How to Roast Coffee Beans at Home

In an age where Starbuck’s can be found on any given block and Keurig can crank out a cup of “home brewed” coffee in less than 30 seconds, roasting your own coffee beans may seem like a lot of work for a simple cup of coffee. Until you’ve tried it.

The journey of the coffee bean (actually a seed) from plant to cup is substantial. Grown around the world, the cherries of the coffee plant are usually harvested by hand. The fruit is processed, either using a “dry” or “wet” method to remove the pulp and then bring the seed to around 11% moisture content. The “green” (unroasted) coffee beans may then be hulled and sometimes polished before they are sorted and graded for export.

In the green state, coffee beans can be stored for a fairly long time before losing flavor, but once roasted (never mind ground), the clock has started in terms of freshness.

Fair trade, organic, hand-picked and shipped around the world: Depending on where it comes from, the flavors of coffee can be as nuanced and complex as the finest of wines.

I’ve been roasting my own coffee beans for nearly a decade now. The process not only ensures the freshest possible result, it has also opened me up to the pleasure of exploring many different types of beans sold “green.” If you’re new to buying green coffee beans, check out Sweet Maria’s. The online retailer offers a wide variety of beans and provides detailed descriptions, recommendations and tips to get you started.

There are several different methods for roasting beans, including skillet roasting, using a popcorn popper, or using specialty equipment. These days, I usually use a countertop appliance to roast my beans, but I’m sharing here a simple method for oven roasting. Oven roasting is imprecise but manageable, and it’s an easy way to get started roasting your own coffee beans without investing in any equipment.

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Step 1

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“Green” coffee beans are those which have not yet been roasted. They are grown around the world and the bean you choose is strictly a matter of taste, be it an acidic Kenya or sweet Brazilian offering. Buy from a reputable dealer and make sure beans are of uniform color and size and are not too soft or too brittle.

Step 2

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Spread the beans in a single layer on a perforated baking sheet that will allow uniform air flow. Beans can also be spread on a rigid screen placed on top of a standard baking sheet.

Step 3

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Roast the beans in a 500 degree oven for 5-6 minutes, until you hear a popping sound. The popping is the sound of the beans cracking, which indicates they are roasting properly.

Allow to roast another minute or two, then use a spatula to stir the beans. Move quickly to avoid a temperature drop in the oven, which will inhibit even roasting.

Wait another 2-3 minutes, then check the color of the beans. If you prefer a darker roast, total roasting time may be up to 12 minutes, but the beans will be ready or nearly ready after 10 minutes. The beans will continue to cook for a couple of minutes after being removed from the oven and should be removed while still a bit lighter than the color you’re shooting for.

Bear in mind that oven temperatures aren’t consistent, so your time may vary, but not by more than a couple of minutes.

Step 4

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Remove the beans from the oven and transfer into a metal colander to cool. Roasting coffee beans can be a smoky process, so make sure stovetop exhaust vents are on and consider opening a window or two before roasting.

Step 5

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Once the beans have cooled completely, sift through the beans to remove any chaff (the papery skin that will be shed as beans roast). Discard any burnt or discolored beans. The color of the roasted beans will be fairly consistent, although oven roasting is an imprecise method.

Once you’re hooked, consider shopping for a countertop coffee roaster, which circulates air through the beans as they roast, providing more control over the process.

Store unrefrigerated in an airtight container.  If you can bear it, wait 24 hours before brewing to allow accumulated CO2 to vent from the beans.

Materials

  • Green coffee beans

Tools

  • Oven
  • Perforated baking sheet
  • Metal colander
About Mick Telkamp 

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A former Midwesterner living in North Carolina, I write about my adventures in backyard chicken-keeping and suburban homesteading over at HGTVGardens, and my exploits in the culture of Southern cooking ...

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6 Responses

  1. In the supermarket, read the label to find foods that are trans free. The label should say “0” (zero) on the line for trans fat; you should also scan the ingredient list to make sure it does not contain partially hydrogenated oils. In restaurants that don’t have nutrition information readily available, steer clear of fried foods, biscuits, and other baked goods, unless you know that the restaurant has eliminated trans fat—many already have. It is very interesting for me to read that article. Thank scribe for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this issue. I definitely desire to read more soon….I have health related more information !! If you want to know about it please visit our website…

  2. Jullian says:

    Where I always buy roasted coffee beans from shops. I never tried to make this at home, I had my own coffee machine and instantly I can make my coffee. But it was a nice idea to roast the coffee beans at our own home. Next time I am gone a try this at home.

  3. Mike says:

    Nice one.

  4. Buy Coffee says:

    If you are ready to explore the refreshing taste of Italian coffee, then you should buy coffee from the best sellers of coffee beans based at the UK.

  5. green coffee says:

    It is very important blog site. Now i read whole blog site. I like this site. i have good information about green tea more information please visit my site…

  6. @SipLocal says:

    Great article! I do believe I'll be trying this in the near future. I'm curious, though, how do you think the flavor differs between the oven and other beginner methods such as a popcorn popper or skillet?

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