roast your own coffee

How to roast your own coffee at home

Friday 01st Jul 2022 |

Over the last few years, coffee has become a nation’s favourite in many countries across the world. This has led to coffee enthusiasts having the desire to try roasting their own coffee in the comfort of their own home.

This article gives you the steps to take when undertaking the task of roasting your own. When you’ve finished reading, you’ll be able to identify when roasting is complete and the best storage methods.

Step 1 – Choose your roast method

There are a few different options when it comes to roasting coffee at home. The easiest way is to roast them in the oven. Whereas another method could be to use a popcorn type stove top pan.

If you want to take it one step further, you could buy your very own specialist roasting equipment that’s designed to be used in the home.

Step 2 – Choose your green beans

Green beans are usually available to buy from independent coffee roasters. However, you will also find that beans from different countries are likely to have significantly different flavours.

So, it’s worth reading up on which would be the best for your tastes. You’ll also want to decide whether you’re ging to use 100% arabica (slightly more cost) or a mix of 80% Arabic and 20% Robusta types. Robusta has a slightly more bitter taste but can offer great flavours too.

Step 3 – Roast the beans

How long you roast the beans for will depend on how strong (or dark) you want them to be. The main thing to remember here is that the longer you roast them for, the darker and stronger they’ll be.

Although eventually, they become over roasted and will start to taste more bitter, the more you cook them.

The roasting process will look a little like this…

  1. The beans will begin to change colour from a light pale green to a light brown
  2. Steam rises from each bean to create a smell of ‘baking’. At this point there will be what’s known as a ‘first crack’.
  3. They will start to caramelise, show oil, and get slightly darker, usually this is a great place to end the roasting process.
  4. For a darker roast, you can optionally keep them in the oven for longer, but you should remove them when you notice the “second crack” starting.

Step 4 – Cool the beans (while they continue roasting)

It’s important to fully cool your freshly roasted coffee beans to room temperature but there’s one very important thing to note. They will continue to bake even as they come out of the oven (or roaster).

So, try to remove them earlier than the point in which you would like them roasted up to.

That way you can be sure to achieve the desired roasting level that you wish to achieve.

As they cool, and even after they’ve cooled, gases will continue to be released. This means the taste of them will change over the upcoming 48 hours. It’s therefore better to wait until after this period to try your coffee. You may wish to give it a try straight away but just remember that while the gases are still being released, the flavour notes, acidity and bitterness will be changing.

Step 5 – Test the Taste

When testing the taste, take notes on how you rate each attribute of your home-made coffee.

For example, acidity, bitterness, flavour notes and the exact brewing method used.

Make sure you use the correct grind size for whichever brewing method you choose. If you have an espresso barista machine or stove top espresso maker, you will need a much finer grind size.

Whereas if you’re choosing to brew with a Cafetiere or Aeropress, or other manual brew method you’ll likely want a coarser grind size.

When tasting, remember to note down which brewing method you’ve used and be sure to compare like-for-like where possible. That way you can make tweaks to your roasting process to easily identify the differences. In time, allowing you to create the nicest possible taste in terms of flavour, body, and sharpness.

Step 6 – Store your beans

Once they have reduced to room temperature, you should use an airtight container to store them in. Some packages that speciality coffee roasters use contain a valve which let the air our but not in. Meaning they can be packaged up while the gases are still being released.

Hopefully the above steps have given you inspiration to get started with creating your very own fresh coffee in the comfort of your own home.

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