How to Roast Coffee at Home


Rachel Herring

So, I've started roasting coffee at home now, and it is delicious. Best coffee I've ever had, hands down. Now, I don't know if I enjoy it so much because I roasted it myself . . .  or if it's just that good. I guess you'll have to see for yourself . . .

I became interested in roasting my own coffee after reading on multiple coffee related sites that roasted coffee is susceptible to molds after it is roasted which affects its taste and health benefits. In fact, these molds can supposedly have negative effects on the body such as cancer, brain damage, and kidney disease... Now, the research still seems iffy to me but none of that sounds like fun and mold is known to cause a bitter flavor which is definitely not tasty to me. 

This coffee is the first I have ever been able to easily drink without sugar and a good amount of cream because there is no bittereness. It has an earthy dimension reminiscent of sweetgrass underneath the delicious smoky, caramel, dark chocolate characteristics usually associated with coffee. 

Without further ado, here's how to roast your own coffee! :



Start with the freshest green coffee beans you can find. You can find these online (the cheapest option) or just go to your local coffee roaster and ask if you can buy some fresh beans from them. Dan, being the amazing man that he is, bought 1 lb. of fresh guatemalan beans from a local coffee roaster for me to experiment with. 

And here they are, beautiful little jade beans. They smell delicious, like hay, sweetgrass, and cocoa butter. 


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Raw, green coffee beans purchased from our local coffee roaster.

Now, you may have heard about fancy at-home roasters, but I think a regular ole' saucepan and heat can do pretty much the same thing. Might not become as evenly roasted, but I think that only adds character and dimension to the coffee, So here goes :

WARNING : Will make a considerable amount of smoke towards the end of roasting, make sure you have adequate ventilation (We just open the door to let all the smoke out). 

Take a medium-sized saucepan, put it over medium-high heat and pour in enough fresh coffee beans to cover the bottom. 

Start agitating the pot by the handle so that the beans flip over each other, (the video will help with this part). Then . . .

Do that for about 10 minutes. Pretty simple. Yep.

Of course, you should keep a watch on the beans throughout the process not only because it's fun and smells good but because you might need to lower the heat if the beans are roasting too fast. At about 4 minutes you will hear it start to pop, this is the moisture being released from the bean. The time to cut the heat off is usually at 10 minutes but you can also tell by the color (should be a uniform dark brown) and the beans will start to pop for a second time (more intense than the last pop).


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Here's what the coffee will look like mid-roast, it will have a beautiful golden tan color and smell like toasted hay.

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Mmm, smells like toasted smores, chocolate, and molasses.

Lay out on a flat surface until completely cool then store and let them rest for a day until enjoying. Of course if you can't wait, no worries, it will still be delicious!

After my first roasting venture we became hooked on roasting our own coffee and discovered a site called Dean's Beans that sells 100% fair trade and organic raw beans for around $6 a pound. We've tried the Ethiopian, Sumatran, and Nicarauguan and they are all delicious with their own distinct flavor profiles. 

Here's the link to Dean's Beans :

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