Knowing how to roast coffee beans will enable you to drink fresh coffee whenever you want. Aside from that, it can also let you experiment with coffee origins and more. It can be quite challenging to learn it at first, but the satisfaction of knowing that you roasted and brewed your morning coffee will make it all valuable.
Roasting coffee at home gives you greater control over your coffee. It allows you to enjoy the kind of coffee you are craving. But aside from flexibility, another big factor in roasting your own coffee is freshness. Did you know that green beans can be stored for a year after harvest without going stale? However, roasted beans start to lose their flavors and aromas in just two weeks. Therefore, buying green and roasting small amounts each week, or even daily, will ensure that your coffee is always fresh. Green beans are also cheaper compared to roasted ones.
If you are thinking of roasting your own coffee, there are important things you need to consider, such as the equipment needed, the kind of green beans to use, and how you’d know when the roasting is done. If you want to learn more about these, read on as we’re giving you the ultimate guide to roasting your own coffee.
What Happens to Coffee Beans During the Roasting Process?
Green coffee beans contain a significant amount of water retention, and it’s impossible to grind and brew them. With the process of roasting, various chemical reactions occur, which result in the development of more appetizing flavors and aromas.
During the roasting process, some of the natural sugars of the beans are converted into CO2 gas, while others are caramelized into some of the flavors, which help in forming the complex flavors in the coffee. Once the procedure is complete, the green bean will turn into a brown bean that is about 18% lighter and 50 to 100% larger. The coffee will also start to degas, and in a week or two, the roasted coffee will begin to lose some of its flavor and aromas.
Stages of Roasting Coffee
According to pro roasters, there are ten stages of roast that beans can go through. However, they do not need to go through all of these. Here are the stages of roasting coffee:
- Green –The coffee beans will retain their virgin green essence, even as they start to heat.
- Yellow – The coffee beans’ color will turn yellowish, and the beans will begin to emit a grassy smell.
- Steam – Steam will start to rise from the beans, which is the water inside the beans evaporating.
- Cinnamon Roast – This is the first crack, and it is where the real roasting starts. The sugars inside the beans will caramelize, and you will hear a cracking sound like popcorn popping.
- City Roast – After the first crack, the beans will reach the City Roast. It is the minimum level of roast acceptable for most people’s grinding and brewing tastes.
- City Plus Roast –When the beans reach City Plus Roast, further caramelization of sugars and migration of oils starts. This is the popular and most common level of roast to use.
- Full City Roast –This one is an even darker roast that takes the beans to the verge of a second cracking.
- Full City Plus Roast – In this stage, the beans undergo a second and more violent cracking. This will reveal even more layers of intensity to the flavor.
- Dark Roast – In this stage, the smoke will become pungent, the sugars will burn as much as they can without ruining the flavor. And the overall structure of the beans will break down. This stage is the utmost limit of roasting within the confines of good flavor.
- Burn – If you do not stop roasting, the smell will go from pungent to terrible, and the beans will start to burn.
Things Needed to Roast Your Own Coffee
To be able to roast coffee properly, you will need a few items. Here are some of them:
- Green Coffee: Finding green coffee is probably the most difficult part of your roasting process. But it depends on where you live. You can check with your local coffee shops or search for any roasters in your area that sell unroasted coffee beans. You can also order some online. Here are some recommendations:
- Primos Coffee Co.Unroasted Green Coffee Beans
- Kafetos Single Origin Unroasted Green Coffee Beans
- Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC Green Unroasted Brazil Cerrado Coffee Beans
- Roaster: Of course, you need to have a roaster to be able to roast your own coffee. You can find many different types of roasters out there. If you do not have one, you can also use a simple stovetop popcorn maker. Here are some of the best coffee roasters you can checkout:
- Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster
- Lamsion Coffee Roaster Machine
- Fresh Roast Home Coffee Roaster
- Storage: After roasting your coffee, you need to find a container where you can store it until you use it. The more airtight the container, the better to slow down the coffee from losing its aroma and flavor. But keep in mind that even the best container won’t stop the coffee from losing its aroma and flavor if it is unused after about a week. Here are some of the best coffee bean storage you can try:
- HOKEKI Airtight Coffee Canister
- Prepara Store Best Premium Airtight Storage Container for Coffee Beans
- MOICO Store Stainless Steel Coffee Container
- Airscape Coffee Storage Canister
How to Roast Coffee Beans Using a Roasting Machine
A roasting machine for coffee beans operates much like a popcorn popper by using fast-moving hot air to roast the beans and keep them agitated while they are roasting. This is the easiest method because the roaster handles most of the heavy lifting for you. Here are the steps you can follow to roast coffee beans using a roasting machine:
- Put the right amount of green coffee beans inside the roaster. Check the manual of the coffee roasting machine to know the right amount.
- After putting some green coffee beans, close the lid of the roaster and turn it on.
- Let the coffee beans roast until your desired color has been reached. Keep in mind that the longer you let it roast, the darker and stronger the beans will become.
- After roasting, pour the coffee into a colander and stir until it becomes warm.
- Keep the coffee in an airtight container, and store it at room temperature away from the sun.
How to Roast Coffee Beans Using a Stovetop Popcorn Maker
You can also roast coffee beans on the stove using a stovetop popcorn maker. It is essentially a pot with a lid that you can agitate easily. Some of the other things you need are an outdoor burner, a laser thermometer, a baking sheet, an airtight container, and of course, the unroasted coffee beans. Here are the steps you can follow:
- First, preheat the popcorn maker on the outdoor burner and wait until it reaches about 400 degrees. You can use a laser thermometer if you have one to gauge the temperature. But it is usually anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes.
- After preheating the popcorn maker, add the raw beans to it and start cranking the handle. Keep the beans moving the whole process so that they can roast evenly. Keep a steady and even rhythm.
- As the coffee beans roast, you will see the transition they make from raw to grind-and-brewable. You need to decide exactly how roasted you like them to be.
- After roasting, remove the coffee beans from the popcorn maker and dump them onto a baking sheet. Shake the sheet and let the beans cool.
- Once the beans are nice and cool, transfer them to an airtight container.
Learning how to roast your own coffee is indeed beneficial. It allows you to achieve the coffee flavor that you want, and you can also ensure that you are drinking a fresh cup of coffee. It might be challenging at first to perfect coffee roasting, but practicing will make you better. The more experienced you become in coffee roasting, the more you will understand what is happening during the roasting process. Who knows, after some time, you might be roasting a wide variety of coffee origins and trying out different processes at home.
We hope the information we shared here helped you in learning about how to roast your own coffee.