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Roasting Coffee at Home - What You Need to Know

A huge proportion of people in this world love their coffee.

Whether it’s a morning black coffee to kick the day off or a sweetened latte on a cold afternoon, coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world.

coffee cup with coffee beans on table

In fact, coffee is the most sold drink in the world, with an estimated two billion cups sold per day worldwide. These days, more and more of the coffee consumed are made at home.

Since the advent of home coffee machines, home roasting machines, and all the other wonderful home coffee creation tools, people have been making more and more coffee at home.

If you are considering making the switch to home roasting your own coffee, read on to find out exactly what you need and how to do it.

Learn About Beans

Great coffee starts with great beans. You know all about coffee already; how it tastes, how it smells, how it makes you feel. But you probably don’t know how it starts.

Most of the time we see dark brown coffee beans in the machines at our local store or from the bag at home.

However, coffee beans actually start out green in colour. They are small, rock hard beans which we do not recommend trying to taste - they are extremely tough and will almost certainly damage your teeth!

Grown mostly in what is known as the ‘coffee belt’ they require warm, tropical climates and rich soil. When you buy beans for roasting, these are the ones you’re after; still green and fresh.

You can choose to buy them from your local roaster, or use one of the many online coffee companies available these days.

Buy the Equipment

Once you have your green coffee beans, you need to buy the right gear for roasting them at home. For many years, the roasting of beans has been an industrial-only process, but it is now totally doable at home.

There are machines you can buy for around the $150 (£120) mark. That’s nothing for the price of long-lasting barista quality coffee at home.

These machines are designed to roast your beans at the exact right temperature, whilst moving them around gently to ensure an even roast.

If you can’t afford a home roasting device, there are a couple of sneaky options. A cast-iron skillet will do just as much good but will require plenty of attention as you will need to keep the beans moving by yourself.

Roasting Time

If you didn’t know already, roasting time affects the strength and flavour of your coffee. Funnily enough, the lighter the roast, the stronger the coffee.

Many people think the opposite, but darker coffee does not mean stronger. Tip the beans into your roasting device and keep them moving.

You are listening for a gentle cracking sound. This is when you know the coffee is starting to reach optimal temperature and starting to roast.

If you like a lighter roast with more caffeine, the sound of cracking means your beans are almost ready to take off the heat.

If you like your coffee darker in colour and flavour, but lighter on the caffeine content, keeps the beans in until they are all cracking and popping away.

Burned beans are useless as they will create an extremely bitter tasting coffee and lose all their floral flavours, so ensure that you haven’t burned any of the beans before turning down the heat.

Woman holding a cup of coffee

Rest, Grind, Drink

The final stages of the coffee roasting process are the easiest and the tastiest! At this point, your home should be smelling rich with coffee and you’re probably salivating. It’s almost time to drink.

Sadly, you need to rest the coffee for a few hours to let it cool down before you can tuck in.

Lay the beans out on a baking sheet, or another clean cool surface to help them begin to cool. They will be extremely hot at first, so take your time here, however thirsty you may be getting!

Once the beans are cool enough, you can use a hand grinder or machine to grind enough beans for your chosen coffee preparation method

Different grades of ground coffee will be more suitable to different prep, so make sure you have your settings right.

Then grind those beans and prepare yourself the freshest cup of coffee you’ve ever had. Once ground, try to use the beans within five days for maximum freshness.

There you have it. Everything you need to know to help you roast, grind, and create world-class coffee right in your own home. Enjoy the process, and savour every last sip.

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