Roasting coffee beans at home is cost effective, fun, and a great hobby. It’s much easier to buy and roast coffee beans all by yourself. This guide will teach you where to buy and how to roast coffee beans at home.
This article will cover:
- Benefits of Home Coffee Roasting
- Supplies to Roast Coffee
- How to Source Coffee Beans
- How to Roast
- How to Store
- Common Mistakes and How to Avoid
Benefits of Home Coffee Roasting
There are so many benefits of home coffee roasting.
My husband and I have been roasting our own coffee at home for 6 months, and we’ve been so surprised at the benefits! Here are just a reasons to start roasting your own coffee at home:
Roasting coffee at home is so affordable. 1 lb of craft roasted coffee can be $20-$30 per bag.
When you roast coffee at home, your average spend will be around $7 per pound for high quality, fresh roasted coffee! This can be a huge savings for your household.
Home roasted coffee is a great gift. It’s a thoughtful gesture to drop off to family or friends, or add to a birthday or holiday gift!
Roasted coffee is a great personal touch that your coffee loving loved ones will definitely appreciate.
Control Your Roast exactly to your liking
Roasting your own coffee at home allows you to control exactly how your coffee is roasted!
You can choose from light, medium, or dark – or in between. The beauty of this is that you can control exactly how you like your coffee. We love experimenting and trying different roasts with different types of coffee beans.
Supplies to Roast Coffee
Obviously, beans are the most important part of this step! In the next section, I’ll walk you through how to buy coffee beans and where to source those coffee beans.
Next, you need a roasting tool. This can be intimidating at first, but the truth is, if you can cook popcorn on the stove without burning it, you can definitely roast your own coffee!
All you need is a heat source and a pan, it’s that simple. In fact, we use an old fashioned Whirly Pop stovetop popcorn maker and it works like a charm!
Baking pans are necessary for the few hours after you roast the coffee beans.
Freshly roasted coffee beans need to rest at room temperature for at least 4 hours before being used because it allows them time to release all the gasses created in the roasting process.
Any kind of pan will work, but you want the beans to be spread out so they come down to room temperature as quickly as possible so they don’t get overdone.
We recommend going with a baking pan similar to these ones on Amazon. You want something high quality and durable!
Hand held fan or blow-dryer
You’ll need a hand-held fan or blow dryer to blow off the shell from the coffee bean before you roast. You don't need anything fancy – we just use an old blow dryer and blow dry coffee beans in a colander outside to remove the shell.
How to Source Coffee Beans
Where to purchase beans
Green, unroasted coffee beans are much easier to find than you think.
We use Burman Coffee Beans and they sell green beans sourced directly from the farms and co-ops where they are grown and deliver them to your door in just a few days.
There are multiple websites like this so you can buy a variety of coffee beans from the comfort of your own home.
How to pick the right beans
When choosing the right coffee beans, it is best to read reviews about them first.
Websites like Burman’s give tasting notes for if you prefer light, medium, and dark roasts with each individual bean.
The right bean for you is a combination of what taste you’re looking for, and what fits your budget!
Three Ways to Roast Coffee At Home
There are three ways to roast coffee at home:
- Oven Method
- Popcorn Popper
- Home Coffee Roaster
How to Roast Coffee Beans In an Oven
How it Works
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and spread your green beans out evenly on a baking sheet.
Place in the oven for 10 minutes, then take out and stir. Put back in the oven and roast until the desired roast is obtained, taking out to stir about every 2 minutes.
- Requires the least specialized equipment
- More downtime than other methods
- Most fickle way to roast beans, some roast faster than others
- Smoke trapped inside the oven
How to Roast Coffee Beans Using a Popcorn Popper
How it Works
This is the way we primarily roast our beans at home!
This method requires the use of a Whirley Pop popcorn maker or anything similar that allows you to stir the beans continuously over an open flame. PS - you can buy one on Amazon! This is the one we have.
Note, do not use a nonstick pan or surface as this will impart weird tastes in the coffee beans. This method is very dependent on the color of the beans and the sounds they make as you roast them.
You will notice as you are roasting, the beans will progress from a green to a yellow color. When they are dark yellow, you will hear a popping sound and the beans will start to smoke.
It is very important at this point to stir the beans quickly to ensure they cook evenly.
After this, the beans will pop vigorously and the color will change pretty quickly.
The timing of when you take the beans off the heat will determine if the beans are light, medium, or dark roast.
For a light roast coffee, take them off as soon as you start to hear the popping and see the color change from yellow to brown.
To achieve medium roast, wait until the beans are a little darker brown and the beans are popping vigorously.
For a dark roast, leave on the heat until the coffee beans are barely popping.
- Affordable equipment
- Completely customizable roast
- Very even roasting with just a little experience
- Smokey process, best to do it outside on a burner on the grill
- Takes a few roasts to master the process
How to Roast Coffee Using a Home Coffee Roaster
How it works
This is the simplest way to roast coffee. With an automatic roaster, simply pour your beans into the machine, turn it on, and select your roast setting.
- Very convenient and simple, most can be used inside with minimal smoke
- Roasts completely evenly
- High quality roasters are very expensive, often hundreds of dollars
- The roasts are less customizable and must follow a preset
After Roasting: waiting, shell removal, and grinding
As we discussed earlier in this article, roasting coffee beans creates a certain amount of gas.
The gas produced in this process can affect the taste of the coffee, so it is best to leave the beans out at room temperature for at least 4 hours to allow the beans to degas.
We generally roast beans in the evening and allow them to rest overnight so they are fresh in the morning.
When roasting coffee, you will notice a thin, papery shell is produced when the beans are finished. This comes from the bean expanding and shedding its shell upon the release of gasses.
These must be separated from the beans before grinding and serving. There are many ways proposed to remove these shells, but we have found using a blow dryer is the most effective.
To do this, simply place the beans and shells in a colander or other perforated bowl, and run a blow dryer over the beans.
This will stir up the shells and shoot them up out of the bowl while leaving the beans inside.
Be careful, this is extremely messy and will leave shells everywhere! It is best to do this step outside.
How to Store Roasted Coffee Beans
Once coffee is roasted and the shells are separated, it is best to store coffee in a cool, dry area, preferably in an airtight container.
Most people don’t know that once coffee is roasted, it is only good for 7-10 days.
Fortunately, the dried, green coffee beans stay fresh for up to a year if stored appropriately, so it is best to buy unroasted beans in bulk and roast about once a week.
Your next step is to make your coffee! Check out our guide on which type of coffee maker is right for you!
Common coffee roasting mistakes and how to avoid
Help, my coffee is overdone!
This is a simple fix, just take it off the heat earlier next time. Also, you can blend it with a lighter roasted batch to try to salvage the burnt one. Note, underdone coffee can just be thrown back on the burner and watched until it is the appropriate roast
Help, my coffee is not roasted evenly!
There are a few trouble shooting options for this one.
First, try to stir the coffee more frequently, trying to expose each bean to the same amount of heat.
Also, if you are roasting on the stove or in an uncovered pan, try covering the pan and shaking instead of stirring.
This creates a more even temperature throughout the entire pan so every bean sees the same amount of heat.
Conclusion - How To Buy And Roast Coffee Beans at Home
We hope this article on how to roast coffee beans at home was helpful and you embark on your own coffee roasting journey!
Have any questions? Leave them for us in the comments below and we'll be sure to answer you!