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byarvin

Home Coffee Roasting

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At the risk of sounding like a hillbilly here is how I do it:

I have an outdoor gas grill with a side burner...I get out my big Calphalon soup pot and dump in about two pounds of green beans that I buy from a local roaster. You can try different kinds but Sumatra works well. It's really more to do with the roast than the bean. Turn up the heat and stir them with a wooden spoon every 10 to 15 seconds untill they turn black and start popping like popcorn. Let them pop untill they start to slow down. They will be smoking like crazy so be sure to do this outside!!! You will need a glove to protect your hand from the heat. When they look black and glossy dump the beans on to a couple of cookie sheets to cool quickly. When totally cool put them into a jar and let them sit for 3 days so the oils can re-absorb into the beans. Then grind as normal. I prefer these beans to any store bought beans.

Note: This recipe will take the beans to a very dark french or expresso style roast. Caffine will be largely burned off. Pull them off earlier if you want a lighter roast.

PS: Wear old cloths because they will stink when you are done!


Edited by SWISS_CHEF (log)

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Turn up the heat and stir them with a wooden spoon every 10 to 15 seconds untill they turn black and start popping like popcorn. Let them pop untill they start to slow down. 

Some years ago I was able to get green beans at a Saturday market regularly.

I could roast a few in a very hot cast iron pan, keeping them moving constantly. Then I heard about using a hot air popcorn maker. The bean seller scoffed, and said I would soon burn it out, But I persisted, and it provided an excellent source of fresh beans for the three years I used it, until I moved out to the burbs.

It is not as consistent or even as fast as a small store roaster, but it is better than buying quickly fading roasted beans, which is now my current option.

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Turn up the heat and stir them with a wooden spoon every 10 to 15 seconds untill they turn black and start popping like popcorn. Let them pop untill they start to slow down. 

Some years ago I was able to get green beans at a Saturday market regularly.

I could roast a few in a very hot cast iron pan, keeping them moving constantly. Then I heard about using a hot air popcorn maker. The bean seller scoffed, and said I would soon burn it out, But I persisted, and it provided an excellent source of fresh beans for the three years I used it, until I moved out to the burbs.

It is not as consistent or even as fast as a small store roaster, but it is better than buying quickly fading roasted beans, which is now my current option.

Bravo, Bravo!!!

I just love unconventional methods…I am sick to death of doing things like everyone else.

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Thanks, Chef 'Hillbilly'!

I rekon we kin start a swappin 'possium recipes now!

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Thanks, Chef 'Hillbilly'!

I rekon we kin start a swappin 'possium recipes now!

Good idea! I have even seen some o'possum roadkill here in southwestern Ontario. I'll bet it tastes like chicken!

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Then I heard about using a hot air popcorn maker. The bean seller scoffed, and said I would soon burn it out, But I persisted, and it provided an excellent source of fresh beans for the three years I used it, until I moved out to the burbs.

It's important to stick to the right type of popcorn popper if using it for coffee bean roasting. The original West Bend Poppery and the Poppery II are ideal because of the pattern of agitation and bean rotation.

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Then I heard about using a hot air popcorn maker. The bean seller scoffed, and said I would soon burn it out, But I persisted, and it provided an excellent source of fresh beans for the three years I used it, until I moved out to the burbs.

It's important to stick to the right type of popcorn popper if using it for coffee bean roasting. The original West Bend Poppery and the Poppery II are ideal because of the pattern of agitation and bean rotation.

Thanks. I think it was West Bend, but it is long gone now. All I remember is a small bin, like a sour glass, and the beans moving clockwise.

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Then I heard about using a hot air popcorn maker. The bean seller scoffed, and said I would soon burn it out, But I persisted, and it provided an excellent source of fresh beans for the three years I used it, until I moved out to the burbs.

It's important to stick to the right type of popcorn popper if using it for coffee bean roasting. The original West Bend Poppery and the Poppery II are ideal because of the pattern of agitation and bean rotation.

Thanks. I think it was West Bend, but it is long gone now. All I remember is a small bin, like a sour glass, and the beans moving clockwise.

I have a WestBend Poppery II which I took apart and disabled the two overheating protection features. Now I can roast to a nice espresso in about 10 minutes.

Check out this computer controlled coffee roaster that some guy made out of a Poppery.

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It's also worth noting that the most commonly perceived shortcoming of hot air roasting (too bright a flavor profile due to very short roast time) can be almost entirely mitigated by doing some hacks that allow the fan and het to be cycled on and off indepedently of one another. You can also buy a heavy duty voltage regulator (aka Variac) for about $80 - $100 but some of us aren't into hacks etc.

By the time you spend that kind of money it might make more sense to buy a dedicated roasting device such as the one discussed in this

Hearthware i-Roast thread

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i would try some home roast or at least a fresh roast from a local roaster before making the purchase.

i have been using an old very heavy cast iron skillet to roast at home for a couple of years, and i have had great results, all it takes is a stir every minute or so for ten minutes total, and you end up with fantastic coffee. There is something to the open skillet and working withthe beans as they change that appeals to me as well.

as noted by others you need to either do this near a window, or outdoors as there will be smoke!! but there will also be the smell of heaven for a coffee lover that lingers in the house overnight

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Darn you all! I follwed this thread over to the other sites , then to Sweet Maria's ,now the co-op and now I have 25 pounds of beans binned up! :blink:

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Tired of the boring coffee I get here (I live firmly within the Nescafe Belt), and unable to pay the prices Gloria Jeans and Voldemor...um...I mean Starbucks demands for coffee beans, I decided to try roasting at home. I got 500 grams of beans from another chain here, "Coffee World." I don't really know much about their beans; they say they are arabica, their roasts are all medium brown (no shiny beans there) and they also sell flavored coffees... Mostly I find their coffee uninspiring to say the least but figured why not try it.

I tried about 3/4 cup of beans, I used a small heavy cast iron pan on the stove, windows wide open, kept the beans moving, and brought them to a shiny dark brown in about 20 minutes. I did hear cracking; earlier on just one or two here and there, then as it got darker, an almost constant cracking. I took it off as soon as that was done.

What I got was basically like not very good Folgers, and when I drank it I felt more jittery than I had in a long time, making me wonder if what I got was even arabica.

What do y'all think? I have seen some people talk about doing it in 10 minutes. Is it better to do it fast, or slow, or does it make any difference? Or did the Folgeresque aroma come from the quality of the beans?


"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Tired of the boring coffee I get here (I live firmly within the Nescafe Belt), and unable to pay the prices Gloria Jeans and Voldemor...um...I mean Starbucks demands for coffee beans, I decided to try roasting at home.  I got 500 grams of beans from another chain here, "Coffee World."  I don't really know much about their beans; they say they are arabica, their roasts are all medium brown (no shiny beans there) and they also sell flavored coffees... Mostly I find their coffee uninspiring to say the least but figured why not try it.

I tried about 3/4 cup of beans, I used a small heavy cast iron pan on the stove, windows wide open, kept the beans moving, and brought them to a shiny dark brown in about 20 minutes.  I did hear cracking; earlier on just one or two here and there, then as it got darker, an almost constant cracking.  I took it off as soon as that was done.

What I got was basically like not very good Folgers, and when I drank it I felt more jittery than I had in a long time, making me wonder if what I got was even arabica.

What do y'all think? I have seen some people talk about doing it in 10 minutes. Is it better to do it fast, or slow, or does it make any difference?  Or did the Folgeresque aroma come from the quality of the beans?

I think the Folgereque quality may have come from the level of your roast. How did the beans look after you were done? What was their size? You may want to try roasting them a little longer.

When I tried roasting on my own, I used a cast iron skillet and a heat gun and got very satisfying results. I think you're on the right track. Also keep in mind that the flavor will be best after the beans sit for about a day. Grind and drink within a week.


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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For my taste, finishing second crack is overdone. I usually begin the cooling cycle when I start to hear the second crack and see two beans with oil (don't ask why I wait for two beans). I am usually done in around 11 minutes, but the fact that you go longer doesnt necessarily mean that you aren't going fast enough, though I do think you are roasting too long.

So, that is my long way of saying, "try roasting a little less." Of course, look for a reputable seller of beans. I don't know if they ship overseas, but Sweet Maria's seems to be the hands down favorite for internet coffee beans....

Good luck.


"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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  You may want to try roasting them a little longer. 

LOL....just goes to show, everyone is different.... :biggrin:

I guess this is a good time to ask....when you say "shiny brown" do you mean they were oily or just smooth? Oily, in my book, is overdone...


Edited by adegiulio (log)

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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They were slightly oily, not like a french roast, not even quite as much as Peet's espresso roast (which I do like). I did it once more last night, didn't get to a shiny stage but it had started cracking. It smells better. I'll try it a little later. It still took a little over 15 minutes to get there. I'll try it really hot next time.

It also occurs to me that one of the reasons the coffee tasted like nothing is that even though I opened the windows, the kitchen was still a little smoky; I wonder if my nose was zapped anyway? :) I'll do a compare and contrast today.

Geez, a friend is coming from Dubai tonight, I should have thought to have him pick up some good green beans for me there. Next time...


"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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  You may want to try roasting them a little longer. 

LOL....just goes to show, everyone is different.... :biggrin:

I guess this is a good time to ask....when you say "shiny brown" do you mean they were oily or just smooth? Oily, in my book, is overdone...

mea culpa. I meant darker, not necessarily longer.

What I was thinking, but not communicating is that I think the beans in the first attempt were baked, not roasted.

So, higher heat, deeper roast, less time. That's the ticket.


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Try bringing the beans along slowly until you hear the "first crack" when all beans have finished crackinf turn the heat up a bit and roast until they start to crack again. After the first few snaps remove from the heat and pour into a colander to cool. Let degasse for a couple of days in a mason jar, opening every couple of hours for a few minutes. grind just berfore brewing and you'll find a better cup.

Take heart and practice. It takes a while to get it down pat.

What were the beans that you purchased? Different beans develop at different roasts.

Lots of good info at sweetmarias.com & coffeegeek.com

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If mnost or all of the beans show any noticeable amount of oil on the bean tips (called "tipping") in less than 48 hours after roasting it's safe to assuem that you burned them. The jittery effect you describe could be from robusta. I don't want to make assumptions as I don't know about the bean vendor but overroasting will actually reduce caffiene slightly if it has any effect at all.

You've already gotten good suggestions especially the fact that fresh roasted beans will usually taste better after a day or so of rest (sometimes 2 - 4 days for espresso blends). But some of the best coffee I've ever had was at the coffee ceremony in some Ethiopian restaurants - they roasted the beans on the spot in an old skillet, ground with a mortar and pestle, steeped and served. It was fantastic coffee.

Do keep in mind that green beans can become stale - when this happens it takes longer for them to reach the desired roast level and the resulting coffee can taste flat and lacking in character.

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Im not sure if this has been a previous post, but I would love to try this out. Im looking for information on a good source of green coffee beans, and how to roast them myself. Thanks in advance for any information

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Go to www.sweetmarias.com for beans, roasters, and help...


"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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There's an interesting thread going on at alt.coffee...

Home Roast vs. Pro Roast

... and, given the rather passionate nature of the home roaster contingent, consensus seems to be that you can't really do better than the professional roasters we've explored here Master Roasters - esp. if you are using a hot air popper.

I think this is one area (as opposed to, say, pulling an espresso or... rice!) where - as of date - the technology, trouble, electrical constraints & quality control conspire to make paying a pro the better way to go.


~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

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