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Roasting Beans with a Milk Powder Can


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This roaster can roast up to 150 g (1/3 of a pound) of green beans at a time.

1. At first, set the heat high. You may have to control the heat later so that first crack occurs in 15 minutes.

2. Shake the roaster once per second in two ways as appropriate – shaking it as you would when making chahan (fried rice) in a wok and shaking it vertically. When first crack occurs, shake it vertically only.

Roasting progresses as follows:

3 to 5 minutes: Chaff starts to come off the beans.

15 minutes: First crack occurs. The crack must be strong. If the heat is low, the crack is weak.

3. When roasting is completed, transfer the beans to a strainer. Cool them down with a fan so that the roasting does not progress any longer.

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Hiroyuki, that is a much better looking roast than your earlier attempt.  I am sure it tasted a lot better, too.


Thank you, MGLoyd, for your compliment.

With this low-tech method, you have all control over your coffee beans and you can closely check how the beans are dried, reduced in size, change in color, expand, crack, and become oily. That's interesting. And, I have learned a lot from my mistakes!

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Hiroyuki, those beans look great. Job well done! Like Eunny, I really appreciate the time and effort that you spent in posting. I wish I could have a cup of that.

Some questions/input. How long did you rest your coffee after roasting? Freshly roasted beans need to 'degas'. I put my beans in a partially covered mason jar, letting it emit its gas for at least 12 hours. After that, I screw the lid down and try not to brew it (if I can) until after around 2 days, where it is at its peak flavor. Anyway, freshly roasted coffee when brewed right away is still superior to any store-bought bean, in my opinion.

You can use a cheap candy thermometer, one of those dial types with a metal clip, to monitor your bean temp. I'd get one that measures up to at least 500 degrees F, but these are hard to find. Those that measure up to 400 degrees are more available, and you can use this to measure up to 450 degrees easily by just extrapolating it beyond the 400 degree mark.

I am not an expert coffee roaster, just a coffee enthusiast who like you likes to try off beat methods of roasting. I use a West Bend Poppery hot air popcorn popper, the type that you can get at yard sales or thrift shops for a couple of bucks if you're lucky. I made several modifications to it - first I disabled the thermostat so that it will achieve higher temperatures easily. Next I installed a bypass switch to the main heater so that I can control the temperature somewhat. I drilled some holes in the bottom of the plastic housing to promote more airflow. Lastly, I drilled a hole on the top lid to insert my dial thermometer, the tip of which plunges into the half cup of beans that are loaded in the chamber. These mods are not really difficult to make, but as I said, a stock popper will do well. I'll try to post pictures of my popper if I get the time to do it.

Finally, have you read the book Home Coffee Roasting by Kenneth Davids? I think you'll like it a lot......

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Very nice Hiroyuki - good to see such progress! Was tghat ablend of beans or all one varietal? I did notice a distinct color variation in the roasted beans and am curious. Some beans such as Yemeni and Monsooned Malabar tend to roast very unevenly but I also see this effect when I blend different bean types before roasting.

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Thank you for your very informative reply, BottomBracket.

>How long did you rest your coffee after roasting?

I made the first brew right after the roasting. I should have known better. :sad: I made the second brew one day later.

>Anyway, freshly roasted coffee when brewed right away is still superior to any store-bought bean, in my opinion.

That relieves me. :biggrin:

>You can use a cheap candy thermometer, ...

I'll ask Nakagawa of Flavor coffee how I can possibly attach a thermometer to the milk can roaster. He is my mentor now.

>I use a West Bend Poppery hot air popcorn popper,

I found this site:


Very interesting.

>Finally, have you read the book Home Coffee Roasting by Kenneth Davids? I think you'll like it a lot......

I'm sorry I haven't. I don't think I can purchase that book unless I go to a large store in Tokyo. I live in such a small town... :sad:


>Very nice Hiroyuki - good to see such progress! Was tghat ablend of beans or all one varietal?

Mocha only. I know what you are talking about. Uneven roasting! That's due to my lack of experience. Nakagawa has already informed me that there are two ways of shaking – one to heat the beans and the other to prevent uneven roasting.

I want to do another roasting, but the recent earthquake and subsequent aftershocks have kept me from doing it. :sad::sad:

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