HOW TO ROAST COFFEE BEANS AT HOME: A SHORT GUIDE
You know the saying, what you do yourself, you can do it better. We at Golden Sin fully agree with this as brewing coffee at home can be relaxing and rewarding.
As we’ve said before, brewing coffee and trying to get the best out of the beans is all about control, the more factors, and steps you can control, the more likely you can get the best possible coffee experience out there.
Have you ever considered roasting your beans? Don’t you know how to roast coffee beans? We will guide you through these steps.
Why should you consider roasting coffee beans at home
Brewing is all about trying to control every aspect of the brewing cycle to get the best results and thus coffee. The fine thing is you can control when you do it and manage the lifecycle of the coffee bean as you’re the manager.
When you go to the store and buy coffee beans or even coffee grounds, chances are that they’ve been laying there for some time on the shelf, let alone when they’ve been ground.
Think about it, a green unroasted coffee bean also loses some flavor over time, slowly and not so fast as roasted beans. You should finish your batch, we mean roasting and brewing and drinking! in 3 to 6 months. They usually can hold up longer, for even more than 1 year but just for your own sake, try to consume them within 6 months or buy fewer green coffee beans. Store them away in a sealed container and dark place at room temperature.
This way you can always have some of the freshest coffee possible. Freshness is something that’s very underestimated when brewing coffee.
Roasting the beans yourself will equip you with more common knowledge about coffee and its products. Much like a sommelier knows and tastes his wines, you’ll also be an expert at your coffee as you will taste and tweak your favorite coffees. Don’t keep with coffee in the stores, try and find some gems or specialty coffees and keep exploring!
Buying green beans is much cheaper compared to buying roasted and ground coffee, in most cases. Of course, depending on the gear you’re using, your investment won’t be the same but generally, this will save you money. In a way, you’ll be paying yourself for the beautiful coffee exploring opportunity! Great things don’t have to cost a lot of money.
What do you need to roast coffee beans at home?
You don’t need a lot of equipment in order to start the roasting journey at home.
Selecting your coffee beans
Start with something you know and go and explore from there. Buy small batches of beans and try to brew some every week or 2 weeks some other coffee beans. Try and note your remarks down on a spreadsheet so you can keep track of your experience.
Your coffee gear equipment
As we’ve said before, and we will repeat it regularly, having the right gear is key in controlling every possible aspect of the brewing process. Things can get hot, to more than 400 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the roast level you’ll want.
You don’t need a lot of equipment to roast your coffee beans at home. Prepare the following:
- Green coffee beans: you can buy them online or at your local store or coffee shop. At your local market, there’s always a vendor who sells some great coffee or can help you with your request. You can also order them via large retailers like Amazon.
- An oven or a large pan: every household must have an oven or a large pan available. This is not special equipment like a popcorn maker, which can be more unusual and more difficult to use. We prefer the oven option as this gives us more control.
- A stove: you’ll need this to heat the green coffee beans up.
- A bowl or pot: to put the freshly roasted beans in so they can cool down.
- A scale: knowing the right amount of beans for your needs is key to controlling your portions and preventing you from wasting coffee, if you’re experienced, a scale might not be needed but almost every household has or should have this.
- A timer: you can use your timer from your smartphone or watch to monitor this. This is not needed but can give you more control and relax you more.
- A colander: this might come in handy, just in case.
- A spatula: this is for stirring the beans while they’re roasting. If you don’t do this things might get out of hand and burn, causing a lot of smoke in the process.
Things you need to know before starting to roast at home
Think about what you’ll want to drink, are you being loyal to what you know or are you willing to explore a whole new world? There are mainly 4 coffee bean types out there and different roast levels, each with its flavors.
Try and start with a small batch of beans so you can tweak the process and master it. Don’t you like the beans, consume them and try some other beans.
Just consume them preferably before 6 months, they can last longer, up to 1 year but you don’t want to wait for that long!
Beans need to be moved to be roasted consistently or evenly. If you buy a drum roaster, this is done automatically, also with some popcorn machines.
Different roasting levels
Generally, you have about 3 roast levels. Some say there are 4 or more but we’ll keep it at 3, just to keep things simple.
- Light roast: In the first stage, the beans have a light brown color and not many oils will be released from within the beans. The flavors are close to the bean’s natural flavors and will be mostly fruity and floral.
- Medium roast: This is after the first crack. This longer roasting period will release some of the inner oils of the beans. The tasting notes will be darker and earthier, yet have some notes of flowers and fruits.
- Dark roast: As the name suggests, the color will be very dark and the bean will look very shiny and oily. A second crack of the bean has happened. Tasting notes are darker and earthier and won’t be close to what was in the bean’s original flavor profile.
There are other roasts as well, think about the blonde roast from Starbucks.
Related read: dark vs medium roast
How to roast coffee beans in 10 steps
We’ve divided things up into 10 simple steps to follow to roast your coffee beans. Here we’ll use an oven.
- Prepare your kitchen and lay out your equipment in the right place, make sure you’ve everything close. A scale, timer, and colander might be optional but can be handy.
- Buy your fresh green beans. There are a lot of possibilities out there to buy green beans: online, at your local coffee store or shop, or the local market.
- Preheat your oven to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your roaster.
- Select your beans: select the right amount of beans and spread them out. Start with a small batch if you’re unsure. You can use the scale for indication.
- Roast for a few minutes: use the following temperatures: Light roast: 350 ° to 400 ° Fahrenheit for about 10 to 12 minutes. The closer to the first crack, the more likely some oils will be released. Medium roast: turn up the heat to 410 ° to 430 ° Fahrenheit. Dark roast: heat up to about 440° to 450° Fahrenheit until you hear the 2nd crack.
- Let the beans cool down: this is very important: let them rest in a separate bowl or place so they can cool down for a few hours.
- Let the beans degas: the beans were heated a lot and because of the processes of roasting, the beans need to “let off some steam”, or in this case: carbon dioxide. Stash them away in an airtight sealed container and let them rest in a dark place and at room temperature.
- Grind your coffee beans: grind your coffee beans when you need your coffee. Depending on the preferred brewing method and coffee, you’ll go for different grind sizes.
- Brew your coffee: brew your coffee according to your preferred brewing method
- Pour the coffee into the cup and add some sweeteners like honey, brown sugar syrup, milk, or other sweeteners. You can use milk if the taste is a bit too bitter!
The benefits of roasting your coffee beans
There are a few benefits or reasons why you should opt for roasting your coffee beans at home. Some reasons might be more motivating for others.
Brewing coffee is all about controlling the different aspects and trying to be consistent and improve them.
After all, when things aren’t the way you want them to be, you’ve got yourself to blame and will learn from those mistakes, who’re inevitable to your journey of brewing the best cup of coffee out there.
We also say control about you can control everything about your product. The closer you can get to the source, the better. Some people even buy Kopi Luwak and they’re scammed all the way!
Green beans are a commodity and can be traded. The shorter you go in the supply chain, the more likely you’ll have to pay less. You’ll know better what you’ll buy.
Of course, this means you’ll have to do some work yourself, but you’ll be rewarded with fresher beans and thus a possible greater cup of coffee.
When you buy your coffee beans or even coffee grounds, you’re not always sure of how long their shelf life is and even before they came on the shelf, you look for indicators like roasting date and so on. Here it doesn’t matter, you can label them yourself if needed.
Green beans will last from 3 to 6 months up to 1 year. We’d say to keep the 6 months as an indication of the freshness of your coffee beans.
Store them wisely to preserve their freshness.
Buy smaller amounts of green beans so you can better align them with your needs. When you start, buy and brew smaller batches.
Brewing and roasting coffee beans yourself, if done for private consumption and not for professional purposes, can be a way of minimalism and taking things slower.
If you try to control every aspect of the brew ratio, you can be blown away by the great results and flavors.
You’ll even enjoy your coffee more. In a way, you can provide also for your family and guests, sharing your great experience and caring for others as well.
How to store your roasted coffee beans
When you’ve bought your green beans, you should keep them away from direct sunlight and save them in a dry and cool place. The temperature should be around room temperature. Save them in an airtight container.
If you’ve bought a great number of green beans. Stock them in a large container and fill up a smaller container once in a few weeks. By doing this you’ll keep most of the beans fresher for a longer period.
FAQs about roasting coffee beans at home
How can I roast my coffee beans?
You’ll need equipment and a lot of heat to roast coffee beans. Industrial roasting can reach higher temperatures but generally, depending on the roast level you’ll want, you’ll adjust the time and temperature. The darker the roast, the longer and higher the temperature you’ll have to let them crack and release the inner oils. You can try the oven as a way to start.
How do you roast coffee at home?
This depends on your situation and the equipment you have around. How much do you want to invest in the coffee beans and time when roasting them? Try to find a great green coffee bean by roasting in small amounts and making your selection. You can always start with roasting your coffee beans in the oven, before investing in better equipment like a home roaster.
How do you roast coffee beans for beginners?
You’ll need a few key items and skills: a heater (an oven will do), green coffee beans, and some patience and dedication. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay out the beans on the plate or roaster and put them in the oven. Use the following as indication: light roast: between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, medium roast between 410 and 430 degrees Fahrenheit and ultimately: dark roast: between 440 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
How long does it take to roast coffee beans?
The time depends mostly on the desired roast type of your coffee beans and your used equipment. Let’s say you’ll use the oven, it depends on the type of oven. You can start with 5 minutes and go from there. Preheat at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Start between 350 and 400 degrees for the first minutes (light roast). Turn up to between 410 and 430 degrees for a medium roast. After this turn it up to between 440 and 450 degrees until you hear the second crack.
Is it difficult to roast coffee?
No, as with you most things, you’ll get better by doing them over and over again. We all go to school for some reason. Every skill must be practiced. You can start with a small batch of green coffee beans and an oven and grow your experience from there. Start to select your preferred green coffee bean and preferred roast level. It does require some work, but that’s one of the finer things about brewing coffee.
Can coffee beans be roasted at home?
Yes, sure. You can do almost everything at home, except growing your coffee beans, depending on where you live. You can start to roast with a simple oven and selection of green coffee beans. If this works well, you can always upgrade later for better equipment like a home roaster. Don’t invest a lot in equipment if you’re unsure about this.
Enjoy your coffee