Latest Posts

  1. A Look at  Flores Manu Lalu as Espresso

    A Look at Flores Manu Lalu as Espresso

    Wet process Flores makes fantastic single origin espresso. Have a look at our cupping notes.

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  2. A Guide to Air Roasters

    A Guide to Air Roasters

    When blowing hot air gives you solid results

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  3. Behmor Espresso Roast Profile: Peru FTO Don Rigoberto

    Behmor Espresso Roast Profile: Peru FTO Don Rigoberto

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  4. How to Roast Coffee (circa 1850) !

    How to Roast Coffee (circa 1850) !

    When roasting at home was the primary method, and buying from a shop was your plan b !

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  5. The Golden Bean Bronze Medal Bullet Profile

    The Golden Bean Bronze Medal Bullet Profile

    Check out Julio's award winning profile.

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  6. Behmor Roast Profile: Burundi Kayanza Gahahe

    Behmor Roast Profile: Burundi Kayanza Gahahe

    Taking the "light and bright" approach to roasting Burundi Gahahe on the Behmor 1600+

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  7. Roasting Different Batch Sizes of Burundi on the Behmor 1600+

    Roasting Different Batch Sizes of Burundi on the Behmor 1600+

    What happens when you roast a coffee to the same roast level but at different rates of development?

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  8. Behmor Roast Profile: Burundi Kayanza Dusangirijambo Coop

    Behmor Roast Profile: Burundi Kayanza Dusangirijambo Coop

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  9. Live Stream: Intro to Home Roasting

    Live Stream: Intro to Home Roasting

    Roasting with an electric popcorn popper is easy! Watch our online, interactive demo on 9/6 and we'll show you how.

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  10. Roasting Flores Gunung Gedha on a Popcorn Popper and Quest M3s

    Roasting Flores Gunung Gedha on a Popcorn Popper and Quest M3s

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  11. Coffee Roasting Demo at The Berkeley Public Library

    Coffee Roasting Demo at The Berkeley Public Library

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  12. Coffee Roasting Basics: Nerd Nite Silicon Valley 6/25

    Coffee Roasting Basics: Nerd Nite Silicon Valley 6/25

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How to roast your own coffee

How to roast your own coffee

Home coffee roasting is as simple (or as technical), as you want to make it. You can roast in your oven, re-purpose a popcorn popper, use a skillet or buy an actual coffee roasting appliance. Whatever method you use, you will be on your way to drinking much better coffee.

The basic process is simple: use heat to turn green unroasted coffee into brown roasted coffee. Roasting times vary, depending on the method and batch size but you can expect the process to last about 10 minutes for smaller batches and about 16 minutes for larger batches.

 

There are many ways to roast coffee. The method you choose should be influenced by how much roasted coffee you need and how much money you want to spend. Whether you choose a D.I.Y. approach or a small appliance matters depends mostly on if you want more or less automation.

D.I.Y methods are affordable and accessible.

We think using an electric popcorn popper is the best of them all. You can use a skillet, a stovetop popcorn popper or a cookie sheet in your oven. These methods are all popular for among home roasters but we think it requires a bit of experience to achieve good results.

Hot Air Popcorn Popper Instructions (Recommended)
Stovetop Instructions
Oven Roasting Instructions

 

Home Coffee Roasting Appliances offer coffee specific features.
Depending on the model, machines made for home coffee roasting offer chaff collection, smoke reduction, timers, temperature control, air flow regulation and sometimes digital automation. There is no "best" one per say but there is a best one for you depending on how much coffee you want to roast per batch and how large of a machine you want to have sitting on your counter.  Air roasters are generally smaller, roast very evenly without scorching, and are better for smaller batches. Drum roasters usually roast more, but these machines are usually larger, require more attention and generate more smoke.

See our Home Roasting FAQ for more help finding the right roaster for you.

 


We our selection of coffees can be overwhelming since we always offer a few dozen choices and we are always adding more as others sell out. We suggest purchasing a 4 lb. or 8lb Sample Set to start off with. You will receive 1lb bags of coffee from different origins.  Roasting and drinking these will help you learn the differences in flavor between regions. From there, your taste buds should have an idea of which ones you liked best. This will help you narrow down which coffees you want to buy next.

Our Green Coffee FAQ will help take the mystery out of selecting.

Understanding the different stages of the roast will help you control the flavor of your cup and appreciate how different roasts result in different cup flavors.

  • Yellowing: For the first few minutes the bean remains greenish, then turn lighter yellowish and emit a grassy smell.
    Steam: The beans start to steam as their internal water content dissipates.
  • First Crack: The steam becomes fragrant. Soon you will hear the first crack, an audible cracking sound as the real roasting starts to occur: sugars begin to caramelize, bound-up water escapes, the structure of the bean breaks down and oils migrate from their little pockets outward.
  • First Roasted Stage: After the first crack, the roast can be considered complete any time according to your taste. The cracking is an audible cue, and, along with sight and smell, tells you what stage the roast is at. This is what is called a City roast.
  • Caramelization: Caramelization continues, oils migrate, and the bean expands in size as the roast becomes dark. As the roast progresses, this is a City + roast. Most of our roast recommendations stop at this point. When you are on the verge of second crack, that is a Full City roast.
  • Second Crack: At this point a second crack can be heard, often more volatile than the first. The roast character starts to eclipse the origin character of the beans at this point and is also known as a Vienna roast. A few pops into second crack is a Full City + roast. Roasting all the way through second crack may result in small pieces of bean being blown away like shrapnel!
  • Darkening Roast: As the roast becomes very dark, the smoke is more pungent as sugars burn completely, and the bean structure breaks down more and more. As the end of second crack approaches, you will achieve a French roast.
  • Ack!! Too Late!: Eventually, the sugars burn completely, and the roast will only result in a thin-bodied cup of "charcoal water."

Using Sight to determine degree of roast

Check out our "Use All Five Senses to Determine Roast Level" page