You’ve been wondering how to roast coffee yourself: well, it’s easier than you may think. But first, what is coffee roasting? It’s taking green, unroasted coffee beans and roasting them to a rich brown color on a small scale just for you and perhaps a few loved ones to prepare those beans for making a great pot of coffee. Why roast your own coffee instead of buying instant coffee at the store? You’ve tasted instant coffee, so do I really have to ask? Home roasted coffee is for coffee lovers who like their beverage of choice as fresh and as flavorful as possible. Experimenting with different bean varieties and roasting methods can be a lot of fun, and also cheaper than buying gourmet pre-roasted coffee elsewhere.
Coffee should be fresh, and if you’re drinking ground or instant coffee like you find at the store, you’re not drinking fresh coffee. Here’s how long coffee beans in their various forms will stay fresh:
- Green, unroasted beans: 2 years
- Brown, roasted beans: 2 weeks
- Ground beans, or instant coffee: 2 hours (!)
This means that any ground or instant coffee you buy at the store is not fresh: it’s stale. Have you ever had fresh coffee before? You may want to try it: that’s an understatement. Home roasting is a good way to give fresh coffee a try, since at home you can roast your coffee in whatever quantity you like, which means that you can easily use up your roasted coffee before it’s no longer fresh. Coffee goes stale so quickly because oils and volatile compounds essential to flavor oxidize and evaporate upon exposure to the air.
So Many Choices
There is a wide selection of green coffee bean varieties available to home roasters from importers and distributors available via specialty stores and the Internet. You can buy just a small amount if you’d like to test out how much you enjoy a given variety of bean. You can find:
- Gourmet beans
- Rare beans
- Award-winning beans
- Beans from a specific harvest year
- Beans from specific countries or regions that you favor
- Beans from specific coffee orchards with excellent reputations
- Beans otherwise known for being high-quality or especially unique in flavor
You might also roast your beans in one of four different styles:
- Light roast
- Medium roast
- Medium-dark roast
- Dark roast
If you’re home roasting in order to save money, you can also buy wholesale green coffee beans in bulk for great prices. Savings for economic-minded home roasters can range from 25-50%. CLICK HERE to find the best price currently available through Amazon.com.
Roasting at Home
Home roasters can have a lot of fun experimenting with different roasting parameters in pursuit of the ideal cup of coffee if they so choose. You can test out different roasting times and temperatures at different stages of the roasting process, as time and temperature variations affect the body of the coffee, its aroma and its flavor. Individual tastes vary, so your optimal cup of coffee will also taste different from the favorite cups of coffee of your loved ones. You have the power to pursue perfect coffee for you and for the other coffee lovers in your life.
Home Roasting Equipment
Which equipment you use to home roast your coffee also affects the final product. Some methods are also more or less expensive than others and some require more or less experience in home roasting for maximum effectiveness:
Hot Air Popcorn Poppers
This is the easiest and least expensive way to home roast your own coffee. This technique will roast a small amount of beans relatively evenly and quickly even with little experience.
Stovetop Popcorn Poppers
These roast more beans at once in a way that is also fairly easy and not very expensive. This method does tend to take longer than the hot air popcorn popper technique and it produces more smoke as well, so use this in a well-ventilated environment like underneath an oven hood.
Skillet or Wok Roasting
Coffee beans can also be roasted on a stovetop using a skillet or a wok. This method is also inexpensive, though it takes a bit of practice to get an even roast. Some people actually like uneven roasts the best, so try this technique if you’re feel like trying something new.
Try different methods to find out which one you like best, and most of all, have fun with home roasting! Prepare yourself for some truly excellent coffee.