Roasting Coffee At Home (Guide, Tips & More)

roasting coffee

There are various coffee roasting methods to try, and you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to roast coffee at home.

Your level of success, however, may vary.

Some folks like roasting coffee at home, while others argue, “why on Earth would you bother roasting coffee at home when you can just go to the coffee shop and buy coffee?”

Although it’s undeniable that it’s considerably more convenient and hassle-free, they are missing the point…

That is, roasting coffee at home is a rewarding experience.

This article will discuss why it’s worthwhile and also how you can do it yourself!

You’ll also learn all about its benefits, the best method to do it, and some other helpful pointers on roasting coffee at home.

Let’s get started!

How to Roast Coffee at Home?

It’s possible to roast coffee at home, and this is how you do it.

Selecting a Roaster/ Roasting Method

There are several methods for roasting beans.

The method you chose must be controlled by the quantity of roasted coffee you need as well as the money you intend to spend. 

Some people roast coffee on their stove top in a skillet-style pan. You must constantly keep the beans moving and experiment with the heat to get the best results.

Another alternative would be to use an air popcorn popper. You can find several types of popcorn poppers online that works well for coffee roasting.

Just a reminder, if you’re planning to roast your coffee at home, do it in the garage.

The reason for that is that when you’re roasting coffee and get into the darker roast, it will generate smoke which isn’t something you’d want to do inside your house.

Selecting Green Coffee/Getting Green Beans

Green (raw) coffee beans.

Green is the color of fresh beans, and they lighten several shades after drying.

After being roasted, they are entirely transformed, becoming the rich hues of brown you’re used to seeing.

Explore with low quantities until you’re comfortable with your selections. Sample packs are a great starting point.

The easiest option is to just search for coffee on the internet.

Consistency is the key to making a fantastic cup of coffee.

For an even, consistent roast and flavor, use beans that are similar in size and color.

It’s essential to get these factors right to prevent making coffee with an unpleasant taste.

Keep the beans in a cool, dry location at room temperature, away from direct sunlight when you have your green beans.

This will keep their freshness and quality for a prolonged time.

Preparing your Roasting Space

Setting up your roasting space is an essential factor to consider before starting the actual roasting process.

Proper ventilation is critical not only for the quality of your roast but primarily for your safety. 

You should have an extractor fan, open your windows, and try roasting your beans outside or in an open garage so that the smoke produced by the beans can escape.

You’ll also need some tools, like scales, to know the correct measurements for better roasting.

The Roasting Process/How to Roast Your Coffee

1. Place the green coffee beans in your preferred heating machine.

You can use your chosen heating machine, such as an iron pan, a stovetop popcorn popper, or an electric coffee roasting appliance.

Remember that the roasting process might be pretty smoky, so try and ensure you have proper ventilation.

2. Turn the heat to high, then stir the beans.

It’s crucial to continuously stir the coffee beans to ensure even roasting.

You wouldn’t want to wind up with a blend of dark, medium, and light roasts, which will result in an uneven taste.

3. Keep an eye on the beans and wait for the first crack.

Keep going until the beans have achieved your ideal level of roasting.

  • Light Roast: Take your beans off the heat just before the first crack (356°F to 401°F).
  • Medium Roast: At the very first crack or just after (410°F to 428°F).
  • Dark Roast: Immediately after the second crack, although occasionally slightly longer (437° to 482°F).

Coffee beans are never roasted beyond 482°F as it thins down and will taste burnt.

4. Remove the chaff and allow the coffee to cool before storing.

Remove your roasted beans from the chaff, the gold-colored outer skin, using a colander or your coffee roaster’s built-in chaff collector.

Allow the coffee to cool before storing it in an airtight container overnight. This allows the newly roasted beans to de-gas.

Your coffee is at its most delicate 24 hours after roasting. Just before brewing, grind your beans and put the rest in an opaque, airtight container.

Storing and Cooling

Roasted coffee in a container.

When you’re done roasting, you want to cool your beans as quickly as you can.

You might even need to let your beans rest for a day.

For storing, put the beans in a container.

Let the beans rest for a day and let them continue to de-gas.

Don’t seal the container for one day; just cover it while still allowing the gases to escape.

Is Home Roasting Coffee Worth It?

For individuals who value freshness and taste above all, roasting your own coffee beans at home may be worth a try. 

Coffee is at its most flavorful a day to a week after roasting, so roasting at home ensures that you’ll get to savor your cup of coffee at its finest.

Additionally, roasting coffee at home offers more than you may think.

What are the Advantages of Roasting Coffee at Home?

Why would you want to roast your own cup of joe?

There are several reasons for this.

Enjoyable Experience

The first reason is that it’s just fun!

As most people become interested in anything, they want to learn more about it and figure it out for themselves.

It’s a lot of fun because you can try out different roasting methods with varying sorts of beans. Simply take one small batch of beans and play with two or three different roasting variations. 

You can try a medium to dark roast depending on how you want to use it: espresso, latte, Americano, pour overs, and so forth.

You can experiment and mix and match with your own. If you like a particular roast, you may personalize your roasting to precisely what you wish.

Learning New Skills

Expert coffee roaster, Claudio Iovine, at Café Kaawa.

You not only get to produce your coffee from the entire process, but you also get to acquire some new skills. 

Learning to roast does not take long if you have all the necessary tools and have established a proper roasting practice.

Customized Flavor

You may also enjoy coffee the way it was supposed to be savored. When you roast your own coffee, you’ll know what went into your cup of joe.

Another significant benefit is that you can easily customize the flavor of your coffee since you can choose the roast level.

The roast level determines how complex it is (lightly roasted), how balanced and earthy it is (medium roast), as well as how sweet or caramelized or smoky it is (dark roast).

To understand more, here are the details of the bean roasting process:

First Roasted Stage: After the very first crack, the roast can be considered done at any moment based on your preferences. The cracking is an auditory indication that, together with sight and smell, signals the stage of the roast. This is known as a city roast.

Caramelization: Caramelization proceeds, oils migrate, and the bean grows in size as the roast darkens. As the roast continues, it becomes clear that this is a city + roast. A full city roast is when you are on the edge of a second crack.

Second Crack: At this phase, a second crack, typically more dynamic than the first, can be heard. The roast element begins to overpower the original flavor of the beans, referred to as a Vienna roast. A full city + roast is a few pops into second crack.

Darkening Roast: As the roast darkens, the smoke gets more intense as the sugars burn entirely and the bean structure degrades. You will get a French roast as the end of the second crack comes.

Relatively Late: The sugars will eventually burn entirely, and the roast will only produce a thin-bodied cup of “charcoal water.”

Is There More Caffeine in Home-Roasted Coffee?

The caffeine level will vary based on the roast.

Light roast beans have more caffeine than dark roast beans. 

Because a bean loses weight, mostly water, during roasting, its caffeine content increases by weight while decreasing volume. 

Due to its greater size, dark-roast coffee contains fewer coffee beans, resulting in a weaker brew and less caffeine per cup than light-roast coffee measured in the same way. 

If you measure dark-roast coffee by volume, you’re not getting the most caffeine out of it.

The density of the bean changes as it roasts; beans that are roasted for an extended amount of time are much less dense because of water loss. 

Unroasted beans sink in water, but roasted beans float. 

If you want plenty of caffeine, keep it lightly roasted.

Nevertheless, medium and dark roasts still produce delicious coffee.

Is Roasting Coffee at Home Healthy?

Roasted coffee is generally a healthy beverage.

Chlorogenic acids (CGA) are the most common kind of phenolic acid found in coffee. 

CGA has significant biological activity and is thought to be responsible for coffee’s beneficial impacts on glucose control and the development of type 2 diabetes.

According to research, the total chlorogenic acids of nine isomers from seven commercial green and roasted coffee beans varied from 34.43 ± 1.50 to 41.64 ± 3.28 mg/g and from 2.05 ± 0.07 to 7.07 ± 0.16 mg/g, respectively. 

Chlorogenic acids are also found in four commercial green coffee beans roasted under various circumstances. The total chlorogenic acid content of green coffee beans varied between 86.42 2.04 and 61.15 1.40 mg/g

Total chlorogenic acids decreased in proportion to the intensity of the roasting conditions. 

The findings suggest that roasting conditions significantly impact the chlorogenic acid concentration in roasted coffee beans.

As reference: here’s the concentration of 3-CGA and caffeine after 400 minutes of brewing time:

Coffee Sample(Roast-Grind)3-CGA Concentration (mg/L)Caffeine Concentration (mg/L)pH
Medium-Medium480±601060±605.61±0.01
Medium-Coarse490±301130±504.47±0.01
Dark-Medium380±10970±605.63±0.01
Darl-Coarse330±50930±405.51±0.02
CGA Concentration and Caffeine After 400 Minutes Brewing Time

What is the Best Way to Roast Coffee at Home?

There’s basically no “best” roasting method, although there’s one that’s ideal for you based on how much coffee you want to roast and the size or features of your preferred equipment.

There are various options available if you want to try roasting your own coffee at home. Select the method or equipment you are most comfortable with from the options below:

  • pan/grill
  • oven
  • popcorn popper
  • purpose-built home coffee roaster

The cheapest way to acquire fresh beans is to roast them in a skillet or oven. However, I recommend using a popcorn machine or a purpose-built coffee roaster for optimum quality due.

Tips for Roasting Coffee at Home

Roasting coffee beans in a machine.

Now when you’re roasting coffee, you’re going to rely on three senses: your sight, smell, sound.

Check how dark the beans are getting. 

Once you get to experience roasting, you can smell where you’re at in the roasting process.

There’s a stage in coffee roasting that you’ll often hear people refer to as “the crack“.

The crack is essentially beans expanding. 

If you’re going for a really dark roast like an espresso roast or something like a French roast, you sometimes go up to the second crack.

If you hear some of the beans starting to crack, turn it off.

Is Roasting Coffee at Home Safe or Dangerous?

Roasted coffee releases chemicals that, when inhaled, can cause significant, permanent damage to the lungs. 

When the coffee is packaged and ground, the chemicals are discharged into the air in higher amounts. Furthermore, the chemicals accumulate in containers where coffee is kept after roasting.

Diacetyl, also known as butanedione, and acetyl propionyl, also called 2,3-pentanedione are the same chemicals found in the butter flavoring linked to the fatalities and injuries of workers in microwave popcorn facilities in the past.

The FDA has specified that they are safe to consume in modest amounts. Inhaling diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione, on the other hand, is harmful

The chemicals can target the smallest airways in the lungs. Scar tissue forms as the body attempt to recover, obstructing airflow.

Baristas at cafés where beans are roasted are typically at a higher risk than those in cafés where beans are not roasted. 

However, guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only apply to workplace exposure. They give no indication of at-home practices.

The investigations are based on average exposures throughout eight-hour workdays, as well as repeated short-term exposures.

Can You Roast Coffee Beans in the Oven?

Certainly! One of the numerous alternatives to coffee roasting is to roast it in an oven.

To do this, here are the things you might need:

  • oven with a stovetop
  • perforated pan
  • stainless steel wire mesh colander or a vegetable steamer
  • oven mitts
  • large spoon
  • metal colander for cooling (unless you’re roasting in one)

Instructions:

  • Place the vegetable steamer on a baking sheet and place a layer of coffee beans.
  • Spread beans evenly and closely together in a perforated pan or wire mesh colander.
  • Preheat the oven to 500°F. To be sure, use an oven thermometer.
  • Place the beans in the middle of the shelf. Wait approximately 5 to 7 minutes for the “first crack,” then check the color after another 2 minutes.
  • If it takes more than 12 minutes to get the medium brown color, increase the heat to 520 to 530°F as the starting temperature for the next batch. If you cook a set for more than 20 minutes, it will taste bland.
  • If you’re using a mesh colander, open the oven door every minute and shake the beans. Make an effort to do the task rapidly and without allowing too much heat to escape.
  • Put on your mitts, then place the beans in a colander.
  • Because roasting continues until the beans cool, pour them out when they are still a bit lighter than the desired color.
  • With a large spoon, agitate the beans in a metal colander or bowl until slightly warm.
  • If there is still chaff on the beans, gently shaking them in the colander should remove it. The chaff will come off the beans if you blow softly on them while shaking them.
  • Coffee must be stored or kept in an airtight container such as an airtight glass jar and kept away from direct light and don’t keep it in a fridge or freezer.
  • With a fresh roast, wait 12 hours before sealing the container securely.

To understand more, watch this video below:

Guide to roasting coffee beans using an oven.

Is Home Roasting Coffee Cheaper?

In most cases, yes.

However, it still depends on the materials you are using.

Roasting coffee at home is somewhat cheaper.

Most people don’t believe that coffee roasting is cost-effective.

Green beans are less expensive compared to roasted beans. In reality, it’s about 50 to 75% less expensive.

Furthermore, green coffee has a considerably longer shelf life than roasted coffee, so you may stock up on green coffee every 3 to 6 months.

So in the long term, if you’ve perfected your skill and have all of your equipment, you may end up saving a lot of money when you choose to roast at home.

Final Thoughts

If you are somebody who appreciates coffee, then this might be something you would find entertaining. Roasting coffee at home is like another fun hobby. 

Depending on your tastes, roasting coffee at home could be easy or challenging, but you can definitely do it yourself!

It’s not too pricey and you get decent coffee.

But keep in mind that coffee roasting isn’t something you learn and then do for the rest of your life.

It’s a never-ending learning process with an unlimited amount of ways to improve.

So, what are you waiting for? Try and roast your own pot of coffee today!

Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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