If you love your coffee fresh, home roasting your own green coffee beans could be the right move to make. There is a great satisfaction in doing something yourself. Roasting your own coffee beans at home can be fantastic once you have perfected your technique and found the roasting and cooling time you prefer, your own roast may be the best coffee you’ll ever have.
Most people expect home roasting to be an expensive process, but you don’t need to splash out on an expensive machine (though you might like to), you probably have all you need to get started already in your cupboards.
So what do you need to get started?
All you need to begin roasting coffee at home is a heavy frying pan or an iron skillet. You may have heard that you can roast coffee at home with a popcorn popper. You’re not wrong, Stovetop Popcorn Pans with a hand crank are especially good and can be bought for around £20 to £30 online. You will also need a baking tray or metal colander to put the beans in too cool. A good thermometer is also handy, but not essential, as once you have roasted beans you begin to get an eye (and ear) for it.
Most importantly you will need to purchase some green coffee beans (view our fantastic selection here).
How to roast coffee at home
1. Start by heating the the pan to around 250 degrees celsius before adding a handful of beans (although this doesn’t look like much the beans expand to around twice their size, and it is best to start with small amounts for the first few times.) I advise leaving the lid open so you can check the colour of the beans.
2. Stir constantly (or turn the crank if you have a stovetop popcorn pan) to get an even roast. Keep stirring, at least every 30 seconds and after around 4 to 7 minutes the beans will start to make crackling sounds and smoking. Turn on your fan hood, or open windows to keep the room ventilated. You will notice the beans beginning to turn yellow as the sugars begin to caramelize.
3. The beans will begin to make cracking/popping noises (similar to the sound of popcorn popping), it is important at this point to keep a close eye on the coffee beans at this point. You will see they are starting to turn brown.
4. If you stop right at the first set of cracks/pops you will get an especially smooth coffee, tea-like almost. I usually would wait for a few minutes after the first crack until the the beans begin to darken.
5. Listen out for another set of cracks/pops, this time it will be a much quieter sound, like bubbles popping. You will notice the beans are now a very rich brown colour. This is when you have to be careful, as if you leave it too long the beans will burn. I usually take the beans off around 30 seconds after the second crack, but the great thing about home roasting is that you can experiment to find your favourite roast length.
6. Cool the beans. Take them off heat and place them in a metal baking tray. Stir the beans around for a few minutes to help cool them, as despite being off heat they will still be roasting. Create an even layer of beans on the tray and leave them outside to cool for at least 30 minutes. Try different cooling lengths and see if it changes your enjoyment, as some people recommend leaving it overnight.
Although it is unlikely that you will have the perfect roast at home the first time you try, it is great fun and worth learning. There is something immensely rewarding about a cup of coffee made from green beans you have roasted yourself.
"I normally like a mild coffee but I tried this as my first green home-roast (using a popcorn maker). This is delicious! My roaster is a bit too hot and so stopping just after 2nd crack was difficult but these beans go a lovely dark oily black and taste fantastic. I was very surprised to see it was the strongest coffee on the strength chart. I will buy again!" - Des