No matter how specific you are about the coffee brewing methods you make use of, the ultimate truth is the final cup of coffee that will taste heavenly only with the right roasting method of the coffee beans. What is better than roasting the coffee beans on your own? It might serve a rhetorical question for most of us –nothing beats learning the art of how to roast coffee beans on your own at home.
When you are able to understand the process of roasting coffee beans of your choice, it helps in enhancing your overall appreciation for the given art as well as the science that is involved into the process of pouring out the perfect cup of coffee –every morning. Roasting of the coffee beans at your home also offers the assurance that your coffee is as fresh as possible. It also ensures that the coffee roast is as dark or light as you like it. One of the best things about coffee roasting at home is that there is virtually no restriction to the entry. On the basis of your taste and selected method of roasting, you can get started with roasting the coffee beans right away!
Why Should You Roast Your Own Coffee at Home?
Indeed, it is quite simple to purchase the coffee that has already been roasted. However, while you might prefer the coffee that has already been roasted, the roast might not be completely perfect. A good coffee roast might cost anywhere around $16 to $24 per pound or even more for the premium coffee blends. When you go for buying green or raw coffee beans, it serves highly economical by costing only around $7 to $7 per pound. While buying green or raw coffee beans, you are also given the option to customize the coffee blend as per your personal preferences. You can consider blending a few types of coffee beans for achieving a completely different flavor or profile of the coffee beans.
In addition to customizing the coffee blend and saving money significantly, the buyers can also roast the green coffee beans just the way you would like them. You can choose from a myriad of coffee blends including lighter, coffee beans with more caffeine and having more acidic content, less to medium acidic, and additional flavor, dark & robust coffee beans with less caffeine, and so more. Coffee beans are known to contain more than 800 compounds that get converted during the coffee roasting process. This is referred to as the Maillard Reaction.
When you are looking forward to roasting coffee by your own at home, you will require a few essential supplies along with the source of green or raw coffee beans. It is vital that you understand the roasting process –right from the beginning to the finish. It helps you in getting a better understanding of how roasting coffee can impact the overall flavors of the coffee. The natural coffee beans are like dry pinto beans. This implies that it can be stored for more extended periods and still remain fresh once the coffee beans have gone through the roasting process. If you did not roast the coffee before consuming it, the drink would become highly acidic and bitter –making it almost undrinkable. Roasting the coffee beans offers the unique aromas and flavors to the coffee.
What Happens During the Coffee Roasting Process?
Green or raw coffee tends to change significantly during the coffee roasting process. As you keep roasting the coffee beans, moisture gets forced out of the coffee beans –causing it to become dry & expand. During the roasting process, some of the natural sugars of the coffee get converted into Carbon Dioxide gas, and others are caramelized into some of the specific flavors that help in forming the complex flavors of the coffee beans. When the roasting process gets completed, the green, raw coffee beans get transformed into brown coffee beans –around 18 percent lighter and around 50-100 percent larger than its original form.
As soon as the roasting process of the coffee beans gets completed, the coffee beans start to “degas.” In a matter of one to two weeks, the roasted coffee will start losing some of the aromas and flavors.
The Main Stages of Roasting Coffee
The professional roasters out there have come across different stages of roasting coffee for ensuring the best results. Here are some of the levels you should consider:
- Green: The coffee beans will retain the pure green flavor and essence –even while starting the
- Yellow: The color of the coffee bean will become yellowish along with the beans emitting a grassy odor.
- Steam: Steam will start rising from the coffee beans. This happens to be the water content that is stored inside the coffee beans.
- First Crack: This is the stage wherein roasting begins. The sugar content inside the coffee beans starts caramelizing with a crackling sound –like that of popcorn popping.
- City Roast: After the first crack of the coffee beans, the beans have reached the City Roast stage –the minimum level of roasting acceptable for brewing and grinding.
- City Plus Roast: With the further caramelization of the natural sugars in the coffee beans along with the migration oils, the beans tend to swell up in the overall size. This serves to be a common & popular level of roasting.
- Full City Plus Roast: After the limits of the City Plus Roast stage is the Full City Plus Roast –achieving a darker roast that aims at taking the coffee beans to the stage of second crackling.
- Second Crack: In this stage, the coffee beans undergo another, violent crackling and enter the stage of Full City Plus. The roasting level will help in revealing additional layers of intensity to the natural flavors of the coffee.
- Dark Roast: Also referred to as “French Roast,” the roasting smoke tends to become more pungent with the sugars burning to the fullest extent without disturbing the flavor. During this stage, the overall structure of the beans will break down. This serves to be the maximum level of roasting within the assurance of great flavors.
- Burning: If you are not done with the roasting process until this stage, the smell will transform from pungent to terrible as the beans would start burning.
Important Things Needed for Roasting Your Coffee at Home
When you wish to roast the coffee beans on your own at home, you will require some vital supplies for helping you perform the roasting process correctly. Here are some:
- Green or Raw Coffee: From where you tend to live, it can turn out to be the most challenging stage of the overall roasting process. You can consider checking with the local coffee retailers or shops nearby to observe if there are any specific roasters in the given area –known for selling unroasted (green) coffee beans.
- Roaster: You can come across various types of coffee roasters out there in the market. Even a simple popcorn maker can help in doing the job of roasting.
- Storage: Once you are done with the roasting of your coffee beans, you will require a separate space for storing the same. It is important to note that you must store the coffee beans in an airtight container. However, even the best airtight container out there cannot stop the coffee from losing the natural aroma & flavors after about one to two week if the coffee beans are not used.
Now that you are well-equipped with the necessary supplies for roasting your coffee at home, you can start over quickly. It is important to note that for the roasting process to be a success, the coffee beans must be heated to the temperature range of 370 Degrees Fahrenheit to 540 Degrees Fahrenheit. When you are roasting, make sure that the coffee beans are in constant motion. This helps in ensuring that none of the coffee beans get scorched. Additionally, you must also be aware of the fact that the roasting process tends to produce a lot of smoke. Therefore, it is vital to make sure that the area in which you are roasting is adequately ventilated.
How to Roast Coffee with the Help of a Roasting Machine?
In modern times, you can come across various different types of roasting machines that will help in taking care of the complete roasting process for you –right from scratch to its end. The coffee roasting machines are known to function more like a popcorn popper as it makes use of the fast-moving air for roasting the coffee beans while keeping them agitated during the roasting stage.
Making use of the specific roasting machine is regarded as the easiest and the most convenient process of roasting the coffee beans on your own. Here are some steps to follow:
- Place the right amount of coffee beans inside the roaster or the roasting machine. Check the manual of the machine for determining the exact amount of coffee beans.
- Close the roaster and now, turn the machine on.
- Allow the coffee beans to roast until it has achieved the desired roasted color. It is important to note that the longer you will be roasting the coffee beans, the stronger and darker it will become.
- Pour the roasted coffee in the colander and stir the same until it becomes warm.
- Store the roasted coffee in an airtight container –keep the container away from the sun.
How to Roast the Coffee Beans with the Help of a Stove Top Popcorn Maker?
In the traditional times, when the technologically-advanced machines like the coffee roaster or popcorn poppers were not invented, individuals used to roast the coffee beans by roasting the same on the stove. For roasting the coffee beans with the help of a stove popcorn maker, you would require a stovetop roaster –a pot with a lid that can be easily agitated.
- A high-quality Stovetop Popcorn Maker or Popper
- An outdoor (electric or gas) burner
- Unroasted coffee beans
- A thermometer (optional)
- A baking sheet
- A container (airtight)
Here are some steps to follow:
- Setup & Preheat the Stovetop Popcorn Popper: Bring home your favorite flavor or brand of unroasted green or raw coffee beans. Now, set up the baking sheet, burner, and the popcorn popper. Preheat the popcorn popper until the temperature range reaches 400 Degree Fahrenheit. You can make use of the laser thermometer for checking the temperature.
- Add the Unroasted Coffee Beans: Once you have achieved the right roasting temperature for the popcorn popper, you can add the raw or green beans into the same and start cranking the machine’s handle. It is critical to ensure that the coffee beans are always moving from time to time such that they are getting roasted evenly. As you continue cranking, the heat generated will make the coffee beans to go through the various stages of perfect roasting.
- Roast the Coffee Beans: As the beans start roasting, they will pass through multiple stages. When you wish to control the flavor and aroma of the coffee, you must aim at roasting the beans perfectly –without burning them.
- Remove & Cool: Once you have reached the stage of roasting, you can now dump the roasted beans on the baking sheet. Now, shake the baking sheet well and allow the coffee beans to sit & cool down naturally. Depending on the level of darkness of coffee roasting, you can soon start preparing for the storage.
- Store the Coffee Beans: Once the beans have cooled down properly, you can make way for storing them perfectly in a high-quality airtight container. Mason jars are considered as one of the best options out there for storing the coffee beans.
After all these processes, all you are left with to do is grinding, brewing, and savoring the entire day’s roasting. Within a span of 15-20 minutes, you will be ready with a fantastic, home-roasted coffee!