The Definitive Guide to Roasting Coffee at Home (Updated 2020)

by Omer Geva

A very popular practice before the mid-20th century was to buy raw coffee and roast it at home. Since then, households have shifted their preference to the more convenient and easier option of purchasing pre roasted coffee.

A trend that is increasing in recent years, more companies are selling green coffee online than ever.

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Home Roasting

Like any different approach out there, there are pros and cons to home roasting. An advantage is that you're able to roast smaller batches, considering you're not buying a big pack of roasted beans. Also, roasting your own coffee offers a sense of satisfaction, which leads to a deeper appreciation of the coffee.

The obvious down side to this approach is that roasting beans yourself isn't the most trivial thing to do.

This is why roasting coffee at home at first shouldn't be considered an alternative to buying pre roasted coffee, but more as a hobby. Just like any hobby, there will probably be successful and very unsuccessful attempts, especially in the beginning.

Selecting the raw coffee

When it comes to selecting the raw coffee, it's important to make sure to buy coffee that is traceable. Traceability means understanding where your coffee is from, ranging from region, to even what farm it was grown.

If you have the option of buying green coffee from a company that also sells roasted coffee, you'd be able to compare your own roasted coffee to see how your roast technique is progressing.

Home-Roasting Machines

Roasting this way highlights the importance of movement of the coffee beans throughout the roasting process. This ultimately is why it's a good idea to get a roasting machine that specifically was made to roast your coffee.

There are two common types of machines that are used for home roasting: hot-air roasters and drum roasters.

Hot-Air Roasters

Based off of commercial fluid-bed roasters, hot-air roasters moves the beans around in a roasting chamber while hot air agitates, producing an even roast. You're usually able to speed up or slow down the process.

These machines are cheaper than drum roasters, and are a great for starters just learning how to roast coffee. These machines produce a fair amount of smoke and a strong aroma during the process, so roasting in a well-ventilated room is recommended.

The typical time a roast in a hot-air roaster should be about eight to twelve minute.

Drum Roasters

Home drum roasters are directly related to commercial drum roasters, but the big difference between them besides their size is the quality and weight of the materials. The coffee tumbles around in a heat drum, which keeps the beans moving around.

The typical time a roast in a drum roaster is longer, ranging rom ten to fifteen minutes.

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After Roasting

Wait a day before grinding and brewing, as the beans need to mature to reach full-bodied flavor.

After the roast, the beans start oxidizing, so storing them in an airtight container is essential. Also it's recommended to use the beans within 7 days of the roast.

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