Nothing beats a great cup of coffee and for the freshest brew going, why not roast your green beans at home? Trust us, it’s not as hard as it sounds. In fact we find it a rather fun process of experimentation, perhaps it’s a new skill to master whilst we all spend more time at home.
Roasting is what gives each batch its own flavours and aromas, taking it from a bitter, acidic tone, to a rich, unique taste sensation. Be warned, at first it may take some practice, (which is normal) but once you’ve mastered the process you’ll be able to roast it exactly to your taste. We promise your coffee at home will never be the same again.
First up in the roasting process you’ll need to get your hands on some raw, unroasted green coffee beans. Now without stating the obvious, for those who don’t know, coffee is actually derived from a small red fruit, which is farmed and the inner seed (this is the green coffee bean) is then dried, ready for roasting. The unroasted coffee bean is small, similar to the size of a pinto bean.
Secondly, once you have safely sourced your green beans you’ll have to choose your roaster. Now a lot of at-home roasters use a stove top popcorn popper! That’s right, your popcorn machine can help you unlock the secrets to roasting your own coffee at home. Here you can control the temperature and stir up the coffee beans by moving the handle with ease. There are, of course, a wide range of specialist at home roasters available. Look for designs with high temperature control, air flow and a neat collection for the chaff (that’s the ‘wood chips’ released from the bean during roasting). For the ultimate DIY route you could try roasting your beans in the oven, layer on a baking tray for around 15-20 minutes, adjusting the temperature accordingly.
Now it’s time for the roasting to begin!
We’ve highlighted what to expect below, in a simple step by step guide. Just a few tips before you start, make sure the beans remain in constant motion so none of them become stuck or scorched. Always remove your beans a minute or so before your desired roast, this is because the beans will keep cooking off heat. It’s normal for the roasting process to become smoky, so ensure you are in a well ventilated part of your home.
Green to Yellow
Here your beans change colour to yellow and emit a somewhat grass-like odour. Your beans will also steam at this point, nothing to worry about that’s excess water evaporating.
You’ll hear a cracking sound similar to that of popcorn popping (hence the name) and the sugars in the beans will caramelise, giving off a sweet odour.
Light to Medium Roast
Here the beans will start a more violent cracking. This means the beans will have been roasted long enough to reveal more layers of intensity to the flavour.
Now we’re at the final point, this is when the smoke will start to thicken as the sugars will burn and the structure of the beans break down. For a dark, strong roast, it’s time to remove from the heat. If the beans are not removed, they will burn and lose all flavour.
Once you have reached your preferred roast, pour the roasted beans into a colander, as one final chance to remove all of the remaining chaff from the beans. We recommend storing them in an airtight container and allow a few days for the flavours to emerge over night.
Enjoy! And if you have any expert at home roasting tips, drop them in the comments below.