At a Glance
Despite the fact that the coffee plant has been around for ages, drinking it as a beverage became commonplace as recent as the 15th century. Yemen's Sufi monasteries document some of the earliest coffee roasting. Different methods of roasting were developed as coffee spread all around the world. The Dutch were some of the first to employ roasting machinery to roast coffee beans in the 17th century.
Today, roasting has developed into a significant industry and hobby. Coffee beans can now be roasted using a variety of techniques and machinery, from drum roasting process to air roasting approach. Roasting is an art, perfected by time and experience, rewarding to the roaster and those who enjoy the by product.
Home Roasting Coffee
There are several methods for roasting coffee at home. You can roast coffee beans on the stove, in the oven, with a popcorn popper, or with a coffee roaster. For all methods make sure you are in a well ventilated area or outside when roasting as things may get smoky.
On the stove is a good and cost friendly method. However it is more difficult to get a consistent, quality roast. You will also need to stir the beans often. Great if you are looking for a hands-on experience.
An air popper is a great method for beginners, but there are some things to make note of before you start. It is important that you use an air popcorn popper that heats from the sides and not the bottom. Also, the air popper will blow the chaff up and out, so you should have a large bowl or other receptacle to catch it.
Coffee roasters will run you more money, but they are the best equipment to use for higher quality and consistent roasts. They are also the easiest and most convenient method.
The chaff on the green beans will fall off during the roasting process and could ignite if it is not removed from the heat source. Never leave your roasting beans unattended. There is a fire hazard with roasting your own coffee beans and they should have your full attention during the roasting process.
After you achieve the roast you want, the beans need to cool. The roasted beans will be hot so you might want to wear oven mitts when cooling. The most effective way to do this is by either spreading them out on a baking sheet, stirring them in a metal bowl or tossing them between two metal bowls immediately after you remove them from the heat source. If you do not cool the beans they will continue to roast and you may end up with a darker roast than you were aiming for.