- Home Roasting -
Coffee Roasting started here for us, it all began as a hobby in the kitchen on the hob. When we started with this method, we were pleasantly surprised with the end result; YES it was actually drinkable and it tasted just like coffee, and yes it's fun too…
From that day forward, shop bought coffee had come to its end in our household!
Tools For The Job;
Heat source, such as your hob.
Ideally a medium sized cast iron skillet, but if you don’t have one, a good heavy duty frying pan should suffice. Ensure that the previous remnants of the last fry up are gone, or this will transfer those flavours into you loving roast!!!
Something to measure temperature of the beans throughout the roast (remember, do not use a thermometer with a plastic casing, it will melt and ruin your roast, not to mention ruining your thermometer in the process!).
Stopwatch, or download an app on your phone.
Note pad and pen (or pencil).
Something to stir your beans with, i.e wooden spoon, whisk.
Colander / strainer.
Air tight storage container to put your roasted beans in once complete to cool them down.
And lastly but not least, some green coffee beans of course.
Roasters Briefing & Safety First!;
Before setting off on your roasting Grand Prix, be aware that you will be using hot surfaces / temperatures, and in particular, the skillet will transfer heat into the handle if you use this method- it hurts if you get it wrong!
You will need good ventilation, such as an extract fan and possibly your kitchen windows open too (do all of this upfront, as it can cause too much commotion and distraction during the roast). Towards the end of the roast, there will be a fair bit of smoke to contend with (this is normal).
Also bear in mind, keep your internal kitchen door(s) closed, especially if you have a smoke detectors nearby…
Not that your roast will go bad, but ensure that you have means to put any fire out, just in case. Never leave your roast unattended, it will require your full attention throughout the roast.
On The Grid & In Pole Position;
Right, now you are prepared and ready for the flying lap of coffee roasting, extract fan on and windows are open.
Pre-heat your skillet or pan to around 200 degree C, this is probably the optimum drop temperature using this method. Much cooler and you risk your green beans not drying sufficiently by the “turn point” (TP), and any hotter, you and you risk scorching the beans early on and into your roast. At this stage, the cooler beans will drop the skillet temperature.
While your pan is pre-heating, weigh out 100g of Green Bean. Try not use more beans as it will be difficult to get an even roast in your skillet or pan, which is the main aim by the end of the roast.
If possible and you have enough hands left, try to log your timings and temperatures at regular intervals, and any other changes that you make throughout. Logging temperature over time will be useful if you want to replicate your roast again.
Once you are happy and poised, drop your beans into the pan, as you do, start your stopwatch. Ideally your roast should not take any longer than 16 - 18 minutes if you decide to go into a dark roast. Once you have dropped your beans, ensure you keep moving and flipping the beans all the time, this will prevent the beans from scorching (if you scorch, you will see brown speckles forming on the green beans).
When the beans are going through their turn point (drying phase), and are going from green to yellow, you will notice the aroma of the bean changing, and smelling something like bread baking in the oven. At this point, steadily increase the temperature of the hob, but not too harshly / all at once (if you get this part wrong you will know in your brew, you will taste hints of grassiness).
As you enter the roast phase, the bean is starting to turn brown in colour and is resembling coffee as we know it. As the temperature begin to rise, at around 200 degrees C, you will hear the beans enter 1st crack. Within the 1st crack phase you will obtain an acidic tasting coffee, known as a "Blonde" roast. As you the bean enter 2nd crack, you will obtain a "body" roast, known as "Full City" roast. However, 1st, in between 1st and 2nd crack and thereafter, your coffee should be good to go depending on your taste, just be aware that temperatures greater than 245 degrees C, you risk overly burning your roast.
Either way, once you have reached your desired roast level, remove the beans and put them into a colander and cool as quickly as possible (swish them around, get as much cool air into the beans as possible). Cooling the roast quickly is important, as to prevent the beans from carrying on roasting from their self-contained heat. You will also want to shake the colander to remove bean chaff that accumulates during the roast – this can be quite messy, so you may want to take this stage outdoors...
Weigh the beans again and you should have lost circa 20% of the weight, for example, starting green weight 100g, roasted weight 80g.
Once happy with the cooled beans, pop them into your air tight container and leave for a least 24 hours before brewing, this will allow the chemical changes within the beans to settle.
Final Lap & To The Podium;
Enjoy your very own roast in your next brew, it is well deserving!