Roasting: A Quick and Enjoyable Process

By: Greg Hansward


Roasting coffee from home is one of the most wonderful ways to enjoy coffee in your own home, especially if you enjoy the process. The results can be very luxurious. Although there are plenty of different roasters available, a popcorn machine or frying pan can even be used. Just ensure that all the materials are well cleaned first.

When roasting coffee it is important to know that dark roasts do contain less caffeine than lighter roasts and they also lack the acidic taste. The best quality beans should be used. In order to develop a great tasting coffee, the beans need to be heated to between 460 degrees and 530 degrees Fahrenheit. There is quite a lot of smoke, but that can be manageable with a room fan or stove exhaust system. There can sometimes be an odor as well, so open windows are suggested for the first few attempts. The beans should be placed in the roaster and then heated. The fire alarms may go off so be prepared to disable them.

Some roasters have a built in thermometer, but it is useful to always have an extra for when the roaster is open or when using just your conventional frying pan. Candy making thermometers are perfect for this use. While roasting, the green beans will eventually turn yellow, and then after a while brown. The level of brown will depend on how dark a roast you want.

As the beans start to heat they may start to crack. This sound comes from the pressure that is gained through oil and water. This is of course normal. The beans should be stirred very frequently to prevent this cracking and popping from happening. Then the sugars will start to brown and burn slightly, this is called carmelization. The degree of this is determined by each individual. The color should be checked every 30 seconds. Sometimes of the beans are roasted long enough then there is a loud crack. This is when the beans can be overdone for some. If you continue to roast past this crack, then the beans will start to burn and the sugars will start to be boiled away. This results in a coffee rarely enjoyed by many.

When completed the beans can be poured into a strainer, cooled, and then agitated. There will need to be a method for removing the skin that detaches during the process. People will often use a mesh cooking screen. Experiment with different roasting times and degrees to find a coffee that you love.

If a popcorn like machine is being used, it is essential to make sure that the beans are constantly moving and not sticking to the edges where they could burn. Stove top cast iron skillets are the best for a simple stove top method. Roasting is a quick process, so stir, watch, and enjoy.

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Greg Hansward pens mostly for www.coffee-espresso-maker-tips.com , an online publication with information about single coffee brewer . His comments on single cup coffee maker are published on his site .

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