In this blog I will try to describe the process and equipment needed for home roasting fresh coffee.  ROASTe does not sell green (raw coffee) beans yet but some of the vendors (Klatch, for example) do offer them.  Although I have used them for green coffee beans in the past, the ones I roasted today come from another source.  The roaster of choice today is the Kitchen Gourmet popcorn popper and the beans are Kenya AA from the Nyeri region.  

The popper is a common find in any thrift store since close to a billion of these are given as Christmas gifts each year. I paid two dollars for mine - ho ho ho, merry X-mas. The plastic lid is still collecting dust back in the bargain bin I suppose since mine came topless but no matter, these will roast fine without the cover.  When sourcing the roaster look for models without a screen in the bottom - a flat metal bottom with side vents is the preferred design. I am not certain the other one with a screen will not work but machines with the side vents are as common a find so I stick to this style.

Be sure to pick up a couple of those metal colanders - ones missing a handle (bad for draining spaghetti noodles but fine for use with hot fresh roasted beans) will set you back half a buck or less but will come in handy cooling the beans by pouring them from one to another for a a bit less than a minute.  Grab a wooden spoon too for stirring and one of those jars with a rubber seal and you are in business for less than five bucks.

When setting up your home roasting station be sure to consider safety - coffee puts off a lot of chaff when the silverskin separates from the bean and these sometimes leave the roaster as a glowing ember - I prefer using the concrete drive in front of my garage since electricity is close and nothing that burns easily is near by.  Keeping an extinguisher close is cheap insurance but a convenient garden hose would work too.  If you watch the process (multi-taskers - you know who you are - stick to ordering the delicious roasted coffee found here on ROASTe for safety's sake) you should be alright. The difference between nice and brown and smoking hot or flaming beans happens pretty quick so staying on point is a must.

In part two I will describe the roasting process - till then go clean out your local thrift so you can play along at home - and remember kids, get mom or dad's permission and help before roasting.  

This photo shows what the Kitchen Gourmet popper looks like: 

 

Blog Category: 

Comments

Submitted by jbviau on
Thanks! Although I'm not sure the family is ready for me to take this leap yet. ;)

Submitted by donnedonne on
If I ever decide to get into roasting, I'll look up this post again. While I don't doubt that roasting can be fun, I'm sure it can be very frustrating for even a seasoned home roaster (messing up roasts and the like)...

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I agree ruining a roast would not be fun but that seems to me like a person deciding against baking home made bread because it might burn. Now even if I can bake bread it does not mean I will never buy another loaf from the local bakery and even if I roast some beans I will still buy from my favorite vendors - I like what I make but I appreciate the skillful roasts the artisan using specialty grade beans can coax out of a commercial roaster. I guess for me coffee is a hobby as much as a beverage - I love the equipment, the process, and last but not least the taste.

Submitted by chrisbruin (not verified) on
I started with a popper for a roaster ....you can compensate for the lack of top by using a soup can with both ends opened up to extend the opening ...soup cans normally fit perfectly in ......then maybe get some thin wire and make a net like contraption or a small strainer to cap it off ..... I would recommend ruining a roast on purpose ..... so can see what badly roasted looks, smells and feels like ....it will help you understand defects in your roasting ........

Submitted by tim judge (not verified) on
We offer green coffee beans for roasting on our site also: http://barscigarsandbrew.com We would love to help out your readers thanks ellen

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>Thanks for the tip Chris - I will find a can to make me a chimney for the popper - should keep the occasional flying bean inside the roaster as well.

Submitted by wakeknot on
I think this is a great way to try out roasting on the cheap. I think you can quickly produce coffee better than grocery store coffee. Producing coffee on par with fresh stuff from the microroasters is harder (at least for me), but either way this is a fun approach.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>It is entry level so it is a cheap and easy way to find out if home roasting is something a person wants to get into. $25 - $30 tops ($14.95 - $19.95 new popper, $6 - $7 pound of beans and you are set) is a cheap ticket. Even if you never get into it, you still have a working popcorn popper as a consolation prize along with a greater appreciation for artisan roasters.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>Thanks for the heads up on the greens!

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I have never tried a Whirly Pop - do these work well for roasting coffee? I am afraid of a chaff mess indoors.

Roasting Coffee on the Cheap - Part One

| by

In this blog I will try to describe the process and equipment needed for home roasting fresh coffee.  ROASTe does not sell green (raw coffee) beans yet but some of the vendors (Klatch, for example) do offer them.  Although I have used them for green coffee beans in the past, the ones I roasted today come from another source.  The roaster of choice today is the Kitchen Gourmet popcorn popper and the beans are Kenya AA from the Nyeri region.  

The popper is a common find in any thrift store since close to a billion of these are given as Christmas gifts each year. I paid two dollars for mine - ho ho ho, merry X-mas. The plastic lid is still collecting dust back in the bargain bin I suppose since mine came topless but no matter, these will roast fine without the cover.  When sourcing the roaster look for models without a screen in the bottom - a flat metal bottom with side vents is the preferred design. I am not certain the other one with a screen will not work but machines with the side vents are as common a find so I stick to this style.

Be sure to pick up a couple of those metal colanders - ones missing a handle (bad for draining spaghetti noodles but fine for use with hot fresh roasted beans) will set you back half a buck or less but will come in handy cooling the beans by pouring them from one to another for a a bit less than a minute.  Grab a wooden spoon too for stirring and one of those jars with a rubber seal and you are in business for less than five bucks.

When setting up your home roasting station be sure to consider safety - coffee puts off a lot of chaff when the silverskin separates from the bean and these sometimes leave the roaster as a glowing ember - I prefer using the concrete drive in front of my garage since electricity is close and nothing that burns easily is near by.  Keeping an extinguisher close is cheap insurance but a convenient garden hose would work too.  If you watch the process (multi-taskers - you know who you are - stick to ordering the delicious roasted coffee found here on ROASTe for safety's sake) you should be alright. The difference between nice and brown and smoking hot or flaming beans happens pretty quick so staying on point is a must.

In part two I will describe the roasting process - till then go clean out your local thrift so you can play along at home - and remember kids, get mom or dad's permission and help before roasting.  

This photo shows what the Kitchen Gourmet popper looks like: 

 

Category: BLOG

Whirly Pop

December 11, 2011 | by EricBNC


I have never tried a Whirly Pop - do these work well for roasting coffee? I am afraid of a chaff mess indoors.

More adventurous than a

November 16, 2011 | by intrepid510

More adventurous than a whirly pop I see!

@tim

October 27, 2011 | by EricBNC


Thanks for the heads up on the greens!

Entry level

October 27, 2011 | by EricBNC


It is entry level so it is a cheap and easy way to find out if home roasting is something a person wants to get into. $25 - $30 tops ($14.95 - $19.95 new popper, $6 - $7 pound of beans and you are set) is a cheap ticket. Even if you never get into it, you still have a working popcorn popper as a consolation prize along with a greater appreciation for artisan roasters.

nice way to get started

October 26, 2011 | by wakeknot

I think this is a great way to try out roasting on the cheap. I think you can quickly produce coffee better than grocery store coffee. Producing coffee on par with fresh stuff from the microroasters is harder (at least for me), but either way this is a fun approach.

Nice tip!

August 11, 2011 | by EricBNC


Thanks for the tip Chris - I will find a can to make me a chimney for the popper - should keep the occasional flying bean inside the roaster as well.

Green Coffee Beans

August 9, 2011 | by tim judge

We offer green coffee beans for roasting on our site also: http://barscigarsandbrew.com We would love to help out your readers thanks ellen

No top on popper

August 5, 2011 | by chrisbruin

I started with a popper for a roaster ....you can compensate for the lack of top by using a soup can with both ends opened up to extend the opening ...soup cans normally fit perfectly in ......then maybe get some thin wire and make a net like contraption or a small strainer to cap it off ..... I would recommend ruining a roast on purpose ..... so can see what badly roasted looks, smells and feels like ....it will help you understand defects in your roasting ........

It's like cooking

August 3, 2011 | by EricBNC


I agree ruining a roast would not be fun but that seems to me like a person deciding against baking home made bread because it might burn. Now even if I can bake bread it does not mean I will never buy another loaf from the local bakery and even if I roast some beans I will still buy from my favorite vendors - I like what I make but I appreciate the skillful roasts the artisan using specialty grade beans can coax out of a commercial roaster. I guess for me coffee is a hobby as much as a beverage - I love the equipment, the process, and last but not least the taste.

If I ever decide to get into

August 3, 2011 | by donnedonne

If I ever decide to get into roasting, I'll look up this post again. While I don't doubt that roasting can be fun, I'm sure it can be very frustrating for even a seasoned home roaster (messing up roasts and the like)...

Very informative

August 3, 2011 | by jbviau

Thanks! Although I'm not sure the family is ready for me to take this leap yet. ;)

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