Coffee Roasting [Cooking]

2007 Mar 10
Any other home roasters out there?

I just finished roasting about 225g of green beens from www.coffee.ca over in Gatineau. Took about 30 minutes, and lasts me about a week.

There are a number of ways to roast coffee at home. Most people use a hot air corn popper, and I'll get to that momentarily. But first I'll describe how to use a skillet on the stovetop to roast your green beans. It's not the most consistent method but it's easy and produces good results, and can give you an idea of what kind of results you can expect, without purchasing any special equipment. You simply pre-heat the skillet on about 1/2 heat, put in enough green beans to just cover the bottom of the skillet, and then keep the skillet moving - like when making popcorn - until it's done. A fair amount of smoke will be produced as the chaff - like the skins on peanuts - burns off, so make sure you either turn on the range hood exhaust, or open lots of windows.

As coffee roasts, it goes through two stages known as "first pop" and "second pop", as the beans dry out. First pop sounds a lot like popcorn popping, while second pop sounds more like rice krispies crackling, though much more intense. Depending upon the roasting method, the beans, and ambient conditions, there may or may not be a minute or two of relative silence between first and second pop. I found that when roasting indoors in a hot air corn popper there was a good two minutes of relative silence between first and second pop. Using the same popper outdoors in a roasting box, first pop transitioned right into second pop with no silence in between.

People who prefer a very light roast will stop the process somewhere around first pop. Those who want a medium roast will stop between first and second pop, or just into second pop. Stopping the roast well into or even beyond second pop will produce a dark roast. When you have reached the desired level of roast, you simply turn off the heat and dump the beans into a colander and swish them about to cool them as quickly as possible. If you do not cool them quickly, the roast will continue to develop to a level beyond what you had intended. Then you let the beans rest in an open container for 12 to 24 hours before using them.

Any easier and more consistant method than the skillet is to use a hot air corn popper, which you can get for 2 bucks at your local Salvation Army Thrift Store or other 2nd hand store. There are 2 basic kinds of poppers, and only 1 will work (the other may catch fire!). When you look down into the metal bowl in the popper, you'll either see holes in the bottom of the bowl for the hot air to come up through, or you'll see louvres in the sides of the bowl. You want the louvres, not the holes.

2017 Apr 2
For those home roasters out there, here is the latest green coffee offering from Tizita Bakeshop (The Injera Bakery www.tizitabakeshop.com/).

A Limmu Grade 1 washed.

My cupping notes:
City+ Roast
Citrus, berries and cocoa undertones.

Only $13 per kilo.

The pic I took of the sack while in the bakery.