How to Roast Coffee Beans
Buying roasted coffee beans is easy and convenient when you want to buy beans that are roasted to perfection. The only problem is that they do tend to get stale faster if they aren’t vacuum-packed. Roasting your own coffee beans at home is becoming a practical way to take green coffee beans and roast them yourself using some practical and cost-effective methods. Here is how you can roast your own coffee beans to get the best results.
Why roast coffee beans at home?
The biggest reason that people are starting to roast their own beans at home is cost factors versus pre-roasted coffee beans. It doesn’t seem like there is a big cost difference but considering what you can pay for green coffee beans and roasted beans adds up after a while. This ultimately means you need to use that money saved for buying a roasting setup. You can select different methods yet the easiest is using a decent machine.
What to look for
There are too many videos that show you these popcorn machines and turn-crank coffee roasting methods. Avoid using a popcorn machine since this is a terrible way to roast beans and can be a real fire hazard. The hand-crank model such as the Whirley Pop Popcorn maker is just asking for trouble as well in addition to a sore wrist! Choose something that was meant to do the job correctly, which means it might cost you a bit more.
Don’t settle for a cheap machine that isn’t going to hold the number of beans that you want to roast. This coffee roasting machine from Kaldi comes with all the things you need except for the heating element. That’s something that everyone will have in their own kitchen, but otherwise, it holds up to 300 grams of coffee beans at a time. It also catches all of the chaff that comes off during the roasting process and is under $700 bucks.
Keep in mind that these semi-professional machines might seem pricy, but for reliability, they cannot be beaten. If you’re just starting to roast coffee beans, this type of machine is great for backup if you decide to buy something a bit fancier.
The most important thing to know is that green coffee beans will go through 2 phases of roasting. The first stage is the first crack which is heard after 3 to 5 minutes. The second crack is heard anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple minutes after the first crack. This is a clear indication you’ve reached a medium roast. It won’t take too long after the second crack that your beans could be over-roasted.
This is when the heat needs to be turned off and will be a timed practice you need to learn. It also depends on which roast coffee you prefer after the first crack. An automatic tumbler will already start to separate the chaff so you can take the beans out and let them cool off. It takes a full day before you can store your beans to let the Co2 escape from within the beans. After this, your roast coffee beans can be stored in air-tight containers or get vacuum-sealed to preserve the flavor for long-term storage.
Sourcing your green coffee beans
Finding green beans is made easier by searching on the internet for a reputable source that is selling a good product. If you buy anything from Amazon, check the reviews and never buy anything that isn’t listing at least 100-200 positive customer reviews or more. Pay close attention to negative reviews, since these are real problems you might encounter also. You could check pricing at local coffee suppliers to see if these prices work best for you.
Learning how to roast
It sounds very silly but there are excellent video tutorials that all give you an inside look at what to expect. They also talk about roasting times, safety issues, chaff removal, and the correct heat to use. Youtube has a fine selection of coffee roasting videos according to the various methods that are employed. If you have a specific machine, there are specialty videos that are being done with these exact machines and even show troubleshooting tips.