If you want to know how to roast your coffee beans at home, then first will have to mention a little about the beans.
The Coffee Bean
Coffee beans are green before roasting, and can be stored without the loss of quality or flavor, and have a soft and spongy feel to them.
The roasting brings chemical changes to the green beans to give you that coffee flavor and taste.
When roasting the beans they lose about 15 to 18% of their weight from water loss and other compounds, but will double in size due to the expansion of the cellulose structure as they lose carbon dioxide, water, and volatile organic compounds
If you decide to try roasting a few beans inside your home, then you should know that their is a skin that covers the green beans, and this skin or chaff can come off and blow around.
Also, if your aiming for a dark roast, their can be some smoke if you go to far into the roast.
Popcorn Poppers for Roasting
Hot air popcorn poppers work very well for roasting about 4 ounces of beans. They should be toasted at 1200 watts or more, and the 1500 watts works quite well.
If the weather is good you can roast the beans outside, so no chaff or smoke will be in the house.
If doing inside, put a colander with a wet towel in it to catch the chaf just below the mouth of the popcorn popper.
Another thing you should have is a timer, and a good light to see when the beans are changing color.
About 3 minutes into your roast, you will hear the beans do a first crack at about 380 F, and after this your beans can be used as a light cinnamon roast for your coffee
There will be another crack 2 or 3 minutes after first crack from the beans at which time the beans will be turning a darker color, and if left to roast too much longer after 2nd crack, they can start to burn.
The temperature for roasting is usually about 350F to 500F, but that can be a little different depending on your roasting method.
After the point of your desired roast you can dump the beans into a screened colander and let them cool down, and also a fan to help cool them down if you like.
Your total roast time can take anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes, so is something you have to watch closely.
The beans can be put in a package or jar, and because they will gas off leave the lid loose overnight, and next morning beans are ready to be grind for a fresh flavored coffee.
Different types of Roast
Generally coffee roast will be classified in one of four colors, light, medium, medium dark, and dark.
1. A light roast has a light brown color and is preferred for milder coffee, with this roast you will find that none of the oils in the beans have come to the surface. This roast can be named:
- Light city
- Half city
2. Medium Roast. This roast will be medium brown in color and the flavor a little stronger, and a non oily surface to the beans. This roast is referred to as:
3. Medium Dark Roast. With the medium dark roast you will find the beans have some oil on the surface, and are often referred to as:
- Full city
4. Dark Roast. This roast produces a bean that is dark with an oily surface, and will have less acidity in the coffee and some bitterness to it.
This roast can be considered as:
- You can find it with a few other names as well.
Ways to Roast
There are about 3 ways you can roast beans at home: in a steel frying pan, or on home roasting machine, or popcorn maker.
About the cheapest way is to use the steel frying pan, but with it your not always getting a consistent heat.
The popcorn maker is fairly cheap at about 20 to 40 dollars, but not being designed for roasting beans it might not last.
Then, the high quality roasting machine can go up to $500 and higher, with cheaper models from $150 to $200, which might not last too long.
Buying beans that are pre-roasted is a good way to go, but if you like to experiment with the roosting process, then try one of the above ways.
With the home roasting you will know that the beans are fresh roasted and haven’t been sitting on a store shelf for a long period.
After roasting, remember to let beans gas off the C02, by leaving your container cover loose.
Some recommend a few hours to a few days, but about 12 hours should be efficient for the beans.
It takes about 24 hours after roasting for the beans to reach their full-bodied flavor, and so best to grind and use within a time frame of 7 days.
Keeping Beans Fresh
After about a week the oxidation process will begin, and beans start to become stale. To extend the life of the roasted beans, and freshness of the coffee, they can be kept in a vacuum sealed storage container.
A good container is the premium quality stainless steel coffee container by Coffee Gator.
This canister comes with the one way valve for off gasing of the CO2, and will stop air or any light from entering the can, so keeping your beans at their peak flavor.
This model also comes with a free e book and scoop for your coffee, and its price can be checked out on Amazon.
So if you really won’t fresh coffee then roasting the beans at home before grinding is the way to go, and you can always experiment with the different roast to find the one that’s right for your taste.
And if your not into this, then just but the pre-roasted, and enjoy your coffee.
Any comments on how the roasting turns out are always appreciated,