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Roast your own coffee: 6 methods - from simple, creative to professional

Delicious bread, fine cake, fruity jam. Even if you can buy all these products in high quality: Nothing beats making it yourself and the good feeling when the homemade tastes really delicious. 

Did you know that you can also roast your own coffee in your own kitchen? We'll introduce you to various methods here - from simple and creative to professional. 

Roast your own coffee in the pan

Probably the easiest way to roast coffee yourself: Spread raw coffee beans evenly on the bottom of a pan and heat it on the cooker, stirring constantly. After about 5 to 10 minutes, the beans start to "crack"; after about 20 minutes, even a second time. In roasting jargon, this "cracking" is called 1st crack or 2nd crack. For very lightly roasted coffee, take the beans out of the pan immediately after the 1st crack and cool them as quickly as possible. For a medium or darker roast, leave them in the oven a little longer - but at most until the 2nd crack.

For more information on what exactly happens during roasting, see this post; for details on the different degrees of roasting, see this post.

In terms of equipment, this method is tempting: you need nothing more than a pan, a wooden spoon and a hotplate. But unfortunately, that's it for the advantages. Roasting coffee in a pan causes a lot of smoke and it is even recommended that you wear protective goggles, as the beans tend to jump up to your face when you crack them. 

All this would be acceptable if the roasting result was right. But unfortunately this is not convincing: when roasting in the pan, the beans are roasted very unevenly - some parts are dark, others still almost unroasted. For a good roasting result (and ultimately fine coffee), the raw coffee beans must be roasted evenly from all sides. Unfortunately, this is impossible with pan roasting. Conclusion: For very first roasting attempts or experiments, the method is ok. But if you want to roast fine coffee yourself, you won't get far with this method. 

Roast your own coffee in the oven

Another method of roasting coffee with existing kitchen equipment: roasting coffee in the oven. Place the raw coffee beans next to each other on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place them in the hot convection oven. Open the oven from time to time and turn the beans. After about 5 to 10 minutes the beans will crack a first time, after about 20 minutes a second time. With this method, too, you decide when the roasting process is finished: for very lightly roasted coffee, the beans come out of the oven after the 1st crack and you have to cool them down quickly; for a medium or darker roast, they stay in the oven longer, until the 2nd crack at the most. 

The advantage of this method is that we probably all have ovens, trays and spoons in our kitchens - so you don't need to buy anything new and expensive for roasting. In contrast to pan roasting, you don't need any protective equipment and there will hardly be any complaints about emissions from the neighbours. At most, you will have to clean your oven thoroughly after roasting, as bean skins can swirl around and stick due to the circulating air heat. If you wash the beans before roasting, there is less cleaning work. 

Compared to roasting in a pan, you can roast more coffee at once in the oven and have a more balanced roasting result. Nevertheless, the beans are not roasted evenly on all sides in the oven. Conclusion: The coffee is slightly better in the oven than in the pan - but still not really good.

Roast your own coffee with the popcorn machine

Who says popcorn machines are only for popcorn? With hot air and permanent circulation of the coffee beans, at least better coffee roasting results can be achieved with the popcorn machine than in the pan or oven. 

This method requires the (manageable) investment in a popcorn machine. Put the unroasted coffee beans in it and off you go: The raw beans are rotated in the hot air stream of the popcorn machine. After about 4 minutes, you will hear the beans crack for the first time and it will take another 10 to 15 minutes before they crack for the second time. The following also applies to this method: For very lightly roasted coffee, you can take the beans out of the oven after the 1st crack and cool them down - for a medium or darker roast, they remain in the popcorn machine longer, up to a maximum of the 2nd crack. 

The advantages of this method: the hot air stream of the popcorn machine causes the coffee beans to be constantly moved during roasting and thus roast more regularly than in a pan or in the oven. And so the coffee is also better. The popcorn method is therefore suitable for those who like to experiment and rarely roast small amounts of coffee. However, you should definitely roast outside: the air current from the popcorn machine blows the silver skins off the coffee - and you certainly don't want them all over the kitchen.

Other creative methods: roasting coffee yourself with the hot air gun and in the hot air fryer

You think that's all there is to roasting your own coffee? Not at all. There are a few more very creative methods: 

  • With a hot air gun: You heat small amounts of green coffee in a fireproof bowl or in a bread maker or in a dog bowl - no joke. The latter is called "dog bowl roasting".
  • In a hot air fryer - the raw coffee beans go in here and are heated or roasted by the hot air.

Roast your own coffee with a home coffee roaster

The most professional method for roasting coffee at home: roasting with a small coffee roasting machine, a so-called home roaster. Depending on the model, you can roast up to 1 kg of green coffee in 12 to 15 minutes. With these machines, the coffee is roasted evenly and gently. The most important difference to other roasting methods: when roasting with a home roaster, the important roasting parameters such as temperature and time can be precisely controlled and regulated. Only in this way can all the flavours be extracted from a high-quality coffee and the roasting can be adapted to the type of bean and the preparation preference. After all, when we cook, we don't prepare all the ingredients at the same temperature and for the same amount of time ?

Conclusion: With a home roaster, the beans are roasted evenly and gently - you get delicious, fresh coffee in 12 to 15 minutes! If you want to roast your own coffee at home regularly and want it to taste as good as coffee from a (professional) roastery, then it is worth investing in a home coffee roaster. 


More questions? We are here for you.

Do you have any further questions about coffee, roasting or our product range? Feel free to call or email me at any time. As a home roaster, SCA trained roaster and member of the Roasters Guild of Europe, I know the equipment and coffees from my daily work: 

Phone +41 76 261 97 17 or email ingo[at]roastrebels.com

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