How To Roast Coffee Beans

We love coffee in all of its forms and have prepared it in hundreds of different ways, but we have to admit that coffee made with freshly roasted beans is probably the best coffee that a person can enjoy. There’s something special about taking green coffee beans and roasting them fresh and to our exact needs. The entire process of roasting is almost a magical experience, and we highly recommend it to anyone who doesn’t currently roast their coffee beans.

All of this brings us to our next point. Although just about everyone can roast their beans, fewer people roast their beans than buy already ground coffee. And we feel that’s a terrible shame. Sure, ground coffee is fine for drinking every once in a while, but it pales in comparison to coffee that’s freshly roasted and ground. Trust us, if you take the time to roast your coffee beans, you’ll likely end up enjoying the best cup of coffee that you’ve ever enjoyed.

We think that a lot of people don’t take the time to roast their coffee beans for probably one of several different reasons. Some people may feel that it’s a time-consuming process, some people may feel that the equipment is prohibitively expensive, and still, other people may believe that the process is difficult. Fortunately, none of those reasons are accurate. While roasting beans do require a little bit of time, once a person gets the hang of it, then it shouldn’t take too long to expertly roast the beans.

As far as needing special equipment, we’re here to tell all of our readers that they can use a home coffee bean roaster, use a pan, roast the beans in an oven, or even use a popcorn maker—although using a popcorn makes isn’t without its risk. And finally, roasting coffee isn’t a difficult process. In fact, we think that anyone can pick up rather quickly. To prove that point, we’ve created this blog post on the entire subject. We sincerely hope that it helps you and all of our readers find the joy of roasting coffee.

Decide Which Method You’re Going To Use

The first step to roasting your coffee beans is to figure out how you want to roast your beans. As we stated above, there are four methods that most people use to roast their beans. They either roast in a pan, roast their beans in an oven, use a popcorn maker or use a coffee roaster. Once you decide which method you’re going to use, you can then decide what equipment you’ll need for the roasting process.

If you’re going to roast your beans in a frying pan, then you probably won’t need to buy any additional equipment because we think that just about everyone has one of these pans in their home. However, we do think that if you’re going to use this method for roasting coffee, then you’re probably going to want to invest in a high-quality cast-iron frying pan. That’s best for roasting coffee beans because non-stick frying pans can give the coffee beans a terrible flavor.

If you’re going to roast coffee beans in your oven, then you’re going to want to make sure that you have a high-quality baking pain. Preferably, you’ll want a perforated oven tray (placed on a baking tray), but if that’s not available, then a regular cookie sheet will work just fine.

The next method of coffee bean roasting uses a popcorn maker. This is a decent method of roasting coffee beans, but in our opinion, it’s not an ideal one. Why? First of all, using it as a coffee bean roaster will void the popcorn maker’s warranty. Two, using it this way might cause the popcorn maker to break, and three, you need a popcorn maker with side-vented heat to ensure it doesn’t burn. All of which are reasons why we won’t be covering this method in this guide.

Our preferred method for roasting coffee beans is to use a coffee bean roaster. These roasters are designed for roasting beans, so the consumer can expect consistent results. Some people avoid home coffee roasters because they feel that they’re expensive, but that’s not always the case. Sure, some models cost well over $1000+, but some models are well under $50 and these work quite well.

How To Roast Beans In A Frying Pan

Okay, let’s start with the first method we’ve outlined for roasting coffee beans and that’s the frying pan method. This method is probably the easiest method for most people to begin, but it can be difficult to master, so be advised if you choose this method, you may have to practice for a while before you get the hang of it.

Items Needed:

  • Electric Or Gas-Burning Stove
  • A Good Stove Exhaust (Or Open Windows)
  • A Wood Spoon
  • A Metal Colander
  • Oven Mitts
  • Green Coffee Beans
  • Storage Container

Roasting Steps:

  • Turn On Exhaust Fan Or Open Windows
  • Preheat Frying Pan Over Medium Heat
  • Wait Until Frying Pan Is Approximately 450-500 Degrees Fahrenheit
  • Pour 1/2-cup Of Green Coffee Beans In The Pan
  • Use The Wooden Spoon To Stir The Beans
  • Approximately 5-Minutes In, The Beans Will Achieve Their First Crack
  • Continue Cooking Until Beans Are Desired Color.
  • Place The Beans Into A Metal Colander
  • Stir The Beans Until They’re Cool
  • Allow The Coffee To Sit On A Counter For 4-Hours To Off-Gas
  • Store The Coffee Beans In An Airtight Container

How To Roast Beans In An Oven

Okay, let’s keep rolling and talk about roasting coffee beans in an oven. This process is a little bit easier than using a frying pan, but it’s still not as easy as using a home coffee roaster. Let’s take a look at what’s required for this process.

Items Needed:

  • A Good Stove & Exhaust (Or Open Window)
  • Oven Mitts
  • A Perforated Baking Tray Or Cookie Sheet
  • A Timer
  • Metal Colander
  • Green Coffee Beans
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Storage Container

Roasting Steps:

  • Preheat The Oven To 500-Degrees Fahrenheit
  • Spread The Beans One Layer Thick On Baking Pan
  • Turn On Exhaust Or Open Windows
  • Place The Pan In The Oven
  • Set The Timer For 10-Minutes
  • Listen For The First Crack
  • Monitor The Beans To Ensure They Don’t Burn
  • Remove Them When They’ve Reached The Right Color
  • Place The Beans In The Colander
  • Shake The Colander Gentle To Remove Chaff
  • Stir The Beans Until They Cool
  • Allow Them To Breathe For 4-Hours
  • Place In An Airtight Container

How To Roast Beans In A Coffee Bean Roaster

The last coffee bean roasting process we’re going to cover in this post is how to roast beans in a coffee bean roaster. Although you should always follow the directions of your coffee roaster first and foremost, the following steps are to illustrate the ease of this process.

Items Needed:

  • Coffee Roaster
  • Green Coffee Beans
  • A Metal Colander
  • Storage Container
  • A Wooden Spoon

Roasting Steps:

  • Place The Proper Amount Of Beans In The Roaster
  • Close The Roaster
  • Turn It On
  • Roast The Coffee Until The Desired Color
  • Turn Off The Roaster And Open It
  • Pour The Beans Into A Colander
  • Stir Until The Beans Have Cooled
  • Allow The Beans To Breathe For 4-Hours
  • Place In An Airtight Container

Coffee Bean Roasting Stages

We thought that it might also be helpful if we included a guide on the different stages of the roasting process. There are 10 stages of the roasting process, but most people will only move somewhere between the fourth and ninth stages. Let’s take a quick look at them before we conclude this post, shall we?

The 10-Stages Of Coffee Roasting

  • Stage One: Green Coffee Beans. These Are Raw Beans That Need To Be Cooked.
  • Stage Two: Yellow Beans: These Beans Are Still Undercooked.
  • Stage Three:  Steam Rises From The Beans As Flavors Coalesce.
  • Stage Four: First Crack. This Is Referred To As Cinnamon Roast.
  • Stage Five: This Is City Roast & Follows First Crack. Caramelization Begins.
  • Stage Six: City Plus Roast. Beans Swell And Caramelization Continues.
  • Stage Seven: Full City Roast. Roasts Begin To Darken Significantly.
  • Stage Eight: Second Crack. Full-City Plus Roast. Flavors Begin To Intensify.
  • Stage Nine: French Roast. Beans Are Becoming Dark. Smoke Becomes Thicker.
  • Stage Ten: Burnt Beans. This Is What Happens When Beans Are Cooked Beyond French Roast.

One Last Thing

Before we leave, we would like to mention once again that it’s worth every coffee drinker’s time and effort to roast their coffee beans. There is no better-tasting cup of coffee than one in which the consumer has roasted and ground their coffee beans. This coffee not only smells and tastes better, but it also instills a bit of pride into the person who made it. All of these are good reasons why everyone should at least give it a try.