Freshly roasted coffee beans can give you the best coffee every time. Waking up to a freshly brewed cuppa is a feeling beyond words. The strategies for roasting are what set apart one coffee from another. The best way to enjoy rich coffee and sink in the aroma is to do the roasting yourself.
The thing about coffee roasting is that many are confused about how to do it. There is a common misconception that home roasting coffee is possible only if you have a coffee roaster. The truth is, if you have this appliance, your job does get so much simpler. However, you can also execute the process in an oven, popcorn popper, or even a pan. So, are you ready to learn how to roast green coffee beans and bring out the coffee lover in you?
Difference between coffee roasts
There are several types of coffee roasts, depending on the duration and the method you follow. The popular coffee roast levels include light, medium, medium-dark, and dark. The coffee roasting temperature for these levels would be-
- Light — 356°F to 401°F
- Medium — 410°F and 428°F
- Medium-dark — 437-450°F
- Dark — 465-480°F
These variations are created in the internal temperature of the bean to deliver the right level of crack. You would be able to create drastic variations like this in the internal temperature of the bean with the help of a coffee roaster. Therefore, using a coffee roaster is the best way to create different roast levels at home.
Known to be the highest in their acidic taste, these contain the genuine taste of the bean. If you like the richest aroma and taste of natural coffee, lighter roasts are what you need to create in your coffee roaster.
Roasting here happens till the first crack occurs and not beyond this point. There is also not oil on these beans. Some of the popular light roasts are-
- Light City
- Cinnamon Roast
- Half City
- New England Roast
People who prefer staying away from the raw grain taste of light roast might like medium roasts like American Roast and Breakfast Roast. This involves increasing the temperature further, slightly beyond the first crack. Many coffee shops use medium blends for frothy lattes.
Distinctly different from the light roast, this is the level where the strong aroma of coffee starts showing, with a spicy hint. A subtle appearance of oily residue on the coffee is visible in this roast.
Caffeine levels come down as the roast level gets darker. Dark roast variants are the best coffee beans for espresso. The significant difference between light roast vs dark roast lies in the smoky, slightly bitter taste. The color is also distinguishably dark, and there is the appearance of oil on the surface of the bean. Continental Roast, French Roast, Spanish Roast, Italian Roast, and New Orleans Roast are among some of the popular dark roasts in coffee.
How to roast coffee beans at home
Decide the right roast level you need for your coffee. Coffee roasters let you set the right temperature. Even a slight increase in the internal temperature can change the roast level, and aroma. With this, similar taste and appearance also change. Knowing this, you should also know that the easiest way to customize the roast level would be to use a coffee roaster. Here are the simplest ways to roast coffee and enjoy the genuine aroma in every cup-
Home coffee roaster
Whether you like to roast in small batches or large, there are several types of coffee roaster setups available for use at home. They make use of hot air, and there are drum roasters and conduction roasters.
- Hot-air roasters work like popcorn poppers. These often come as low capacity machines and do not caramelize the bean. Roasting here takes place rapidly.
- Drum roasters have different drum sizes and are also used in professional setups besides home coffee roaster designs.
- If you need a slightly affordable choice, then induction roasters work. However, leave these as your last option as they are not very efficient in enhancing the flavor of the beans.
Place the coffee bean in the required quantity inside the home coffee roaster. The instructions to use the coffee roaster varies from one product to another. Most involve setting the right temperature and turning the coffee roaster on. Make sure that you customize the temperature and check whether you have obtained the desired crack level and appearance of the bean.
The coffee roaster can help simplify the process. There are plenty of products that can give you the desired roast in less than 10 minutes. If you have the chance, look for a machine that comes with accurate temperature controls. Consider the batch size you can place in the machine and other factors to pick the best coffee roaster for your home. The results depend on the product, and also on how long to roast coffee beans in the coffee roaster.
How to roast coffee beans in the oven
Can you roast coffee beans in the oven? Yes, if you have a good oven with plenty of temperature controls, you can easily do that. Roasting coffee in the oven can be very much like using a coffee bean roaster.
Make sure that you have an oven where you can adjust the temperatures up to 500℉ if you are a fan of dark roasts. The best way to roast coffee beans in an oven is by using a perforated baking tray. Pick a large-sized tray where you can spread the beans such that you only place one layer of the bean. Beans expand when they are roasted. Spread them out such that the beans are not lying on top of each other. This ensures that each bean undergoes uniform roasting. Also, make sure that the perforations are small enough to prevent the beans from getting stuck.
A good idea is to use the middle rack and use an oven temperature of 500℉. It takes roughly 5 minutes for the first crack to appear in the bean. Look carefully from here, depending on the roast level you need. The next crack should happen within 2 or 3 minutes from the first crack. The actual time varies from one oven to another. You cannot guess the exact time as you can do with a coffee roaster.
How to roast coffee beans in a popcorn popper
Popcorn popper coffee roaster is like using the hot air home coffee roaster appliance. Measure the amount of coffee as you measure the number of corn kernels for the appliance. You can start with a slightly smaller batch to be on the safer side. The first batch might be somewhat tricky to handle. It is challenging to know the exact time taken for roasting. In a roaster, you have the calibration done, and so you know what results come with what temperature. However, in a popcorn popper, the machine’s capabilities, ambient temperature, and other aspects also determine the time taken.
Place the beans in the popper. Close the chaff container and adjust the chute to ensure proper closure.
Check in about 3 minutes to see the color of the bean and check for cracks. The first crack should occur shortly after 3 minutes. The second crack occurs within 10 minutes in most cases. The timing might be similar to that you find in the oven method.
Smell the bean, inspect the crack and color, and use your judgment to test the first batch. With this, you can enjoy your roaster coffee fresh from the popcorn popper.
How to roast coffee beans in a pan
If you have a fundamental kitchen with not high-power oven or popcorn popper, you can still enjoy freshly roasted coffee, on a pan, in stovetop. Let your pan preheat till it reaches 500℉ on the stovetop. Place the beans on the pan, a single layer like your place in the oven tray. Roast the bean and hear the first crack in around 5 minutes. The second crack again occurs in less than 10 minutes. Frying on a pan is easier as you can keep adjusting the temperature depending on the roast level. You can also keep a close watch on the appearance of the bean and the cracks.
Whether you use a coffee roaster or oven, popcorn popper, or pan, keep in mind that coffee roasting involves very high temperatures. There is a lot of heat and a lot of smoke involved. You need ample ventilation to safely enjoy the benefits of roasting your own coffee.
Once your bean appears almost ready, spread the batch on a colander and stir it. The internal temperature of the bean increases, and it continues to roast even when it is out of the pan or oven. Avoid burning the bean inside the oven or coffee roaster, keeping this extra roasting time in mind. Coffee roasters come with user-friendly ways to alter the temperature to prevent burning.
How to store roasted coffee beans
Whether it is with a coffee roaster or with oven or pan, you finish roasting the bean. How you store, it is what matters the most. Proper storage conditions help retain the aroma and locks the flavors in the bean. If you decide to store it as a green bean, then it can stay fresh for a year. However, roasted beans from coffee roaster are best consumed within weeks.
Securing the roasted beans in an area away from moisture and light would help prolong its life. Oxidation and light can alter the appearance and affect the characteristics of the bean. Opaque containers or sealed packs are the best ways to store roasted beans. Let the bean cool after you take it from the coffee roaster and then store it with provision for degassing or release of carbon dioxide.
Choose a dark storage corner for the storage of roasted beans. If you have a large capacity coffee roaster and wish to store a huge batch, then a dark pantry space can be the best choice for storage.
How long do roasted coffee beans last
The shelf life of the bean drastically comes down with roasting. Roasting in the coffee roaster till it gets dark makes the bean lose its original grainy flavors. The more you roast, the sooner should you use the bean. Darker roast levels should be used within days. Ideally, most of the roasted beans last for 30 days from the day of roasting.
You might not notice many visual changes after 30 days. The bean, however, starts losing its aroma, and you might not experience the rich taste that you can experience otherwise. The longer you wait, the milder the flavor gets even if you use a good coffee roaster.
Besides, roasting, the next step is grinding. Roasting reduces the bean life to a month, and grinding brings it down to hours. If you grind your roast bean from the coffee roaster, then consume the grounds within an hour or two. The taste of coffee deteriorates when you store the roasted beans for a long time.
If you are someone who cannot live without your daily dose of coffee, then a good coffee roaster and the best hand coffee grinder is a combination you cannot miss. With this at hand, you can enjoy fresh coffee from your coffee roaster and adjust the brew with the grinder. Do you agree now that roasting coffee beans is an art to acquire slowly and steadily? What is your favorite roast, and how do you roast it? Check out more such definitive guides useful for your kitchen on mykitchenadvisor today.