From the moment you get up in the morning until you are ready to hit the sack, you need coffee to keep going. If coffee is a need for you and you don’t have the time to run to a Starbucks every time you need it, it’s time you learned how to roast coffee beans. Coffee aficionados know that there is nothing better in the world than actually knowing your coffee. Right from its origins and its types to its consumption, they know it all. An important pearl of wisdom is knowing, where to buy green coffee beans and how to roast them. Read on to know the basics and the nuances.
Buy good green coffee
If coffee is your fuel, you know you want the freshest and most aromatic coffee in your house. The best way is to buy green coffee beans for roasting. You can store them for longer and roast them as and when you want to replenish your supplies. As you will buy them in large quantities, take care of where you buy your green coffee beans from.
Methods of roasting
Depending on what suits you the best and what you have at hand, you can decide how to roast green coffee beans.
With a popcorn popper or thick pan
Whatever you use should be thoroughly clean; otherwise, your coffee beans may smell of the eggs you made in the pan last night. Heat the popper or pan to 450 degrees F on the stove. Add some coffee beans so they can be easily spread out without overlapping. Shut the lid of the popper and turn the handle continuously for even heating. If you are using a pan, you will have to stir nonstop for the same reason. Keep the heat on the medium level to avoid burning. Once you hear the crackling sound, monitor the color. As soon as you have your desired color, remove the beans into a colander so they can cool.
This way of roasting doesn’t give you a rich aroma, but your coffee will have a body. The colors will be deep and subdued instead of bright and shiny.
In an oven
The oven should be preheated to 450 degrees F. Spread the green coffee beans in one layer on a flat baking tray with sides. The tray should have tiny holes evenly spaced out. After the oven is heated, place the tray on the middle rack. To roast the beans evenly, you will have to stir them from time to time. After 15 to 20 minutes, you will hear a crackling sound. Once you get the color you want, remove the tray from the oven and take out the beans in a colander where they can cool.
This method is frowned upon by the true-blue coffee enthusiasts, but you can use it. As air does not flow so freely, the beans may not get evenly roasted. Nevertheless, you can still get a rich flavor if you do it right.
In an air roaster
You will have to buy one especially, but it may be worth it. If you want your coffee beans evenly roasted without standing over them all the time, this is the option for you. An air roaster works by blowing hot air over the beans. There are some options in the market, and once you buy one, you can follow its instructions. Some have glass bodies, so you can see the color as it changes.
Another great way to roast coffee is using an old method with an alcohol roaster. Some people still swear by it being the best way.
Keeping your Senses open
An important part of coffee roasting 101 is knowing what to keep your eyes, ears and nose open for:
- Smell: In the beginning, as the coffee beans get heated, they will look yellow and start smelling like grass. As they start to get roasted, the smell will change to the actual coffee one, and you will notice them smoking. Trust your nose for coffee to notice this.
- Crunching sound: Well into the roasting process, the water in the beans starts evaporating. You will hear a noise similar to a crackle when this happens. Usually, this will occur twice as the beans get heated.
- Roasting time: You will be a master of how to roast coffee beans at home only after you’ve gotten the timing right. Your guide for this is the color of the coffee beans. As they get heated, they will go through a whole range of brown colors. Avoid the light brown as it is weak and neither sweet nor aromatic. As the color darkens, the sweetness, aroma and strength first increase and then start dropping off. The very dark brown beans have a mild strength, aroma, and sweetness. Stop roasting when you have reached your preferred color.
Now, that you are loaded with all the knowledge about how to roast coffee, you can satisfy all your cravings at home. Never again will a cup of store-bought coffee be as appealing. For all you know, you may often find yourself with your nose buried in the jar of freshly roasted coffee beans. Just inhaling the delicious aroma may get you started in the morning.