How to Roast Coffee at Home – Make Gourmet Drinks
Last week, we covered some of the basics about how coffee is made, beginning with the growing and picking stages and moving into processing, drying, milling, and roasting. Roasting coffee is one of the most important steps in determining the final taste. If you love to make gourmet espresso drinks, then you probably pay close attention to the type of roast you buy at the grocery or from your favorite local roaster.
But, did you know that roasting your own coffee at home is actually fairly easy – and affordable – to do? You don’t have to have a 50-gallon drum, a special high-temperature oven, or any of the fancy equipment you probably thought necessary. Also, locating and purchasing green coffee beans isn’t particularly difficult either.
If you enjoy making gourmet drinks, then we encourage you to at least give some thought to roasting your own coffee at home. Here’s how it works…
How to Roast Coffee
- Choose a roasting method. Popular ways to roast include using a skillet, using a small home roaster, and using a popcorn popper. We’re fans of the latter method. You can find these small electric popcorn poppers in mass merchant retail stores, hardware stores, or pick them up for just a few dollars at just about any thrift store.
- Next, choose a green coffee. Once you find a coffee bean you really like, you might want to consider buying in bulk. For starting out, just buy a pound or two.
- Start roasting! At-home coffee roasting, like most of life’s finer things, is a trial-and-error kind of activity. You’ll burn some beans, you won’t get the taste you wanted, and you might resort to using a lot of coffee syrups in an attempt to cover up your failed efforts. Here are a few tips though:
- Bean temperature should be between 370 ºF and 540 ºF.
- Beans must be constantly moving (reason #1 why we love popcorn poppers).
- Beans have to be rapidly cooled after roasting so that exothermic heat doesn’t continue to cook them.
- Knowing when they’re done. Coffee beans will yellow, steam, and then crack (an audible sound). Pull them out or keep going. We recommend roasting past the “second crack” for a good dark roast!