Roasting your coffee beans at home! Seems a bit out of the ordinary and far-fetched. This could be the easiest and most satisfying activity you can engage in at home as a coffee lover. You will feel so connected and involved in the actual process of preparing coffee at home.
You will require a few tools and little knowledge to roast your coffee beans at home.
- Popcorn Popper
- Tray for cooling the roasted coffee beans
- Bowl to collect chaff as coffee is roasting
- Green coffee beans
- Airtight container
- Kitchen scale
- Wooden spoon
What You Need to Know
When you are up and ready with all your tools, you need to know that roasting the coffee beans may not be appropriate in a closed room with no ventilation. It is safer to be outside where there is open air like a veranda or a balcony. This is because of the smoke that will be produced during roasting. Do not be alarmed though.
You will need a large working area so that you can have all the tools in place as you begin roasting.
- The Popcorn Popper
The popcorn popper needs to have a metal popping chamber and preferably air ventilation on its side rather than on the bottom. Also, the manufacturing warranty that comes with the popcorn popper will be invalidated because of roasting coffee beans instead of popcorn.
This means you may need to make a new purchase if you happen to break the machine as you are roasting coffee.
However, a popcorn popper is quite affordable. You can find a brand new one for less than $30. Second-hand popcorn poppers are also as valuable and efficient.
It takes about 4-10 minutes to roast coffee beans using a popcorn popper. The length of time varies depending on the number and type of beans, desired roast levels, and the specific popcorn popper you are using.
A light roast will take less time as opposed to dark roasting. Large size of bean will also take longer than a smaller size. Lightly roasted beans tend to remain fresh for a long time, while dark roasted ones may go stale quicker.
This is very important as it allows the roasted coffee beans to release the gases it forms during roasting. If you give in to the temptation of brewing the coffee immediately after roasting, you will notice some bubbling as the gases (carbon dioxide) repel the water. This will result in uneven distribution of flavor, it may become a bit sour.
Allow the roasted coffee beans to rest for 2 days before brewing. You deserve to get the full flavor and coffee experience after working so hard!
The Actual Process
- Turn on the machine and let it warm up a little before starting to roast.
- Measure out the beans, about 100g. This is a safe amount to start with because a large number of beans may require more time to roast and make it hard to evenly roast them. Remember not to leave the beans unattended on the machine.
- Pour the beans into the machine, slowly observing how they are behaving. They should dance around randomly. You can shake the popper a little bit or use a wooden spoon to stir them to avoid them from sticking to the metal chamber and burning.
- Keep stirring to disturb the beans to release the chaff. Chaff is the skin of the coffee bean that comes out during roasting. It comes out through the top of the popper.
- Listen to the beans to hear the first crack. This occurs after about 5 minutes and is a good indication to stop the roasting. Extending roasting time could easily burn the beans.
- Observe the color change of the beans so that you can stop the roast at the desired color.
- Once you are satisfied that the beans are ready, switch off the machine and dump them out carefully onto the tray for them to cool off.
- Place the beans in an airtight container after they have cooled off. Place the container in a cool dark place and not in the fridge or freezer. You want to preserve the flavor of the coffee.
- Wait patiently for 2 days before you brew your coffee.
Roasting coffee beans at home using a popcorn popper can be greatly fulfilling. You will need a few tools and an open place to roast the beans. Remember to let the beans rest so that they can degass and achieve the best flavor.