How to Roast Coffee Beans

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Roasting your own coffee beans is a niche hobby that is fun, delicious, and satisfying. 

You can easily buy green coffee beans online and roast them yourself until your desired darkness is achieved, even without specialized equipment. 

Start small and work your way up to more machinery if roasting coffee beans is something you enjoy.

Here is how to roast coffee beans at home cheaply and effectively.

Green Coffee Beans

If you want to roast coffee at home, you need to start with green coffee beans or beans that have not been roasted.

A simple internet search will yield many different types of green coffee beans. This is a great time to experiment with different types of beans at different roast levels.

However, when you are just starting, start small. For your first roast, buy one package of green coffee beans to test it out before committing to a large purchase.

Assess your favorite types of coffee and compare that with the type of green coffee beans that you roast.

If you prefer blonde roast coffee, you will not want to roast your beans any darker than that level.

Adversely, if you love a super-strong brew, take your beans to the deepest roasted level.

Levels of Roasted Coffee Beans

As you may know from your favorite coffee brand, there are multiple levels of roasted coffee beans ranging from light to dark.

Light roast coffee tends to be more mild, sweet, and subtle. Dark roast is deep, intense, and robust.

Medium roast coffee is a great balance between the two ends of the roast spectrum. However, you should roast your coffee depending on how you like to drink your coffee.

When roasting your coffee beans, you will need to familiarize the noises, color, and other sensations that the beans give off during the process. Use all of your senses when roasting coffee!

Types of Roasting Supplies

The easiest and cheapest way to roast coffee at home is to use cooking materials that you already have. You do not need fancy equipment to roast coffee beans.

All you need is a heat source ranging from 350° to 500° Fahrenheit. You can use the stove and a skillet for the easiest roasting.

One thing to keep in mind is that the coffee beans need to be continuously moving for an even, delicious roast. This will require you to consistently shake or agitate the pan so the beans roast evenly.

It is possible to roast beans in the oven, but it may result in an uneven roast unless you are frequently opening the oven and agitating the beans. Opening the oven causes consistent heat loss, so oven roasting is not the best method.

Aside from a skillet, you can also use an electric air popper that is commonly used for making popcorn. These machines are constantly rotating, meaning the beans will have a perfectly even roast.

You do not have to buy special supplies to being roasting coffee beans. Once you are more familiar, you can invest in some specialized equipment for roasting.

How to Roast Coffee at Home

Seasoned coffee roasters will tell you that there is a timeline in which the roasting process happens. Using your eyes, ears, and nose will tell you everything you need to know about the roasting timeline.

Once the heat is on and the beans are roasting, the first stage you will come to is the “first crack” stage. There will be a snapping or popping sound and the beans will have expanded slightly with a matte light brown exterior.

The aroma from the first crack stage is similar to baking yeasted bread. This is the first stage in which your roasted coffee beans are drinkable, also known as a light roast.

The second event on the coffee roasting timeline is the “second crack” in which you will hear a louder, more violent cracking noise. The outer shell becomes deeper matte brown with a toasted chocolatey aroma. 

This is also known as the medium roast stage, with deeper, more complex notes than light roast coffee.

Continuing to roast your beans further will result in an oily sheen emerging on the beans with deep, dark, roasted notes. You may notice a soft smoke at this stage, and that is normal.

The end-stage is French roast, the most roasted type of coffee beans. This is the last stage that roasted coffee beans are drinkable. Any darker and the beans will be burnt and unpleasant.

Once the beans are roasted to your liking, cool them immediately to stop the roasting. Move them away from the heat and place a fan on them if possible to keep the air circulating.

There are so many nuances and technicalities when it comes to professional roasting. For amateurs, at-home materials work perfectly well.

Beware when roasting, as the skins of the beans tend to fly off of the bean. They may make a mess of your kitchen if you are not prepared, so this method of roasting can also be done outside on the grill.

Roasted and Toasted to Your Liking

As a fun hobby, you could be roasting your coffee beans to your particular tastes and preferences.

It does not require a large investment, yet roasting your coffee beans yields some delightfully tasty results.

By ordering green coffee beans online, you can experiment with different levels of roasting to make your coffee experience most enjoyable.

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