Understanding how to roast coffee at home makes you appreciate the drink even more than before. In addition, your beans remain as fresh as possible and you control the lightness or darkness of the roast. Roasting coffee at home is exciting and very rewarding. So, how do you roast coffee at home?
Methods of Roasting at Home
If you want to achieve the best results, then you would want to use a purpose built roasting machine. However, you probably do not own one, so that would be your most expensive option. High quality roasting machines can range around $500. A cheaper way to roast coffee at home is by using a pan, grill, or oven.
The Roasting Process
Roasting is a process that includes several steps, which are the same for every roasting method. Firstly, the roasting temperature is normally between 350°F and 500°F. However, the exact temperature depends on the roasting method you are using. Secondly, beans need agitation – constantly moving beans will ensure an even roast. Thirdly, when the beans reach the right temperature they will “crack” for the first time. At this stage they are considered lightly roasted. For a medium to dark roast, let them stay for a few more minutes until you hear the second crack. Finally, cool the beans by shaking them between two metal colanders until they have cooled.
Roasting in the Grill or Pan
Roasting coffee in the oven or a pan is very popular because many people have these at home. This method is convenient and cheap, but it is very smoky. Also the beans need constant agitation to insure they are roasted evenly. Furthermore, make sure to avoid coated pans to preserve flavor of the beans. Ensure good ventilation before starting to roast. Use a thick pan and place it on medium heat. Next, add the beans leaving room for stirring and expansion of the beans. Constantly stirring, wait to hear the first crack a light roast and second crack for a medium to dark roasts. Continue with cooling down and removing chaff, then leave exposed for 1-3 days to de-gas.
Roasting in the Oven
Roasting coffee in the oven is also cheap, but very smoky and slower than other methods. Preheat oven to 500°F (this temperature may vary depending on the oven). Ensure good ventilation. Place the beans on a perforated tray on middle shelf in the oven. Wait for the first crack for a light roast and second crack for a medium roast. Cool down and remove chaff, then leave exposed for 1-3 days to de-gas.
Roasting in a Purpose Built Roasting Machine
A roasting machine is an expensive investment, but it is meant to last. It is also easy to use and to clean up afterwards. Firstly, always make sure you have good ventilation because roasting produces a lot of smoke. Secondly, follow manufacturer’s instructions for roasting. Some machines are fully automatic, but you still should look over the process. If your machine does not have a cooling process, use the colander method mentioned earlier. Leave the beans for 1-3 days to de-gas.
These are some of the methods of roasting coffee at home. All in all, it is up to you which one to use. Happy roasting!