How to Roast Coffee Beans: Guide for Best Coffee Roasting Practices
If you’re wanting to roast your own coffee beans and give your customer the highest quality product, here is your guide for best practices.
Ever wonder how to roast coffee? True coffee lovers know that the secret to a delicious cup starts with the beans. Though they still might produce a good cup, coffee beans are best when used right after they’re freshly roasted.
That means that your go-to bags at the grocery store are probably past their prime, despite what the exploration date on the label says. So how do you get the freshest bean in your daily cup of joe? Roast them yourself, of course.
How to Roast Coffee at Home
You don’t have to be a coffee snob to want a better coffee. This may seem like an intimidating feat, but it’s a simple process once you learn it. With a little practice, you can fine-tune your coffee roasting skill.
Roasting your coffee at home doesn’t require a lot of up-front costs. In fact, you may already have some equipment you can use in your kitchen. Over, roasting your coffee beans can save you money.
Buying beans whole say is much cheaper than buying an already finished product. A pound of beans can get you more cups of coffee at a lower price than if you were to purchase at your favorite coffee shop.
This guide will help you get started on your at-home coffee roasting journey.
Start With Green Coffee Beans
Coffee roasting starts with raw coffee beans. You can begin with flavors and varieties you know you already like, or you can do some research and find a new variety to try.
If you’re buying your coffee online, do your research. Coffee beans can vary even when they’re from the same origin. Factors like how large the country is and the processing method can affect the way the coffee taste.
Two great places to start are local coffee shops or roasters in your area that sell unroasted beans in your area. These experts will also be able to answer any questions or give you tips before you begin roasting.
When roasted, beans increase in size but lose half their weight. This is important because you should buy in anticipation of this. If you would like your final product to be one pound of roasted beans, you should buy two pounds of raw beans.
Gather the Supplies You Need
Now that you’ve got your beans, it’s time to get the supplies to roast them. There are three main methods you can use for at-home roasting: skillet or oven roasting, popcorn machine, and a home coffee roaster.
Using a skillet or an over to roast is the most accessible since you most likely already have this equipment. But this method can be challenging for beginners to achieve an even roast. Airflow is an essential part of roasting, but it can be difficult to control with this method.
Popcorn machines are most recommended for beginners because using them can more easily provide an even roast. It’s important not to use a popcorn machine with a mesh screen at the bottom because this can cause fires. If you’re looking to get started or try out at home roasting, this is the method for you.
The last method is using a home coffee roaster. Since this is what the appliance is made to do, an at-home roaster will typically yield the best results. With a variety of styles and user experiences, choosing a roaster is your personal preference.
Know What Roast You’re Going For
This breaks down into the categories that most people know: light roast, medium roast, and dark roast. These distinctions have to do with how long the raw coffee bean has roasted for. The bean’s internal temperature differentiates the roast type at the time they are removed from the roaster.
There are ten levels of roasting that you can achieve:
- Green: This is when the coffee beans are unroasted
- Mechanically Dried Green: This is an unroasted level where the first crack appears
- Cinnamon Roast: This is the lightest roast
- Light Roast: The typical light roast where brown begins to occur
- American Roast: A medium-light roast still at first crack
- City Roast: The typical medium roast where you can start to taste the flavor
- Fully City Roast: Medium-dark roast begins around the second crack
- Vienna Roast: Medium-dark roast where the roast flavor gets more prominent
- French Roast: Dark roast at the end of the second crack
- Italian Roast: Dark roast where the beans are nearly all black
Put them in your heating element and put the heat at the desired temperature. The beans will begin to change color from the raw green to roasted shades of brown. You will be able to hear the first crack, and the entire process will take about 10-15 minutes.
Keep an eye on your beans to ensure they get to the roast you desire. This process can happen quickly, so getting distracted can result in a burnt batch. And, unfortunately, a batch that’s burnt can’t be salvaged into coffee.
It’s also important to keep the beans moving to get an even roast. Popcorn machines and at home roaster will do this themselves. However, if you’re using a skillet or baking sheet, you will have to move the beans yourself.
Cool Your Beans
When your beans reach the level of roast that you want, remove them from the heat to cool down. Coffee beans will continue to roast while they cool completely, so you should not hesitate to take them out.
Remove the chaff, the dried outer skin of the coffee bean. You can do this by using two colanders and dumbing the beans between the two back and forth. The chaff can affect the taste of your coffee if there are large amounts, so be sure to remove as many as possible.
When the coffee beans are at room temperature, they’re ready to be stored. A sealable, foil-lined bag is the best option. However, you can also use an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place.
Allow your freshly roasted beans to sit for about three days before brewing. After that, it’s best to brew withing ten days of roasting.
Learning how to roast coffee at home is a coup for coffee lovers. While it may be a little more work, in the long run, you can save money and enjoy a better cup of coffee. Think your home cup of java can beat out the big brands?
Check out our blog to help you decide which green coffee bean is best for your at-home roasting.