DIY Coffee Roasting

Roasting Coffee - green beans
Roasting Coffee - mid roast
Roasting Coffee - cooling beans

I am a big DIY nerd. Sometimes that leads to complicated, long term projects that take over your life. Fortunately, some DIY projects are ridiculously quick and easy. Case in point: roasting coffee. While I'm not a coffee connoisseur, I grind my own beans and we have four types of coffee makers (drip, moka pot, french press, pourover). I had read many self-described coffee geeks wax rhapsodic about roasting their own coffee. Frankly, I was leery of over-complicating my simple morning coffee habit.

I resisted roasting my own, until my wife's co-worker gave us some green coffee beans. Coincidentally, we have a hot-air popcorn popper known for effectively roasting coffee beans. It turns out that roasting coffee in a hot-air popper is very simple and quick (5-8 minutes). Here is a rough outline:

  • Collect hot-air popper, 1/2 cup measure, sieve, green coffee beans
  • Setup hot-air popper outside (or the garage in winter) as roasting generates chaff and smoke
  • Plug in popper, put ~1/2 cup green coffee beans in popper
  • Wait for first crack (light cracking sound)
  • As the beans roast, chaff and smoke will blow out of popper
  • Watch beans until they are roasted as dark and oily as you like
  • Dump roasted beans into sieve and shake/swirl beans to cool
  • Repeat as needed
  • Unplug hot air popper

Put the cooled coffee beans in a loosely lidded jar so they can off-gas CO2 and wait about 2 days as the coffee flavor and aroma will continue to develop. Grind your beans and make some coffee. With the reasonable price and wide variety of green coffee beans available on-line this could be the cheapest and easiest DIY hobby I've ever found. Of course, this is also one more step towards becoming a coffee nerd.

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Roasting coffee with a popcorn popper

Sweet Maria's