You face four challenges when you roast coffee beans at home, all of which are easy to conquer if you don't mind ponying up $200.00 or more for a home roaster that only roasts a few ounces.
The four challenges you are going to face are;
1. The smoke produced by the roasting process.
2. The chaff, (coffee beans have a thin skin that separates as they roast.)
3. Obtaining the correct roast.
4. Cooling the beans quickly to stop the roast.
This six minute video shows how I conquer all of these challenges on a very limited budget.
I roast coffee beans at home outdoors on a cheap charcoal grill using a stainless steel basket designed to roast vegatables and a medium size blower fan designed to dry floors.
My method conquers the four challenges faced when roasting coffee beans at home, cheaply and easily.
As you can see in the video, coffee beans produce a lot of smoke and chaff during the roasting process so you probably don't want to roast coffee indoors. Using an outdoor grill and a basket eliminates the first two challenges.
The stainless steel basket solves the challenge of getting the correct roast. You can see the beans and take them exactly where you want your roast to be. The "correct" roast is the one you like.
The floor fan/ basket combination cools the beans almost immediately and is a simple solution to probably the most important of the four challenges. You have to cool the beans immediately otherwise they will over roast.
It is important to allow the coffee beans to breathe after roasting. There is a gas that escapes from the beans during and after the roast. Your beans will taste much better if you let them sit out overnight or longer and allow this gas to escape. Your beans will still taste good if you grind and roast immediately but the flavor seems to mellow out and get smoother after the gas escapes.
You have probably notice, high end whole coffee beaans usually has a relief value built into the bag. For a long time, I thought it was a security feature but later learned it was to allow the gas to escape.
I put my freshly roasted beans is a paper sack and leave them on the kitchen counter for a day or two, if I can stand to wait that long.
I was suprised by the smell of coffee roasting. I expected the smell would be awesome and it is if you are into straw. The smell is very green and grassy similar to hay and it doesn't smell like coffee until is is done.
There are many ways to roast coffee beans at home, hot air popcorn poppers, cast iron skillets, some people roast coffee beans in their oven. Pick the method that suits you best but try roasting your own coffee beans at home, you will be glad you did.