Over the last few years, I started to drink coffee more, and I also began to appreciate the different types of coffees you can buy. Recently I decided to look into how to roast green coffee beans at home.
Why go into all the trouble of roasting beans at home, when you can buy perfectly good coffee in a local food shop?
Well, the best thing about roasting your own coffee at home is that you can control the intensity of the coffee roast and you can achieve much lighter roast than most commercially produced coffees.
So, how do you roast coffee at home?
Here are my top tips on achieving that perfect cup of delicious coffee
There are several methods of coffee roasting, like using oven, grill, saucepan, popcorn maker or purposely made coffee roasting equipment (you can find some great guides on kitchenstuffpicks.com). I’ve chosen the easiest one – roasting in a saucepan – which is a method you can use at home, but also if you are outdoors or camping.
Roasting green coffee beans in a frying pan (saucepan or a large pot)
To make sure you get the best flavour from your coffee beans, choose a large saucepan or frying pan, that’s not coated or non-stick and wash it carefully.
Before you start the roasting process, open all the windows in your kitchen as the coffee beans are quite smokey, and you might set off the fire alarm. If you can use your barbecue grill in the garden as you won’t need to worry about the smoke in your kitchen.
What you’ll need
- Saucepan (frying pan, skillet or similar)
- Thermometer (optional, but it helps to get a more precise roast and consistency of your roasting technique)
- Wooden Stirring Spoon
- Large colander that can withstand a high temperature
First of all, you’ll need to preheat the saucepan to about 210 C (450F). It’s best to test the temperature by a suitable thermometer, like a meat thermometer.
Next, add your green beans. The amount you use depends on how big is your saucepan. If this is your first attempt, I would suggest that you choose a smaller amount of beans, to test your set up, ideal temperature and preference for your final coffee roast.
Ideally don’t add more than 2-3 layers of coffee beans as you will need to stir them continually and if you have too many, they are not going to roast evenly.
After the first 5 minutes, you will achieve a light roast. The beans will start to crack, but the colour will be only very lightly brown. If you like your coffee with plenty of flavours, natural acidity, now is a good time to stop roasting.
Medium – Light Roast
In the next few minutes, you’ll start achieving medium-light roast ( at around 430F or 180 C). The coffee beans will look darker in colour, and the final coffee taste will be much sweeter than the light roast.
Medium – Dark Roast
Medium dark roast coffee beans will start to produce oil as they roast and their colour will be much darker. This happens at around 450F or 220 C.
If you prefer a darker roast, carry on roasting for another 5-6 minutes or so. As your beans are roasting, the outer layer starts to crack (for the second time), which is a good indication (apart from the colour) that they are done. The coffee beans will also produce more oil at this stage.
Once you are happy with your colour, place them in your colander and shake to get rid of the outer coffee bean shells.
Extra tips, that helped me to get the perfect roast
- Buy the best green coffee beans you can (single-origin coffee varieties are a real treat!)
- Keep stirring everything & don’t move away from the stove
- After roasting, cool down the beans as quickly as you can to prevent them from carrying on roasting.
- Let the beans rest and breathe for at least 10 – 12 hrs before using (or longer)
- Lighter roast beans are perfect for drinking on their own
- Darker roast beans go well with a dash of milk or cream
- If you burn any coffee beans (or some are darker than others) separate them from the rest before you grind your coffee beans to avoid bitter coffee flavour
- Write down the timings, volume and type of saucepan for your roast and note down the final coffee taste, colour or anything else that will help you to recreate your favourite coffee without any problem.
- Roast smaller amounts to ensure your coffee is always fresh
If you’ve tried to roast green coffee beans at home, I’d love to know what you think, so let me know in the comments below.