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If you are reading this page, you probably already appreciate high quality coffee. You might grind your own at home and you might have to drive a considerable distance to get better beans for your grinder. Now you can roast your own beans at home to get the freshest possible coffee taste.

 

There are many reasons to roast your own beans at home. The best reasons are:

 

1. Roasted beans begin to lose their character a few days after roasting. 

 

2. You can maintain a stock of different beans for your morning coffee, your evening coffee, and your espresso. You can have a different roast every morning! Awesome!

 

3. Green Coffee beans are available as organic, fair trade, and shade grown. This means that the forests are maintained and that the farmers that grow the coffee are paid a fair price, encouraging them to maintain ecologically sustainable farming practices.

 

4. You get a superior product for a better price.

 

5. It's fun!

 

HOW TO ROAST AT HOME 

 

IMPORTANT! BEFORE ROASTING: It is not uncommon to find small pebbles mixed in with the beans. We recommend inspecting each batch and removing these stones prior to roasting as they can damage your equipment.

 

 There are several methods to roast green coffee beans at home using anything from standard kitchen equipment to expensive home roasters. 

 

Commercially, there are two main methods for roasting: convection and fluidized bed roasting. Convection roasting usually includes a rotating drum and a convection heating element. Fluidized bed roasting uses heated air circulating between the beans to both roast and stir the beans. Each method produces a uniform roast.

 

Roasting beans creates chaff, a husk like material that comes off the bean as it is roasted. If your roasting method does not include a process for removing chaff, it can get a little messy. Roasting also creates a small amount of smoke. Without ventilation, this can be unpleasant. A home range hood is sufficient to eliminate excessive smoke odor.

 

The roasting process causes the beans to pop or crack two times. This is where the chaff comes off. Roasting times are measured in part by the number of cracks. The first crack is strong and vigorous in most beans. It can be loud like popcorn. The second crack is much more faint. Everybody likes their roasts different. I like what is called a full city roast, just into the second crack. As the second crack starts, the beans are cooled as quickly as possible. Espresso roasts complete the second crack, and French and Italian roasts go even further. A little experimentation and you will know exactly how you like your roast.

 

Here are a few examples of home roasting methods:

 

  • Oven Roasting - Basic convection with no stirring of the beans. It works, but not very satisfactorily. Smokey and uneven roasting.

 

  • Pan Roasting - Similar to oven roasting, basic convection but with the addition of stirring to even the roast. Still very smokey and temperature is difficult to control.

 

  • Popcorn Popper - A simple fluidized bed roaster. Produces a good roast, a little messy and noisy, but makes a good cup of coffee. Best of all, it is cheap. Old popcorn poppers are usually available at a local thrift store for $5 to $10.

 

  • Commercially Made Home Roasters - There are numerous varieties of these. The lower end models are fluidized bed roasters, a lot like a popcorn popper, but specifically designed for coffee roasting so they do chaff removal. On the higher end are the convection or drum roasters which are more like what would be used in actual coffee shops and cafés. Home roasters can range anywhere between about $50 to about $1000 or more and, as with most things, you really get what you pay for.

 

 

Greencoffee.ca no longer sells coffee roasters but they are readily available through other retailers online. If you have any questions about roasters, or just want to know which are our favourites, please do not hesitate to send us an email.