How to Roast Coffee at Home on a Grill

by Jeremy Anderberg on June 20, 2013 · 29 comments

in Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure

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“Little campfires, rapidly increasing to hundreds in number, would shoot up along the hills and plains and, as if by magic, acres of territory would be luminous with them. Soon they would be surrounded by the soldiers, who made it an almost invariable rule to cook their coffee first, after which a large number, tired out with the toils of the day, would make their supper of hardtack and coffee, and roll up in their blankets for the night. If a march was ordered at midnight…it must be preceded by a pot of coffee…It was coffee at meals and between meals; and men going on guard or coming off guard drank it all hours of the night.” ~John Billings, 1887, writing of the Civil War in Hardtack and Coffee

Brain juice. Battery acid. Bean juice. Brew. Cuppa. Cuppa joe. Daily grind. Java. Jet fuel. Mud. Murk. Go juice. Wake-up call. Perk. Roast. Jamoke.

There are as many nicknames for coffee as there are ways to make it. It’s the fourth-most consumed beverage in the world, behind water, tea, and beer. And as you can see from the quote above, it also played a prominent role in the culture of early America. There are many volumes about coffee and its origins (I suggest Uncommon Grounds), but today I’d like to focus on the roasting aspect, and more importantly, show you one way to roast coffee beans at home.

The Coffee Bean

Unroasted, green coffee beans.

Unroasted, green coffee beans.

Before you can begin roasting, you have to know a little bit about the coffee bean itself. First off, it’s not actually a bean. It’s the seed of the coffee plant (called coffea). There are many species of the tree-like coffee plant, all of them native to tropical climates. So, right off the bat, I’m extinguishing any hope our American readers may have of growing the coffee plant in your backyard unless you live in Hawaii.

On these plants grow red or purple cherries. Within the cherries you will find just one or two of these green coffee “beans,” and believe it or not, most coffee cherries are still harvested by hand. It’s a fickle plant, so you can have ripe and unripe cherries right next to each other. It takes about 2,000 coffee cherries to produce just a single pound of coffee beans. Pretty mind-boggling, isn’t it?

It is when these beans are roasted that they attain their brown/black color, and are consumed in the form of liquid coffee to the tune of well over 2 billion cups per day around the world. That’s a lot of coffee.

The Roasting Process

“To have it very good, it should be roasted immediately before it is made, doing no more than the quantity you want at that time.” ~Eliza Leslie, 1837, Directions for Cookery

Many things in life are much better when done by hand in small quantities. Roasting coffee at home one or two pounds at a time produces just about the best coffee you’ll ever have. Most chains (Starbucks, notoriously) will actually over-roast so that every cup of coffee tastes the same, day in and day out. They take all the unique character out of the coffee. Roasting at home will give you a variety of flavors that you never even knew existed in coffee.

There are many ways roast at home; in fact, you could just buy a roasting machine that does it all for you, but that takes the fun out of it. I prefer to use an old-school popcorn popper with my gas grill. Technically, you could do it inside on the stove, but it’s a rather stinky process.

Supplies

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You won’t need much to roast coffee beans at home, but what you do need is rather specific. You’ll need a gas grill, as charcoal is very hard to get hot enough for roasting. It also has to be a grill that has a side burner. You need the direct heat, like a stovetop, but outdoors so your abode doesn’t stink to high heaven. You can use a full-size grill, or just a propane-powered camping stove.

You’ll also need a stainless steel popcorn popper (on the right in the photo above). This is the one that I use. It’s also ideal if the lid is stainless, as plastic can warp and melt. Grab an old baking sheet as well – this will be for cooling the beans. Make sure it’s one you don’t need to use for anything other than coffee, ever again. The smell will infiltrate it for the rest of its life. I’ve dedicated both this popcorn popper and the baking sheet to my coffee roasting.

The final ingredient is your green coffee beans.

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There are a few places online you can buy green coffee beans, and be sure to check locally as well. I generally get mine from Coffee Bean Corral (it helps that their logo is awesome). Since our household goes through about a pound a week, I order 12-15 pounds at a time so I only have to order every few months. Green coffee beans can last many years if stored in a dark, cool place, so you don’t have to worry about having them around too long. Look to spend, on average, $6-$8 per pound. It ends up being a little less than high-end store-bought coffee. You can also buy the holy grails of coffee — Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain — at around $25 per pound.

How to Roast

Preheat your side burner for about 10 minutes before throwing the beans on. It takes a lot of heat, so the hotter you can start, the better. A lot of folks will actually even use a thermometer through the whole process, but I’m not that specific. I go by sound, and a little bit by color, as I’ll describe later. Once the burner is preheated, get the beans in the popper.

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Begin stirring them with the hand-crank right away. You’ll want to continuously be cranking through the whole 10-15 minute process. I do about one rotation every 2-3 seconds. I also leave half of the lid open so I can see the color of the beans as I go.

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After a few minutes, they’ll start to turn yellow. They’ll also get “smokey,” although it’s actually steam. Water is being released from the beans, and they’ll get a little bigger. The beans, at this point, will also start to smell grassy and earthy.

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Here is where it gets a little tricky and you have to pay attention. There are two temperature thresholds that are most commonly used to determine when coffee beans are adequately roasted. Instead of using a thermometer, however, many home-roasters go by sound. When the beans start to go from yellow-ish to brown (as in the picture above), you’ll start hearing a set of cracks or pops. This is the first of two sets of cracks. This first one sounds almost like popcorn, actually. It will start with one or two, then end up in a symphony of cracking beans.

At this point, it’s really up to you as to when you remove the beans from heat. There are different classifications of roasts that I don’t need to get into here, but they essentially go from light to dark. To stop right at this first set of cracks/pops would create a very smooth, almost tea-like coffee. It’s very good, but probably very different from what you’re used to.

I usually go a few minutes past this first set of cracks, at which point you’ll hear a second set of cracks/pops. This one is much more subtle, though. It’s a very light sound, almost like bubbles popping in the air. The color will also start to get more evenly brown. To remove the beans from heat when you first start hearing this second set of cracks would give you a “normal” roast. Most of the time, I go for 20-30 seconds after I start to hear this second set of cracks. You won’t want to go more than a couple minutes past, however, as you’ll burn the beans. If they start smoking heavily and smelling awfully, you’ll know you’ve gone too far. I’ve done that, and it’s a burnt coffee smell that sticks in your clothes. Not a pleasant experience. You just have to practice and find what you like. Again, experts will say you need to measure temperature to get it perfect, but I’m just aiming for “tastes good,” so I go by sound and color.

Once removed from heat, you’ll need to cool the beans.

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Drop them onto a cookie sheet. The beans have expanded, so you’ll be surprised, at first, how it seems like you’ve ended up with much more than you started with.

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Create an even layer, and let it cool outside for at least 30 minutes. Some folks will even tell you to let them cool for up to 12 hours. I’m not real picky. There will be a lot of chaff (the loose flake of the outer bean — if you look closely in the picture above you can see some of the chaff), so after cooling, just blow on the beans to get rid of it.

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Now you’re ready to store the beans in an air-tight container and grind them up the next morning for your wake-up call, which has been perfectly made by French press. Grinding freshly roasted coffee beans creates one of the best, manliest smells out there. As I said in the intro, this really is the best coffee you’ll drink. What’s great about this home-roasted stuff is that its flavor changes almost daily. You’re never really drinking the same coffee twice. Another bonus is that a pound of freshly roasted coffee makes a great gift for birthdays or holidays. It’s inexpensive, hand-made, and delicious! Doesn’t get better than that.

Have you roasted coffee at home? Tell us about your experience/methods in the comments!

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michael June 20, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Great article, if a little crude. Yes you can use the old-fashioned hand crank style roaster but I prefer to use modern equipment to achieve my roast (http://www.sweetmarias.com/sweetmarias/coffee-roasters/drum-roasters/behmor.html). It’s a little more expensive but when you order from Sweet Maria’s you get a free 8 lb sampler!

Seriously gents, once you try home roasted beans you won’t be able to drink anything else (I know I can’t). This has been one of the best investments I’ve made.

2 S. MacLeod June 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I have been roasting my own coffee for years, but I opted to use a small home roaster. I don’t let the roaster do all the work; I have to watch it like a hawk. Because I live in the desert, it makes a big difference and affects the roasting time if it is 40 degrees or 110 outside. My biggest complaint with small home roasting systems is that they are small; about 1/2 to 3/4 cup per batch. It takes a while to roast a whole pound of beans. I’ve also found that coffee is like wine in the sense that every varietal is good for different things. You don’t make Champagne out of Cabernet Sauvignon and you don’t make a dark espresso roast out of Columbian Supremo beans. I would suggest starting with medium roasts (2nd crack) and doing darker roasts in small batches until you figure out which bean variety makes the type of coffee you prefer.

3 David Ould June 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm

thanks for raising this great little topic. Out here in Australia there is a thriving home-roasting subculture.

Just a couple of points to add to what you’ve written.

I use a hot air popcorn popper to roast my beans with a bit of metal downpipe fitted in the top to act as a chimney. Get the popper going and add the green beans so that they are moved around by the air currents. You can then just sit back and allow the popper to do the work. That’s a really cheap way for anyone to get into the game – you can pick up an old popper on ebay for next to nothing and your local hardware store can then supply the downpipe.

Understanding the difference between the 2 cracks is also helpful. The first, as you point out, is water being released. The second is the vital oils from the coffee. The sound you can hear is basically the oil from the beans sizzling away and then eventually burning.

I’d also recommend bagging the beans in a valved bag as soon as possible after roasting. Although freshly roasted beans are great, they tend to be at their very best some 24-48 hours after roasting. They do, however, release gas over that period so bagging to keep them fresh helps but there must be a valve on the bag to allow you to squeeze out the gas.

Finally, coffeesnobs.com is a great site to get into the whole coffee/roasting scene.

thanks again for highlighting this great little topic.

4 Matt June 20, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Firstly, I am a novice home roaster. So I don’t think I know everything. However, you should let the beans rest overnight before using them. Never roast just what you need for the cup you want right now. Secondly (or thirdly, I’m too lazy to edit right now), only use a stove top roaster if you have an open flame, as electric stoves don’t have even heating. Anyway, pretty decent article. Home roasting is an adventure and can be both terribly frustrating and incredibly rewarding!

5 Chris June 20, 2013 at 8:02 pm

I kind of wish you could do this on coals. I’d love to try it on a camp out sometime, but I rarely take propane burners or anything like that camping with me.

6 Sean H June 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm

I love roasting beans at home! Been doing it for a few years now, using the same method. However… I pass the beans from one cheap colander to another in front of a fan (about a foot of pour distance) to speed cooling and blow away any chaff that’s left.

Also, a local coffee roaster in town sells green coffee beans “over the counter”, so check around and save yourself some shipping cost.

7 James June 21, 2013 at 12:01 am

I’m not yet at the point where I want to roast my own beans, but I do want to share something that I was sold on by fellow Australian Dan, which is the Aerobie Aeropress – a coffeemaker that is easy to use, easy to clean, very portable, and rather cheap, compared to your average coffee machine. It also makes excellent grounds-less coffee. Perfect for the bachelor or small family.

8 Kammes June 21, 2013 at 12:11 am

Im in Ethiopia- people here live on coffee and often use charcoal stoves. Maybe they get it hot enough through their constant attention to waving a flat object at it to feed the fire oxygen. It works fine and most of times it is done indoors. Its a joke to say you have to wait for the beans to cool. People here use a mortar and pestal immediatly after achieving the roast style desired, which is almost always a dark roast. And those in the city use an electric grinder. Unless you can taste the difference and prefer to wait, dont bother.

After seeing the process for some time and doing it myself, I suggest a frying pan and any stove top where you have a ventilated space (the smell is not that bad, guys, but Ive roasted for friends back in the states and theyve reminded me that I have become accustomed to it as well as no fire alarms). The type of stove or heating area is not important – it just needs to produce a heat that roasts without taking forever or scorching- set for a heat that will start popping beans at about 5 minutes. You will need to stir more or less constantly during the roasting process, which should take 12 minutes, mas o menos. Towards the end of the roasting process, maybe 5 min before you know your beans have been roasted to style you like (it takes about 4 times to get a feel for it), you can throw in some cinnamon bark, cardimom, or vanilla bean- the aroma goes from great to amazing.

In Ethiopia, coffee is morning, noon, and night. The grounds are powderized and poured into a clay kettle for a unique process that leaves machine coffee in the dust. One aspect of coffee drinking culture that suprised me here is that in Ethiopia, coffee is often paired with lightly salted popcorn

9 JED! June 21, 2013 at 4:48 am

No need to go to hardware store for pipe – vegetable cans work just fine.

I prefer to wait closer to 4 days for the roast to settle; some coffees require more rest time – some less.

First and second cracks are better remembered as Popcorn (1st) and Rice Krispies (2nd).

I don’t think valved bags are necessary. The coffee IS gonna de-gas so I use a jar like the kind to hold flour or sugar on a counter top. I roast about ten days of coffee at a time so there is no need for anything more than that.

I’ve been ordering green coffee from Tom and Maria (www.sweetmarias.com) for over thirteen years. You’d be hard pressed to find better quality beans.

10 John Brauer June 21, 2013 at 6:55 am

I have been using a hot air popcorn popper. It is easy, quick and clean. I put the beans in the fridge to cool faster, especially if I think I might have roasted a shade too long (the internal heat keeps them cooking a bit longer after you take the heat away, and cooling faster can sometimes prevent over roasting). You can use them right away if you like, though some folks think they are better after a day or two. You do want to let them cool before packing them up tightly anywhere…

11 Henry June 21, 2013 at 7:48 am

I’ve never heard you mention “Hardtack and Coffee” before. What a great book! You should do a little write up on it. It really gives you a great sense of daily soldier life in the Civil War. My mom suggested it, believe it or not. Take a look at “Two Years Before the Mast” which is a great account of the day to day life of a sailor in the mid 1800s.

12 Dominic June 21, 2013 at 10:00 am

Great article about one of my favorite topics. I’ve been home roasting for years with a hand crank popcorn popper on a glass top stove.

Quick tip – pick the popper up off of the heat source occasionally and gently swirl/shake. Beans have a tendency to get stuck under the agitator arms and will scorch if you aren’t careful.

I remove the chaff immediately after roasting is complete by passing the beans back and forth between two sieves. It’s not imperative that you do this—brewing coffee with the chaff won’t kill you—it’s just simply not desirable to drink.

I have purchased green coffee beans from Sweet Marias before but more recently started picking them up at a local coffee shop that sells them for half the price of the finished product. Check out Burlap & Bean outside of Philadelphia (www.burlapandbean.com/).

13 Mike June 21, 2013 at 10:17 am

Even cheaper and easier, a heat gun, aluminum pot and a wooden spoon to stir the beans. Can do about 3/4 in 30 minutes. We’ve been doing it that way for about 3 years.

14 Lex Spoon June 21, 2013 at 10:19 am

I’ve tried home roasting a few ways, and I prefer the relatively manual approaches being described here. Listen for the cracks, and watch for the color.

I’m surprised at the comments about specific kinds of heat being important. I’m not sure it is true. There are lots of ways to get to the necessary 475 degrees, including charcoal.

You might want to expand on the cookie sheet a little. It’s important to cool the beans rapidly, or they’ll continue to roast a little further. There are a lot of ways to cool them, but a honking big sheet of metal is among the manlier.

15 Wes June 21, 2013 at 11:42 am

Great to see an article on coffee-roasting, that manliest of manly beverage preparations.

That said, I have a few points to add:

1) Starbucks does not “overroast” their coffee any more than west coast breweries “overhop” their IPAs. Early in American coffee history the east coast developed a taste for “lighter” roasts and the west coast developed a taste for “darker” roasts. Starbucks’ darker roasts simply stay true to the company’s Seattle-based roots. While it’s true that darker roasts lose some subtle flavors you find in lighter roasts, dark roasts also coax other flavors out of the bean that you don’t find in lighter roasts. It’s fair to say that dark roasts may be more one-dimensional, but many people like the bold flavor of dark roasts. It’s a matter of taste, not quality.

2) Roasting “immediately before it is made” is not considered best practice. It makes a fine cup of coffee, but immediately after the roast, there’s still a lot of CO2 trapped in the bean. When this CO2 is released, the coffee reaches its peak flavor. Most roasters let the beans rest overnight before consumption, or at least a few hours.

3) Machine roasting does not take the “fun” out of home roasting—it adds an element of control. You are still master of the bean, but a home roasting machine will let you hone in to precisely the flavor you want, and all the beans will be roasted consistently. Machines are also good for roasting small quantities, which allow you to always have just enough extremely fresh coffee available, before it begins to lose its most volatile flavors after 4-5 days. Also, many machines have a cooling function that cool the beans in a matter of minutes, while also blowing the chaff off the beans. If you plan to roast beans with any regularity, a machine is the way to go (although practically everyone begins by using a stove method like this, or an air popcorn popper). I use the Fresh Roast SR300.

For those who want a good resource on home roasting, I recommend Kenneth David’s ‘Home Coffee Roasting’.

16 Bubba June 21, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Great article! I’ve been using the Whirly Pop on the gas grill method of home roasting for almost 2 years now. No other coffee is as good as fresh roasted and fresh ground coffee. And it’s fun to do.

Living in a port city, we have a business that imports a lot of green coffee beans. I and a few friends will routinely go in together to buy a 60kg burlap sack of beans. This ends up coasting me under $4 per lb most times. You don’t have to buy the expensive gourmet beans to get great coffee, either. I’ve gotten some of the good stuff from Sweet Maria’s and it is awesome. I’ve also got the generic stuff from the local company for less than half the price and it’s been just as good.

Regarding the roasting method, I paid $19 for a Whirly Pop popcorn cooker and $5 for a therometer that goes over 500F. Popped a small hole in the fixed lid of the popper to insert the thermometer so I can get a decent reading on the temp in the popper. Helped me get better consistency on the roasts.

Instead of the cookie sheet, most times I use two wire colanders and just pour the roasted beans back and forth between them to cook them. This also helps to get a lot of the chaff off as well.

Get roasting, men!

17 Chris June 23, 2013 at 8:34 pm

I’ve recently started roasting my own.

I use a 2 stage method – I get the beans hot in the oven at around 170 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Then I transfer them to a frypan for the actual roasting. The thinking behind this is that I am only 20 degrees or so from first crack, so when they hit the frypan, it’s 30 seconds until I hear popping. I can then stop when I want…
I cool with the two strainers as well.
I’m also trying a dual spaghetti strainer setup in my pizza oven at the moment. Picture two strainers tied together on a long pole – I can hold it in the oven until it’s ready (shaking around as needed), then pull it out and sit it in front of a fan.
First time failed – I think the oven was too hot – but I’ll get there….

18 J.R. June 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

I’ve been home roasting coffee for years using the tried and true hand crank popcorn popper. I’m no expert roaster, but freshness is the most important component to great coffee. A bean that was roasted 24 hours ago produces a cup of coffee infinitely better than one that was roasted two weeks before.

A couple finer points you missed.

1) You need to cool the roasted beans FAST – as in three minutes, not twelve hours. Most home roasters have a colander that they set on top of a fan. This rapidly cools the beans for storage and blows off excess chaff.

2) Chaff. That black filmy crap that covers everything. It’s the skin of the bean and you’ll get a LOT of it (some beans produce more than others) and it tastes nasty. Get rid of it by blowing across the beans (the cooling fan works wonders here) Many people will actually dump the beans after first crack into their colander for a few seconds to get rid of most of the chaff before it can burn.

3) The heat from coffee roasting is significantly higher than popping popcorn. As a result, the gears on top of the popper will want to melt and deform. Once you develop a feel for roasting, you won’t tear up gears as quickly, but they will need periodic replacement. Wabash Farms, maker of the Whirly-Pop will send you free replacements, but I feel guilty doing this because I’m abusing the product and it’s not their fault – still, they won’t take my money.

4) Rather than use your gas grill, you’ll get better results with a small camping stove or electric burner. You’ll have much better control of your heat (when you get to advanced roasting, you’ll want this) and it’s significantly more efficient.

5) Store the beans in mason jars. The beans will off-gas for a few days and the jars can take the pressure.

6) DO THIS OUTSIDE. It’s a nasty, smelly messy job.

19 SH June 27, 2013 at 2:24 pm

I’d like to reiterate what Wes said a bit and go into some more detail. First off, my background… I worked in coffee for over 5 years with 2 different coffee companies (both dark-roast oriented) but have been home-roasting for about 2 years now and have had conversations with a few professional roasters.

1. Dark is not for consistency. Dark roasts also did not originate on the west coast. Dark roasts were popularized in the Netherlands and migrated to America (although, as one person said earlier, they might have started in Africa).

2. Tailor your beans to your roast or your roast to your beans. Do not try to roast any old bean to your desired doneness… it’s not steak.

As I said before, a dark roast is not for consistency, it’s for flavor. That being said, you can’t roast any old bean dark and hope that it has good flavor. If you want a dark roast, start with a bean that is more robust (not robusto!!!! – will get to that later). Usually these are found at a higher growing altitude and it also takes the longer roast to bring out the subtle flavors of these beans.

If you want a lighter roast, try some varietals from coastal and lower growing regions, they will have a brightness and mild flavors that would be roasted out if you were to roast the beans dark.

3. Don’t brew just after roasting. I know that it can taste good, but, trust me, if you wait about 6-10 hours, it will pay you dividends in flavor. This is due to the fact that nitrogen will be escaping the beans during this time. I personally use a container with a one-way valve to let it “rest.”

4. Buy good beans. Most retailers are now selling exclusively arabica beans, which is a good thing. Some still sell robusto (or robusta) beans… these are cheap, have a thin flavor, and have a higher caffeine content. They are not “bad” – just not the flavor that most are looking for. Most italian roasters still use them for punch in their espresso roasts although they would scoff at any other use.

I prefer the hottop coffee roaster, it’s expensive, but I get a good, consistent, roast to my beans and I can adjust the programs if I wish to change the profile. That said, I have found that as I have roasted more that the flavor is much better, so there is no substitute for experience.

20 Brian Thompson June 30, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Umm… Charcoal is capable of getting significantly hotter than gas… MUCH hotter than required for this…

21 bobs1066 July 4, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I buy unroasted coffee beans at an Ethiopian grocery store a few blocks away. A source to check out if you have ethnic stores like that in your town. Also use the hot air popcorn popper method. Good stuff, Maynard!

22 l August 4, 2013 at 9:28 pm

thanks so much for the tips! we roasted our green kona coffee beans in our garage. your tips were right on and your pictures really did the teaching! the only thing we did differently was use a very low flame on a coleman propane stove, and start with a cold pot (we burned it with the hot pot). took a lot longer, but came out wonderfully. we’re waiting for the morning to have a cup! the roast smells heavenly!

-l in Hilo, Hawaii

23 Wm Bonney August 12, 2013 at 1:33 am

I also relish good coffee. But I reckon that two spoons of Mexican Instant Nescafe in a mug of hot tap water is beyond the scope of this discussion, however it only takes 33 cents and six seconds to make a mug, I thought I’d pass it along.

24 Benton August 27, 2013 at 10:56 am

Home roasting for 5 years. went from popcorn popper to drum roaster in grill finally to heat gun / dog bowl method where i’ve had the most control and enjoyment. I would like to know if there are general rules in machine-roast profiles that can be loosely followed when roasting manually. For instance, I’ve heard that I should get to the first crack as quickly as possible then back off the heat prolonging the period between cracks to maximize the sweetness created during that phase. I have no idea if that is true, but it is an example of what I am looking for. anyone have any ideas about or resources for that type of information? Thanks!

25 Jeremy Anderberg August 27, 2013 at 11:36 am

Hi Benton – thanks for your question.

Honestly, I think your best resource would be a local roaster. Depending on where you live, you could find a coffee shop that also roasts their own beans and talk to the owner. I’ve read books, blogs, etc., but my best info has come from an older woman who owned a shop in Boulder, CO. So, do some research and see if you can find someone in person to talk to. Good luck – and let me know what you find out!

-Jeremy

jeremy@artofmanliness.com

26 Rizzi December 7, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Awesome post! I can’t wait to give this a try.

27 Breaking Trail January 12, 2014 at 10:59 am

We just made our first batch of coffee with the above directions. They’re cooling now, but smell great! Cant wait to try them! Thanks for this awesome tutorial.

28 Gino January 15, 2014 at 9:24 am

I roast using a heat gun and a breadmaker in dough mixing mode. Beans are roasted evenly. I get mountain grown Arabica beans here in the Philippines. They are similar in taste to Sumatra Aceh beans. This Christmas I received a coffee sampler from sweetmarias.com. Coffee beans are certainly not the same. They have different cooking characteristics and flavor. I roast mild at first crack. I just love roasty bright cups. I use Brew 1 coffee machine. More roasty flavor than a pour over.

29 Drew April 16, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Good article but I absolutely agree with Michael, sweetmarias is the best place to get info on home coffee roasting and the Behmor is the best home roaster. Easy to use and makes an excellent roast, consistent no burning or undone beans. I have had mine for several years now and it still works great. I started with the FreshRoast plus but it would over roast the beans. sweetmarias also has a great selection of green beans in stock. I do like coffee bean corral also for selection. Also, if you want to get beans in bulk, check out the coffee shrub.

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