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How To Roast Coffee Beans At Home

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How to Roast Coffee Beans At Home (Stove Top Method)

Get ready for an immersive coffee experience! Back and better than ever, the fifth annual San Francisco Coffee Festival® kicks off Saturday, November 13, 2021 and Sunday, November 14, 2021. The top specially curated roasters and exhibitors share with you their unique beans and flavor profiles with a soundtrack provided by live entertainment at the Festival Pavilion at the arts nonprofit Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture .

Do Coffee Beans Need To Be Roasted

Yes, coffee beans need to be roasted. Roasting breaks down the outer structure of the bean, which is what permits proper extraction when brewing.


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  • How To Roast Coffee With A Roasting Machine

    Today, it isnt hard to find a coffee roasting machine that will take care of your roasted coffee needs. Some of these machines operate much like a popcorn popper and use fast-moving hot air to roast the beans and keep them agitated while roasting.

    This is by far the easiest roasting method of all, as the roaster handles most of the heavy lifting for you.

    Need a roaster recommendation? No worries weve got you covered! Click here to check out our favorite home coffee roasters.

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    To Top It Off Home Coffee Roasting Can Maximize Its Health Benefits

    Research has shown that coffee is rich in antioxidants. Freshly roasting your coffee beans ensures you are getting the optimal level of antioxidants from your cup of coffee. Because grinding coffee beans accelerates the loss of antioxidants, brewing with freshly roasted coffee beans and grinding only the amount you need that day will produce the healthiest cup of coffee.

    These advantages make learning how to roast coffee beans well worth the invested time and effort.

    How To Roast Coffee Beans

    How To Roast Coffee Beans: 5 Ways to Roast Your Own Coffee ...

    The Spruce / Pete Scherer

    Roasting your own coffee is economical, fun, and easy to learn. While this quick-start guide doesn’t cover every detail, it does provide a concise overview of the most important points. Coffee roasting is an art, rooted in the senses. Ultimately, you must pay attention to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile sensations of the roasting process so that you can connect them to the results in your cup. Your creative engagement will drive your exploration, and you’ll be sure to have more than a few great cups of coffee along the way. To begin, of course, you need some coffee beans. Start with an Internet search for “buy green coffee.” You will find much to choose from, but don’t agonize. Simply begin at the beginning, and buy one that sounds interesting.

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    Making Sense Of Green Coffee Lingo

    The spec sheet of a green coffee reveals exactly where on the planet that coffee grew including the country, region within the country, the farm and farmer who grew it, the elevation of the farm, and other interesting facts about the surrounding terrain and climate.

    Information about the varietal of the coffee bourbon, typica, caturra, etc. is also typically provided along with how the coffee was processed wet, dry, or pulp-natural.

    To the seasoned coffee roaster, all this background information tells the backstory of a specific coffee and provides clues for how it might taste. When youre just starting out, however, dont spend too much time comparing minute details between different green coffees youre considering.

    Simply read through the tasting notes provided by the retailer and go with the coffee you find most appealing. The roasting process remains more or less the same regardless of the type of coffee youre roasting so you really cant lose.

    Buy Unroasted Green Beans

    Pro tip:

    You’ll first need to pick up a few pounds of raw coffee beans, which look like tinier greener versions of their fully roasted selves . If you know of a local coffee place that roasts its own beans you may have luck scoring some there if not, there are a wide range of solid online options.

    Keep in mind when ordering that while the beans will increase in size as they’re roasted, they’ll also lose about half their weight, so if you want to end up with a pound of roasted beans buy two pounds of raw. Every raw bean will give you its own subtle flavor characteristics as well, so do some research to make sure you’re picking something you’ll like.

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    Time To Roast: Diy Coffee Roasting Step By Step

    Before you dive into the procedure, commit to staying with your pan of roasting coffee from start to finish. The coffee must be stirred continuously and if you walk away for even a few seconds, the beans will scorch producing unfavorable burnt flavors. Make sure you have all the necessary tools compiled and ready for action because once you start roasting, you must stay glued to the task.

    Development Or Roasting Stage

    How to roast coffee beans at home in a pan

    In the beginning of development stage the reaction becomes exothermic and the coffee cracks. During drying and browning stages the bean has collected energy that makes the coffee to explode. Development time is when the wanted aroma compounds are developing. If we do not slow down the roast at development stage, we easily get coffee that is smoky tasting and the flavour is too sharp.

    The length of development stage is typically 1525% of the total roast time depending on the desired flavour profile and roast degree.

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    Roasting Beans Using A Wok

    • Preheat your pan, so its nice and hot. Ideally, youre looking for something in the area of 500 degrees .
    • Pour enough beans into your wok or pan to completely cover the bottom, then add just a smidge more than that. Your goal is to fit as many beans in as you can, but still, keep it so that theyre easy to stir.
    • Begin stirring your beans immediately after youve finished adding them. You want to keep a slow, steady, constant motion, but you dont have to go crazy with it.
    • Watch, listen, and smell. The exact time to the First Crack will vary, depending on your stovetop and how hot your pan is, but you should expect to be standing there stirring for about five minutes before the first crack, and of course, during that time, youll see your beans begin to go through their color change.
    • Once you hear the first crack, your beans will continue to darken. Thesecond crack will be much softer, so listen carefully for it.
    • Ultimately, its up to you when you stop and depends on what roast youre looking for, but remember to take them off the heat a little bit before your target roast is reached.
    • When youre ready, remove your beans from the heat and pour into a waiting colander.
    • Stir gently to remove the chaff and let cool for 4 hours.
    • Transfer to an airtight container for later use.
    • Dont forget to put the battery back in your smoke detector when youre done!

    After Roasting: Waiting Shell Removal And Grinding


    As we discussed earlier in this article, roasting coffee beans creates a certain amount of gas.

    The gas produced in this process can affect the taste of the coffee, so it is best to leave the beans out at room temperature for at least 4 hours to allow the beans to degas.

    We generally roast beans in the evening and allow them to rest overnight so they are fresh in the morning.

    Shell Removal

    When roasting coffee, you will notice a thin, papery shell is produced when the beans are finished. This comes from the bean expanding and shedding its shell upon the release of gasses.

    These must be separated from the beans before grinding and serving. There are many ways proposed to remove these shells, but we have found using a blow dryer is the most effective.

    To do this, simply place the beans and shells in a colander or other perforated bowl, and run a blow dryer over the beans.

    This will stir up the shells and shoot them up out of the bowl while leaving the beans inside.

    Be careful, this is extremely messy and will leave shells everywhere! It is best to do this step outside.

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    Air Roaster Coffee Bean Roasting

    Using an air roaster to roast your coffee beans at home is typically your most expensive option. The air roasters specifically for roasting coffee beans can be upward of two hundred dollars to purchase, and some people find that to be quite steep in order to roast coffee beans at home.

    If you are in the market for an air roaster specifically for roasting coffee beans at home, some of the name brand roasters you will find are Fresh Roast, Hearthware I Roast, and Nescafe. These are all well-known name brands for home coffee bean roasting and are trusted by most folks who roast at home.

    Air roasting is also referred to as fluid bed roasting. The air roasters have a glass container that allows you to constantly see the color of your beans as youre roasting to ensure that you are not getting too dark of a bean for your tastes. Air roasters work much like the popcorn popper does when roasting your beans, by essentially blowing hot air across your coffee beans in order to roast them to perfection.

    Your air roaster will come with an information booklet on its usage. Simply follow the instructions and guidelines in the literature to set the roaster up and achieve the correct temperature. Most air roasters will also provide coffee bean roasting guidelines in the written instructions as it is a very popular home use for the air roasters. Once you have roasted your coffee beans to the desired color, you want to turn the air roaster off following the written instructions.

    What Happens During The Coffee Bean Roasting Process

    4 Ways to Roast Coffee Beans

    There are various different ways to roast coffee at home, but at its most basic, roasting involves taking raw, green, untreated coffee beans and applying them to a heat source for a specified period of time.

    Green beans hold a large amount of water in them. If you tried to grind them up and brew them, you would end up with a pasty mix with a distinct grassy flavor profile. Roasting the beans removes the water and starts various chemical reactions which alter the flavor and aroma profile of the bean.

    The longer the roast, the higher the temperature, and the more concentrated the heat source are all going to be significant factors in determining how your beans turn out. Its these factors that you can play with in order to finely tune exactly how youd like your beans to smell and taste.

    There are various stages of roasting. During the first stage, when the green coffee beans are first applied to the heat source, the moisture trapped within them begins to evaporate. This is known as the drying stage or yellowing stage as this is when the beans begin to dry out and turn yellow.

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    With A Popcorn Popper

    Roasting coffee beans in a hot air popcorn popper is popular with people who roast coffee at home but arent ready to invest in more expensive equipment. After all, popcorn poppers are quite cheap and easy to find.


    • No way to regulate the temperature
    • Beans tends to roast too fast and can taste underdeveloped
    • Chaff gets all over your roasting space

    When choosing a popper, dont use one that has a mesh screen and heating element at the bottom of the popper. This will blow your beans upwards, and potentially knock them out of the popper.

    Also, that mesh screen in the bottom creates a problem with the chaff. Chaff is dried husk, or skin, that still clings to unroasted coffee. When you roast the bean, the light chaff loosens off. Chaff can get stuck in that bottom screen and create a fire hazard.

    To avoid those problems, choose a hot air popcorn popper that has the air vents on the side. Side vents move the beans around in a circle and dont let the chaff get stuck.

    Also, choose a sturdy popper that will stand up to long roasting sessions. It takes longer to roast beans than to pop corn, and many poppers cant stand up to the heat. The plastic lids are especially prone to melting.

    What do you need to roast in a popcorn popper?

    • Unroasted coffee
    • Oven mitts or kitchen towels

    How to do it

    Step 1
    Step 2

    Place about ½ cup of beans in the bottom of the popper. You dont want to fill the chamber because the beans wont reach a high enough temperature.

    Step 3
    Step 4
    Step 5

    Can You Roast Coffee Beans Twice

    Specialty coffee has several variations of roasting, however, can you roast coffee beans twice in order to change the flavours to suit your preferences?

    Being one of the most vital ingredients that drive many nations worldwide, people are always trying to find ways to improve their daily coffee addiction.

    Some people like coffee milder, offering a complex, sweet and even a subtle floral aroma.

    Whereas others like their coffee stronger, offering deep rich and earthiness aroma.

    Can you roast coffee beans twice? It is advisable not to roast coffee beans twice as the beans do not get roasted but instead cooks the beans, and when we roast coffee for the second time, it lets out the flavour and ultimately starts to get burnt.

    These burnt beans now offer a bitter taste, therefore, instead of roasting coffee beans twice, rather buy a better and darker bean or roast the coffee beans for a longer period of time.

    In this article, we will walk you through why you should not roast coffee beans twice, and what you can do instead, in order to improve your daily coffee routine, and ultimately save you time and money.

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    Using A Popcorn Machine Safely

    As I said above, using a popcorn machine to roast coffee can be dangerous. Because theyre not designed for roasting coffee, theyll often break after a couple of months of regular roasting anyway. This ultimately makes it a less cost effective way of roasting, because you need to factor in the need to replace it regularly.

    But if I absolutely cant dissuade you from trying this, its really important to get a popcorn machine that is designed to heat the corn from the sides of the machine. If you use one that heats from the bottom, youll get an uneven roast. At worst, it can even ignite chaff and cause awful fires.

    Its also very important to keep the popcorn machine clean. You dont want to leave a buildup of chaff because, again, its a huge fire hazard. I also wouldnt ever leave the popcorn machine unattended.

    Better yet, dont use a popcorn machine to roast coffee, geez!

    Set Up Your Roasting Space

    How to Roast Coffee Beans At Home (Popcorn Popper)

    Good ventilation is crucial, not just for your roast quality but also for your safety. Use an extractor fan, open your windows, and consider roasting outside or in an open garage so that the smoke released from the beans can escape.

    Youll also need some equipment close to hand. Scales are a wise investment, so you know exactly how much coffee you are roasting per batch. For popcorn-machine users, a thermometer can also be helpful. Evan says, I would suggest a set of silicon gloves for handling hot materials, a small fan for cooling, and a sieve for cooling your beans.

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    The 10 Stages Of Roasting Coffee

    Pro roasters have identified ten levels of roast that beans can go through. Which levels you reach will be up to you:

  • Green: The beans will retain their virgin green essence, even as they start to heat.
  • Yellow: The color will become yellowish, and the beans will emit a grassy odor.
  • Steam: Steam will rise from the beans. This is the water inside the beans evaporating.
  • First Crack : Heres where the real roasting begins. Sugars inside the beans caramelize, and a cracking sound is heard, like the sound of popcorn popping.
  • City Roast: Following the first crack, the beans have reached City Roast, the minimum level of roast acceptable for most peoples grinding and brewing tastes.
  • City Plus Roast: With further caramelization of sugars and the migration of oils, the beans swell in size and reach City Plus Roast. This is a popular and common level of roast to use.
  • Full City Roast: Beyond the limits of City Plus is the Full City, an even darker roast that takes the beans to the verge of a second cracking.
  • Second Crack : The beans undergo a second, more violent cracking and enter Full City Plus. This roast will reveal even more layers of intensity to the flavor.
  • Dark Roast : The smoke will become pungent, the sugars will burn as much as they can without ruining the flavor, and the beans overall structure will break down. This is the utmost limit of roasting within the confines of good flavor.

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