How to Roast Coffee Beans

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Have you ever been curious about how to roast coffee beans at home? It all starts with some green coffee beans and a roaster and you’re on your way to a delicious, freshly roasted cup of coffee! It’s a simple and satisfying process that we will guide you through step-by-step.

Green and brown coffee beans on wooden serving board, coffee mug on the side.

How Long Does it Take to Roast Coffee Beans?

The time it takes to roast coffee beans with a home coffee roaster can vary greatly depending on your specific model, the temperature you use, how many beans you use in one go and how dark you like your beans. In this tutorial, it took us between 26 and 50 minutes for light to dark roast.

At that point you will need to cool and then off-gas the beans for 1-3 days, depending on your preference.

Step 1: Prepare the Coffee Roaster

Coffee roaster and a bag of green coffee beans.

For this tutorial, you will need green coffee beans and a coffee roaster. To begin, the best place to set up your coffee roaster is outside if you can. The smell from roasting is very strong.

Note: Some people do use popcorn makers, ovens and frying pans to roast coffee beans at home, but personally I recommend using a coffee roaster. Popcorn makers are not designed for roasting coffee, and we believe using a purpose-built coffee roaster is the best way to get a fresh cup of joe. It allows you to roast outside, avoiding smoke and smell inside of your home. Plus, it stirs the beans for you and it is much easier to get an even roast on your beans.

Step 2: Add Green Coffee Beans to Roaster

Coffee roaster with raw green coffee beans.

Add the raw coffee beans to the coffee roaster, with the amount specified in the manual.

Coffee roaster with raw green coffee beans.

Step 3: Cover & Heat

Coffee roaster with raw green coffee beans and a lid on.

Cover with the lid and turn the temperature dial to 140°F to begin the roasting process.

Coffee roaster with coffee beans inside, flower pot in the background.

Step 4: Roast Until Beans Turn Yellow

Coffee roaster with coffee beans inside and the lid steaming up. Flower pot in the background.

Roast the beans until they turn from green to yellow and smell grassy. This took about 14 minutes in our roaster. Water will start evaporating from the beans and the lid of the roaster will steam up.

Step 5: Turn up the Heat for First Crack

Coffee roaster with coffee beans. A purple plate of green coffee beans on the side.

Turn the temperature dial to 180°F. Continue roasting until you hear a cracking noise, about 12 minutes (this is the sound of sugars inside the beans caramelizing). You will start to see chaff (the skin of the beans) in the roaster.

This is the point at which your coffee beans are officially lightly roasted and suitable to make a very light coffee with, but it is recommended to roast further.

Coffee roaster with coffee beans. A purple plate of green coffee beans on the side.
Coffee roaster with coffee beans, flower pot in the background.

Step 6: Continue Roasting

Coffee roaster with coffee beans, flower pot in the background.

Turn the temperature dial to 220°F. Watch the beans for the change in color.

  • Light Roast: Our beans became a nice light roast after about 7 minutes at this temperature (after the first crack).
  • Medium Roast: If you want a medium roast, keep roasting until you hear the beans cracking again (the second crack) and have reached medium brown in color. This took about 10 minutes in our roaster.
  • Dark Roast: For a dark roast, the beans will be dark and oily looking. This took about 24 minutes.

Times may vary with your roaster. Always look for color and listen for the first and second crack.

Coffee roaster with brown coffee beans. A purple plate of green coffee beans on the side.

Medium Roast

Open coffee roaster with dark coffee beans.

Dark Roast

Open coffee roaster with dark coffee beans.

Step 7: Cool Beans

Coffee beans in metal colander.

When the beans are finished roasting, they need to cool quickly to stop cooking. Carefully transfer them from the roaster to a metal colander. Shake them in the colander until they are easy to handle.

If you have 2 metal colanders, you can move them back and forth between the 2 colanders. This will cool them down and help remove the chaff (the skin of the beans). Remove as much chaff as you can.

Expert tip from Damian Reed at Everything Coffee Biz: “…move them around preferably in front of a fan or on a windy day. I shake it in the colander, letting the chaff come to the top, then blow it off. LET IT COOL until it is easy to touch.”

Coffee beans in metal colander.
Coffee beans in metal colander.

Step 8: Off Gas

Coffee beans in metal bowl.

Once they have been cooled, leave the beans out for 1-3 days, as they will off-gas carbon dioxide. Then, store in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place like your pantry.

Step 9: Grind & Brew

Green and brown coffee beans on wooden serving board.

Your beans have now reached full-flavor. They are ready for grinding and brewing. Brew the beans within 7 days for maximum freshness.

Green and brown coffee beans on wooden serving board.
Green and brown coffee beans on wooden serving board, coffee mug in the background.

Coffee Roasting Tips

  • These are average roasting times that worked in our roaster. It may vary with your own appliance. Remember to watch for the beans to change color and listen for the first and second crack.
  • Practice makes perfect! Knowing the proper times for your roaster will come with practice and it will become much easier to achieve your favorite roast over time.
  • Ever wonder how they make flavored coffee beans? If you want to add flavor to your beans, add a bit of flavor oil when they are still warm (just after cooling them in the metal colander). Mix them around with a wooden spoon to coat them evenly. Read flavor oil instructions for amounts.
  • The best roast for espresso is between medium and medium-dark.
Green and brown coffee beans on wooden serving board.

What else can you do with roasted coffee beans besides grind and brew them? Try making chocolate covered coffee beans!

How did you like roasting your own coffee beans? What is your favorite roast? Mine is medium but every now and then I enjoy dark as well!

Green and brown coffee beans on wooden serving board, coffee mug on the side.

How to Roast Coffee Beans

Joss D
A detailed tutorial on how to roast coffee beans at home.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Cooling Time 5 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine Ethiopian
Servings 1
Calories 520 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • ½ lb. green coffee beans - (use as much as your coffee roaster holds – check manual)

Instructions
 

  • To begin, the best place to set up your coffee roaster is outside if you can. The smell from roasting is very strong.
    Coffee roaster and a bag of green coffee beans.
  • Add the raw coffee beans to the coffee roaster, with the amount specified in the manual.
    Coffee roaster with raw green coffee beans.
  • Cover with the lid and turn the temperature dial to 140°F to begin the roasting process.
    Coffee roaster with raw green coffee beans and a lid on.
  • Roast the beans until they turn from green to yellow and smell grassy. This took about 14 minutes in our roaster. Water will start evaporating from the beans and the lid of the roaster will steam up.
    Coffee roaster with coffee beans. A purple plate of green coffee beans on the side.
  • Turn the temperature dial to 180°F. Continue roasting until you hear a cracking noise, about 12 minutes (this is the sound of sugars inside the beans caramelizing). You will start to see chaff (the skin of the beans) in the roaster. This is the point at which your coffee beans are officially lightly roasted and suitable to make a very light coffee with, but it is recommended to roast further.
    Coffee roaster with coffee beans. A purple plate of green coffee beans on the side.
  • Turn the temperature dial to 220°F. Watch the beans for the change in color. Our beans became a nice light roast after about 7 minutes at this temperature. If you want a medium roast, keep roasting until you hear the beans cracking again and have reached medium brown in color. This took about 10 minutes in our roaster. For a dark roast, the beans will be dark and oily looking. This took about 24 minutes. (Times may vary with your roaster. Always look for color and listen for cracking.)
    Open coffee roaster with dark coffee beans.
  • When the beans are finished roasting, they need to cool quickly to stop cooking. Carefully transfer them from the roaster to a metal colander. Shake them in the colander until they are warm to the touch. If you have 2 metal colanders, you can move them back and forth between the 2 colanders. This will cool them down and help remove the chaff (the skin of the beans). Remove as much chaff as you can (it easily blows away).
    Coffee beans in metal colander.
  • Once they have been cooled, leave the beans out for 1-3 days, as they will off-gas carbon dioxide. Then, store in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place like your pantry.
    Coffee beans in metal bowl.
  • Your beans have now reached full-flavor. They are ready for grinding and brewing. Brew the beans within 7 days for maximum freshness.
    Green and brown coffee beans on wooden serving board.

Equipment

Coffee Roaster
Metal Colander
Coffee Container (Optional)

Notes

  • The nutrition information is estimated for 100 grams of roasted coffee beans; not for brewed coffee.
  • These are average roasting times that worked in our roaster. It may vary with your own appliance. Remember to watch for the beans to change color and listen for the first and second crack.
  • Practice makes perfect! Knowing the proper times for your roaster will come with practice and it will become much easier to achieve your favorite roast over time.
  • If you want to add flavor to your coffee beans, add a bit of flavor oil when they are still warm (just after cooling them in the metal colander). Mix them around with a wooden spoon to coat them evenly. Read flavor oil instructions for amounts.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 520kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 8gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 150mgFiber: 6gSugar: 52gCalcium: 160mgIron: 5.4mg

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or sauces.

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