How to Roast Coffee at Home
Coffee lovers around the world have been grinding their own coffee beans for many years. It gives them a fresher cup of coffee than they would get from pre-ground beans. Recently a new trend has taken hold and people are learning how to roast coffee beans at home. This process allows them to roast their own beans to the exact level of darkness they desire and also allows more control over how fresh their roasted coffee beans are before they are used for brewing.
The first thing necessary in roasting coffee beans at home is a source of green coffee beans. Even before purchasing a coffee roaster or learning how to improvise without a roaster it is important to have a steady supply of green coffee beans. Without the green beans it is useless to have a coffee roaster or to learn how to roast coffee. Many coffee bean distributors will supply green coffee beans to individuals who want to roast their own coffee. There are also coffee plantations who will sell green coffee beans to individuals.The best way to find these sources is to perform an Internet search and then compare the various results until a reputable dealer is found that can consistently supply green coffee beans.
Next, a coffee roaster will be needed or an air popcorn popper can be used. There are various types of home coffee bean roasters available on the market. Using a popcorn popper that is air heated is also a good way to experiment with coffee roasting without having to invest in a coffee roaster. When it is time to purchase a coffee roaster, there are two types to choose from, the fluid bed roaster, also known as the air roaster, and the drum roaster. It is advantageous to understand the difference between the two before purchasing one. Home roasters are typically fluid bed roasters. These roasters are smaller and more compact than drum roasters. These roasters operate similar to popcorn poppers in that they operate on rotating hot air. Fluid bed roasters have timers which make them easier to use, especially for beginning roasters. These roasters do not require as much interaction on the part of the user as drum roasters do and they are much less expensive than drum roasters. However, fluid air roasters do not always have controls and the user must learn to identify when the coffee is ready. These roasters do not have long life spans if used on a regular basis.
People who plan on roasting their own coffee on a regular basis should opt for the more expensive yet longer lasting drum roaster. Drum roasters work using convection or conduction methods and are more complex to learn. These roasters require the individual to be more involved in the roasting process and learn to hear and smell the roasting process.
Coffee beans crack when the roasting process is fully underway. Once this cracking sound starts it is important to begin watching and timing the beans in order to achieve the desired roast. It is also important to cool the beans immediately after the desired roast has been reached in order to stop the roasting process. The air popcorn popper will work as a temporary coffee bean roaster. However, due to the amount of heat and smoke the coffee roasting process will produce it is not the best method and should only be used as to determine if roasting coffee is something that will be continued.
Using the popper method requires constant supervision of the beans to insure they don't scorch and to remove them from heat as soon as the roast has reached its desired color. Home roasting of coffee beans brings with it not only fresh coffee, it also brings a sense of accomplishment and pride in being able to produce coffee that is roasted and ultimately ground by the individual coffee drinker. This is coffee that can't be purchased on the store shelves.