Coffee is one of the most common drinks in the world. It can be argued that if there is something that unites every human community, it is an exceptional passion for coffee.
More and more people get to know about home coffee roasting every day. However, on the Internet, there are mainly extremely biased articles which tend to promote a particular scammed product or unverified information.
In addition, the plurality of brands and products available on today’s market tires an eye of the average coffee lover. That’s why we decided to explain to you in details how to roast coffee beans at home. After going through our guide, your coffee brewing will become much easier, and the result will be way-way tastier.
How to choose the best green coffee beans? PapasCoffee will help.
Why do we roast coffee beans at home?
There are two main reasons for you to take up this occupation.
- After heat treatment of the grain, after 7–10 days they begin to lose their aroma, while fresh, raw coffee can be stored for up to one year without loss of properties. Just take care of complying with all the conditions of the content of this delicate product. Therefore, it is logical to attempt to get the freshest roasted coffee directly at the place of preparation.
- There is also a creative aspect. You have the opportunity to independently make blends, make roasting with your favorite flavoring and degrees of heat treatment.
How to roast coffee beans at home: theory
Before you go directly to the practice, we advise you to adopt some theoretical points that will save you from annoying mistakes and allow you to achieve the most accurate roasting:
- Before frying, be sure to open the window or turn on the hood. The process is accompanied by a large amount of smoke.
- There are different degrees of roasting grain. So, with light roasting (the grains become light or light brown) you are unlikely to achieve the desired “coffee” taste. Habitual taste is obtained with medium and dark roasting. Besides, while roasting on your own, you can experiment plenty. This is particularly concerns choosing the ideal degree of roasting of grains.
- Each type of grain requires special conditions under which their true taste and aroma is fully revealed. Professionals know exactly how to approach a particular brand and which combinations will be the most successful.
- The actual roast begins after the “first cod” when the oils come out, and the sugar in the grain is caramelized.
- When you roast coffee beans at home, you must constantly stir the grain. This is a rather lengthy and responsible process, and you should be distracted – you can forget about delicious coffee.
- After roasting, the grains need to be cooled, after pouring them on a flat surface in an even layer. An ordinary fan is also suitable for cooling. It is not recommended to leave the grains to bask in the frying pan or the oven after turning off the fire, as there is still a risk to overcook the coffee and not to get the result you expect at all.
- In the process of home roasting, husks remain. When using the equipment, it is blown out. Husk does not affect the taste of the drink. To get rid of it, just pour the grains in a colander.
- And, most importantly, it takes at least 6–12 hours before grinding the coffee beans and preparing the drink. Many of those who roasted grain at home, complained about the poor taste of the drink, which is most often due to the fact that the grain was prepared immediately after roasting.
Check out the best coffee grinders of the year 2019.
Main Coffee Roasting Methods
Freshly roasted coffee, lavishing around its chic aroma, always pleases with impeccable taste and brings great pleasure with each cup. Surely many coffee connoisseurs were thinking about how to roast green coffee beans and actually how the roasting process takes place, and they dreamed to roast coffee beans at home by themselves.
For you, we have collected some pretty effective ways to roast coffee at home and get the most pleasant emotions from the process.
The four main methods of coffee roasting:
- in a pan;
- in an oven;
- in the Popcorn popper;
- in the Roasting machine.
Roasting in a pan
The most obvious answer to the question “how to roast coffee beans at home?” is done with a frying pan. The scheme of the home roast is quite simple:
- Take a large frying pan. Preferably cast iron or steel. Wash thoroughly so that there is not even a hint of extraneous odors, which can spoil the flavor of the grains.
- Pour the grain evenly. The volume of grains in relation to the depth of the pan should be no more than ¼ since in the process it increases in size. In addition, it will be easier for you to interfere with the grain so that they do not fall out of the dishes.
- The roast itself will take about 20 minutes. You need to start with a low temperature and gradually increase it.
- Constantly stir the grain. Wait for the “first cod” and the optimal color. Do not fry!
- When drops of oil appear on the grain surface, immediately turn off the heat and proceed to cool.
Next, you will need to cool the grain, pack it in a sealed package, and wait until it “reaches”. It is advisable to use freshly roasted grains during the week. Then they gradually lose their taste. Having been involved in independent roasting, you can try interesting options for preparing a drink using other methods we mentioned below.
Roasting in an oven
Another popular and not complicated way to roast coffee beans at home is doing it in the oven. This method can be divided into several main stages:
- Preheat oven to 230°С (446°F).
- Put the grains on a baking sheet or a fine mesh.
- After heating the oven, put the baking sheet and gradually reduce the temperature.
- Roast grains for 15–20 minutes. Constantly ensure that they do not burn.
- Throw them in a colander and shake thoroughly over the sink to get rid of the husk. It is advisable to immediately cool them with a fan or hairdryer, putting it in the mode of cold blowing.
“Seasoned” roasters still advise the use of a frying pan, because in the oven there is no way to interfere with the grain.
Roasting in a Popcorn Popper
While you can simply buy a coffee roaster on the Internet, your wallet becomes noticeably empty. In addition, the use of a home dryer is usually a mystery. But there is another way to dry coffee at home – use a cheap popcorn popper!
- Find a suitable popcorn popper. The main thing that should be in this device is a part that supplies hot air from the inside, and not like a grille in the bottom. (An apparatus with a grill at the bottom will not supply enough air so as not to burn the coffee, and will increase the risk of fire).
- Set it to roast the coffee (optional).
- The plastic lid that comes with the machine may not be suitable for coffee – it can melt, so remove it immediately.
- Increase the space to roast large portions of coffee. Expand the top of the unit using epoxy.
- Make a regular kitchen sieve cover and close the instrument panel (as part of the designer) to collect the husk.
- Air your workplace. While the slight aroma of coffee can be very pleasant, the smell of coffee throughout the house can be absorbed into furniture, carpets, and this will make your clothes smell unpleasant. Ideally, it is better to dry the coffee beans outside.
- Pour the grain into your machine. Hold on – watch, listen and smell the frying process. Watch how the sugar solidifies, the water evaporates, and the oil begins to boil. After 1.5-2 minutes of roasting, you will hear the grains begin to crack. About 4-6 minutes you will hear repeated crackling, the grains may break up into small pieces, and they may look like a crater in appearance.
- Often check beans. Remove the filter if you use it (it will be very hot!) And look into the machine. If you have a metal scoop for measurement, slowly let it go into the apparatus, and take out a few grains to check their readiness by color.
- Stop frying the grains when they get the color you want. See for yourself when it is better to turn off the machine, but it is considered that it is best to do this after the grains start to crack a second time. After 5 minutes of frying, you will have brown grains, and after 6.5 minutes you will have beautiful, dark, shiny grains. If you hold on a bit, your grains will start burning. Experiment with a few grains, and you will find out how you like/dislike.
- Cool grains as quickly as possible. Pour them into a sieve or a colander, and bring them to the air, stir with a wooden spoon (so that they get air), or throw them from one colander to another. After a minute they cool to room temperature. As an option, when you do this for the first time, you will know all the details of the process, then you will be able to stop frying in advance and leave them in the machine so that they cool down. Never cool the grain with water, as water affects the oil, which gives the grain flavor.
- For best results, leave the grain for 24 hours to release air (this process is called degassing). Put the grains in the tin can with a wide lid, and hid it from strong odors.
Roasting Green Coffee Beans in a Coffee Roaster
Another way to roast coffee beans at home is by using a special machine – coffee roaster. It is made in the form of a drum. There is an active mixing of the grain when roasting.
The machine is equipped with a sensor that allows you to monitor the process. To check the grains, there is a scoop. It allows you to get fried grains and sample them. This is necessary in order not to overcook the grain, because of this they will become bitter and give this taste to the drink. After roasting the machine cools the grain with air flow.
Roasting coffee beans can be divided into three stages:
- 7-8 minutes
At this stage, the coffee is poured into the machine and roaster begin its work. The kernels begin to lose moisture and dry out. The roasting temperature is adjusted to 170°C. Grains acquire a light brown color.
- 9-11 minutes
Coffee begins to swell, become lighter and get the usual dark brown shade. The temperature reaches 230°C.
- 12-13 minutes
The final stage of coffee roasting. The most important thing is not to overcook the grain. To do this, they must be constantly checked with a scoop.
When roasting in a special machine, we have to decide on the degree we want our beans to have.
The degree of roast coffee is conventionally divided into light, medium and strong. Often the grains of different stages of roasting are mixed.
Read our review on FreshRoast 500 – one of the most popular home coffee roasters
Roasted grains do not emit vegetable oil, have a light brown color and a weak bread aroma. This method of roasting is suitable for delicate Arabica cultivars grown in the highlands. Coffee of such a roast has a sour taste and a slightly watery texture, goes well with milk and cream.
This degree of roasting is also called cinnamon, New England or semi-urban.
Medium degree of roasting
With this method of roasting, coffee beans are roasted long and intensively, and oily substances are not allowed to emit on the surface. This coffee has a pronounced aroma and bitter taste.
This method of roasting is also called American, regular or brown.
Coffee beans have a small amount of vegetable oils. Dark brown spots appear on the surface.
This method of roasting is also referred to business, light French or urban.
Strong degree of roasting
Coffee beans become dark brown and emit a large amount of oils. Coffee has a noticeable bitterness.
This method of roasting is also called Spanish, dark brown, French or Cuban.
Grains get the color of dark chocolate because of strong double roasting.
This method is called roasted in European, French or New Orleans style.
Coffee beans with this method become almost black and become very oily.
Sometimes this coffee is called “for espresso.”
To roast coffee in the roasting machine, rinse them with water for 2-3 minutes (some coffee lovers recommend holding grains in water for 10 minutes).
After that, dry the seeds with a towel, take a cast-iron or iron frying pan, preheat it, pour coffee grains a couple of centimeters thick on it and put on low heat.
In the process of roasting seeds, you must continuously stir with a wooden spatula. After the appearance of the first cod grain, they are roasted to the desired color. Their readiness can be checked by biting one grain. Cool the finished coffee beans, then shift them into the dishes with a lid, while leaving a hole for the gas to exit for the first 6-12 hours. Grinding coffee immediately after roasting is not recommended.
When roasting, the coffee beans will increase in volume, and after frying, they will “reach” by means of their own temperature. Also note that the coffee roaster should not be used for other purposes, as coffee absorbs odors.
It’s impossible to say for sure how long the grains should be roasted: everyone has their own preferences regarding varieties and tastes. But keep in mind: the more roasted coffee, the less caffeine in it.
How to Store Roasted Coffee Beans
The shelf life of roasted coffee beans is much less compared to green ones. At home, they can be saved up to two weeks. Ceramic jars with a lid are ideal for storing, and the lid should fit as tightly as possible. Roasted grains are stored at room temperature in a dark place. Can be used for storage and the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
If the grains were roasted on your own, then in the first days of storage it is recommended to open the lid of the jar periodically. In the following days, the lid should be tightly closed all the time. If the grains are purchased in the store, then it is best to store them in the original packaging, which allows you to protect the coffee from contact with air.
Where not to store coffee:
- Coffee is best kept at room or cool temperature. Do not store coffee in the refrigerator, and even more so in the freezer (except for the long-term storage of freshly roasted beans). Too warm places, such as shelves above the stove or sill illuminated by the sun, will not be suitable for storage.
- The most harmful to coffee beans is air, so care should be taken to ensure that the coffee container is tightly closed.
- The second enemy of coffee is moisture. It is advisable to keep the grain in a dry place.
- Finally, the third enemy of coffee – the light, and it does not matter, sunny or artificial. For this reason, opaque containers should be chosen for storing coffee, and transparent jars or containers must be additionally packed.
- Even hermetically packed coffee should not be stored next to spicy products. Garlic, onions, various spices or chemicals are bad neighbors for coffee beans.
So, we thoroughly looked at how to roast coffee beans at home without much effort. Do not be discouraged if, from the first time (as well as the second and third), you do not get high-quality roasting. This business requires a lot of experience that comes with practice. Perhaps you will take more than one kilogram of green beans before you can get the perfect roast, revealing all the taste of this noble drink.