Serious coffee users know that fresh roasted coffee beans create the best, most authentic flavor. If you want freshly brewed coffee, nothing makes a fresher cup than roasting your own beans.
When you learn how to roast coffee beans at home, you’re not just making a better cup of coffee, but you’re also learning more about coffee making. You get to appreciate the process that goes into making the cup of coffee you drink, and then you can learn how to modify it for your own preferences.
How do you roast coffee beans? I’ll walk you through step-by-step and breakdown the process for you so you can learn to do it yourself using items you already have at home, in most cases.
If you have sensitive tastebuds that can detect small variations in flavor and freshness, you could easily become a roasting addict, learning how to make it yourself and then making that process a part of your regular routine.
For someone who drinks coffee more than a few times a week, it’s a great way to save some money and not have to make so many trips out for fresh brew. You can get the fresh, vibrant flavor of roasted coffee beans in your home rather than drinking stale tasting coffee that’s lost some of its vitality.
How Long Does It Take to Roast Coffee Beans
One question you’re going to want answered is the length of time it takes to roast them at home. If it takes too long, that may be a be a deterrent to you, and you may want to find a different method.
It only takes about 4-7 minutes for the coffee beans to roast. A light roast takes about 4 or 5minutes. A medium roast can take from 6-7 minutes to cook the beans all the way through.
The roasting itself is actually the quick part. after that, however, you’ll need to let the beans degas. This can take about 12 hours, and that’s where your long stretch of time is going to come in. This is why you pay a premium for freshly roasted coffee beans at the coffee shop.
This is why a lot of people don’t bother to roast them on their own. They take one look at that 12 hour stretch of time and decide not to bother. However, if you plan ahead, it’s not such a big deal. You can simply roast them and degas them the day before you’re going to use them.
You could also roast a bunch of beans ahead of time, so that you have freshly roasted beans for several days.
What happens if you don’t degas the beans? Degassing them helps to get rid of the sour flavor and bring out the more vibrant yet bitter conventional coffee flavor. It gets rid of the carbon dioxide from the beans and allows the aromatics and oils to be more easily extracted when you grind them and boil them in hot water.
How to Roast Coffee Beans in the Oven
One quick note about roasting coffee beans before we get started is that you need green coffee beans. These are unroasted ones, so you can tell they’re not roasted by their distinctive green color.
Let’s start with an oven roasting method, and I’ll walk you through a simple and straightforward method for this.
- Start by preheating the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The high temperature is required to cook the beans properly and thoroughly. (As you roast the beans in the oven, a lot of smoke will be created, so you’ll want your home ventilated well for this- open doors and windows)
- Using a perforated baking tray, spread your beans across the tray in a single layer with no overlap. You can use a normal baking tray, but a perforated tray with holes too small for the beans to fall through will give you best results. If using a regular baking tray, place a sheet of baking paper underneath the beans.
- Put your tray onto the middle shelf and cook for five to 7 minutes. Once the beans start to make a cracking sound, they are lightly roasted. By the second crack, you’ve achieved a medium roast, and you don’t want to leave the beans in for more than 30 seconds after that.
- Then, put the beans in a colander to cool them down and allow them to degas for 12 hours.
- If you use a regular un-perforated baking tray, give the beans a shake about halfway through the baking time.
How to Roast Coffee Beans on the Stove
Another popular method for roasting coffee beans is on the stovetop in a pan. The method is similar to oven roasting but slightly different. How to roast coffee beans in a pan?
- Make sure your cooking area is well ventilated and turn on the exhaust fan. You can even grill outside.
- Warm a skillet on medium heat (about 450F).
- Add your coffee beans to the pan, creating a shallow layer that doesn’t overlap. Make sure there’s enough room to stir the beans. As the beans cook, stir them constantly.
- After about four or five minutes, you should hear the first crack. This means you have achieved a light roast.
- For a medium roast, keep cooking for about 6 to 7 minutes, when you should hear the second crack. Don’t cook for any longer than 30 seconds after that point.
- Now that the beans have cooked, you can dump them into a colander and shake them around. Let them cool and leave them to D gas for 12 hours.
Now you know how to roast your own coffee beans, and you’ve learned two different ways to do it. You could also use an actual coffee roasting machine or a popcorn machine, though a popcorn machine is not as suitable and will probably experience a lot of wear and tear doing this.
What temp to roast coffee beans will depend on which method you’re using, but you want to keep it between 450 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit at all times to ensure a quick and thorough roast that doesn’t over-roast them.