it is aluminum.
You will find many options on roasting including air popcorn poppers I started with this. Air poppers can only roast about ½ a cup at a time, and the paper-like chaff that is on the green beans blows all over the place which makes a mess.
I am considering upgrading to a Behmor this winter.
You also need:
- Outdoor grill with cooking burner
- One frozen plastic cooler pack wrapped in foil
- One large glass mixing bowl
- Oven mitt, air mattress air pump
- Bluetooth speaker
About once a week or so I go through my bean stash and select four cups of beans. Sometimes I mix the varieties, sometimes not.
Sowhat Is The Best Way To Roast Coffee
The winning method for roasting at home is not surprisingly home coffee roasters. This type of coffee roasting machine is specifically designed to roast coffee in an average kitchen setup.
Of course, you might want to start out roasting in a popcorn popper just to get a feel for the process. However, you may quickly get frustrated and disappointed by the irregular results, the lack of ability to develop your roast profile, and chaff flying all around your kitchen.
Upgrading to a home roaster will give you the control you want and the results you need. In the past, these kinds of roasters had ridiculously high price tags. As home roasting has become more common, though, prices have come down and are no longer crazy expensive. You can get a good starter roaster for less than 200 bucks.
For a true coffee lover, this little investment pays for itself fast. Once you get used to drinking coffee roasted at home just the way you love it, youll find it hard to go back to anything else. And when you add up the savings by roasting your own coffee, you may find that the roaster pays for itself in a short amount of time.
There are many types of home roasters with wildly diverse ways of roasting. How can you choose the best roaster for your needs? We got you covered in this article with the best home coffee roasters.
Don’t Miss: Do Verismo Pods Work In Nespresso
Listen For The Cracks
Make sure to listen for the first crack. The audible crack sound is an indicator of the first roasting stage, which yields a lighter roast. The second crack will occur around the seven-minute stage and is a good indicator for medium roasts. For a dark roast, leave the roaster on no longer than a minute and 30 seconds.
Note: It is harder to hear the cracks if you are using an oven.
Understanding The Roasting Process And Why You Need To Roast Coffee In The First Place
Everything that makes brewed coffee so wonderful the flavors, the aromas, the caffeine are almost entirely unavailable in the beans raw state. But by applying heat to the beans during the roasting process, coffees most prized chemical compounds and solubles become available for extraction through brewing.
On average, it takes anywhere from 7 to 15 minutes to roast a batch of coffee. During that time, the raw coffee beans change from green to brown with a few distinct stages along the way. By understanding whats happening during each stage, youre able to make the changes and adjustments needed to yield the most delicious tasting roasted coffee possible.
Here is a rough breakdown of the coffee roasting process and its progressive stages:
Initial heating and drying : As soon as the green coffee beans come into contact with the heat source they begin absorbing heat. When the internal temperature of the beans rises, moisture within the beans starts evaporating as steam, producing the aroma of warm, wet hay. During this stage, the coffee remains its natural green color for the first few minutes.
Yellow : Once the coffee beans have dried significantly, they gradually change from green to a tan-ish yellow color. The aroma changes from wet hay to that of baking bread. Youll also start noticing small pieces of chaff separating from the coffee and blowing off yes, it gets everywhere.
Knowing when to end the roast is everything.
Recommended Reading: Coffee Mate Funfetti
Select Your Roast Method
There are several ways to home roast coffee, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. To choose between them, consider how much money you are willing to spend, how much coffee you will roast, and how much control you want over your roasting variables.
Oven and skillet-roasting are inexpensive options since you likely already have the equipment. However, theyre not recommended for beginners because they require a high level of skill to achieve an even roast. Controlling airflow is also an important part of roasting, but it can be difficult with these methods.
If youre just getting into it, try roasting on a popcorn machine, Evan says. The Poppery series are some of the best for the job, or you can find one like it for about US $20. If youre going straight for the gold, try the Aillio Bullet it will cost you significantly more, however.
Popcorn machines are easy to use and typically produce even roasts. For small quantities, theyre a great starting point. Bear in mind, however, that doing so will invalidate your warranty, and that you cant use ones with a mesh screen at the bottom, as this can cause fires.
There are so many home roasting machines out there, and most of them strive to be easy to approach and safe to roast on, Evan tells me.
What Varieties Of Coffee Beans Are Available
Now that we know where green coffee beans grow, lets dig a little deeper.
Although varieties of coffee beans vary by region and roasting characteristics, there are two main types of coffee beans. Arabica coffee beans are considered premium coffee beans and grow in smaller batches. Robusta coffee beans grow on trees in larger batches. Therefore, the cost to plant, maintain, and harvest them is more economical than that of Arabica.
Also Check: Coffee And Bladder Cancer
The Grill Or Pan Roasting Method
The most utilized method for home coffee roasting. Everyone has a standard grill or pan lying around their kitchen, which means this method is very popular amongst the home coffee roasting community. There are many tutorials regarding this method, but those DIY coffee roasters tend to burn the beans using this simple method. Never use a non-stick or coated pan in the roasting process because it will negatively impact the flavor of the coffee roast.
How To Roast Coffee At Home
If you love your coffee fresh, home roasting your own green coffee beans could be the right move to make. There is a great satisfaction in doing something yourself. Roasting your own coffee beans at home can be fantastic once you have perfected your technique and found the roasting and cooling time you prefer, your own roast may be the best coffee youll ever have.
Most people expect home roasting to be an expensive process, but you dont need to splash out on an expensive machine , you probably have all you need to get started already in your cupboards.
Don’t Miss: Flavia How To Use
Cast Iron Skillet Roasting
Much like you do when oven roasting your coffee beans, you can roast coffee beans in a cast-iron skillet either on your grill or on the stovetop. Again, dont use any type of cooking oil when you are roasting your coffee beans in a skillet. This is because the temperature necessary to roast your coffee beans will cause cooking oil to scorch and will produce an unusable coffee bean.
You want to have a skillet temperature somewhere between 450 and 500 degrees in order to roast your coffee beans. Your skillet doesnt have to be cast iron however, you dont want to use a non-stick or coated skillet to roast your coffee beans.
In order to achieve a light roast coffee bean, roast your beans in a single layer in the skillet at the required temperature for between 4 and 8 minutes. You need to constantly stir your coffee beans in order to prevent your coffee beans from uneven roasting.
Pour your coffee beans into a metal colander. Do not use a plastic colander, as the temperature of the coffee beans will begin to melt the plastic. Stir the coffee beans around inside the colander, which will both cool the beans and remove the chaff, or the outer coffee bean shell that will cause a terrible bitter taste, so be sure to remove all of the chaff prior to grinding your coffee.
How Long Does It Take
How much time does it take to roast your own batch of beans? Besides sourcing the green coffee beans, you have the steps of the roasting process.
This process takes between 10-13 minutes for small batches and 16-18 minutes for large batches to roast. Altogether, it might take 20 or 30 minutes of your time to roast a final product of one or two pounds of fresh coffee. Keep in mind that youll need to repeat this process whenever you run out of coffee.
Now That You Know The Basic Steps To Using A Home Coffee Bean Roaster Lets Dig Deeper Into The Types Of Coffee Roasts
Lets start out by recognizing there is some confusion over the different coffee roasts available, often caused by the lack of standardization used when categorizing them. Many coffee drinkers settle with the basic knowledge of the differences between light roast vs. dark roast. Understanding the terminology used to describe coffee characteristics will help you choose the best roasting level based on your preferences.
Add Beans To Pan Start Stopwatch & Stir
Once the skillet has preheated fully, reduce the flame to low and wait 30 seconds or so for the skillets temperature to drop slightly. If the skillet is too hot upon starting the roast, theres a chance the green beans will scorch.
Then, pour the beans into the pan, start the stopwatch, and start stirring immediately. Remember: Once the roast starts you cant stop stirring!
Your goal is to move every bean in the skillet with every pass of your wooden spoon. Experiment with different stirring patterns try circles, spirals, zigzags, or a combination until you fall into a nice rhythm. Its also extremely helpful to keep a grip on the skillet using an oven mitt or towel so you can shuffle the skillet every few seconds to keep the beans well agitated.
Read Also: Caffeine In Starbucks Breakfast Blend K Cup
How To Flavor Coffee Beans At Home
Flavor your coffee beans? Yourself? At home? Without a barista supervising? What are you talking about? Calm down. We are here for you. We promise it is not as hard as it sounds. If you enjoy making your coffee at home but are finding things becoming a little stale, then listen up.
Adding some flavor to your coffee beans is an easy and cheap way to bring out new notes in your coffee. And not have to buy 37 different roasts. So get your coffee beans out and get ready to be a master of flavortown. Not the mayor, that jobs already taken.
A Quick Roasting Primer
At its most basic, roasting coffee is heating it until it turns brown. The thing is, those also make great instructions on how to take a beautiful prime-grade ribeye steak and turn it into cardboard, so you’ll need to know more than that. A lot of us were eating cardboardy steaks back in the 70’s and 80’s when well-done was more the norm and coffee’s been roasted for centuries with similar finesse. With most foods, cooking with heat was first about making it more digestible before it was about more palatable.
With roasting coffee, it’s fundamentally about making it brewable, since brewing green coffee doesn’t produce anything anyone really wants. A perfect roast is ultimately about the balance between flavors in the green coffee and those that develop during roasting.
All About Coffee
Historically, roasting was done over an open flame in some sort of a pan, with some method of stirring to try to encourage evenness in the process. Mechanized roasting combined those two elements by putting the coffee in a metal contraption that you’d turn over the flame like a rotisserie. Different roasting machines performed the job in different ways, and as fossil fuel-burning roasters came into regular use, you saw a divergence in roasting dynamics depending on the tastes of your market.
So with that bit of background out of the way, let’s get back to roasting at home.
Read Also: How Much Caffeine Is In A Starbucks K Cup