How Coffee is Roasted

Ever wondered why the coffee at your friend’s place tastes lively than that one you buy often in the store? Well, the reason might be who and how the coffee beans were roasted. Your friend might have roasted the beans himself which makes his coffee taste a little different from that one you bought in the store. Home roasted beans have an improved flavor and are fresher than the coffee from the store. Here is how to roast your coffee beans for a home-made refreshing brew.

First, you need grasp the roasting basics. There are characteristics you need to put in into your mind before roasting your coffee beans because they tend to influence the decision on when to stop the roasting process.

  1. Be mindful of the smell. Carefully note the color change while roasting. The beans first turn yellowish and then they begin emitting a grassy-like smell. They eventually start smelling like coffee with prolonged heating. Stop the heating process at this stage.
  2. The more you roast, the more the color change. Green coffee begins transitioning through many colors until they are sufficiently roasted. They tend to transition in this order: green, light-brown, light-medium brown, full-medium brown, medium-dark brown, dark brown, and very dark
  3. Pay attention to the crackling sound. As you heat the beans, water evaporates with a crackling sound. When crackling subsides, know that your beans are fully roasted.

Method 1: Using the oven

Roasting the coffee beans in an oven has one setback and one benefit. The lack of air flow in the ovens can result to the uneven roasting of your beans. But lack of air flow increases the rich flavor when the oven is appropriately used.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 450 Fahrenheit (232 degrees). Prepare the beans and the pan while the oven is heating. You will need a baking sheet which has small holes in it. The baking sheet serves to keep the beans on the pan during the whole roasting process.

Step 2: Spread the beans on the pan. Pour your beans on the sheet in such a way that they form a single layer over the pan – close enough but not overlapping. Place the baking sheet together with the beans in the oven’s middle rack once it is preheated.

Step 3: Roast your beans in the duration of between 15 to 20 minutes. Remember to listen for the cracking sound as the water evaporates. Stir the beans once in a while for an even roasting.

Step 4: Remove your beans from the oven. When the cracking sound in Step 3 stops, it signifies that the beans are now fully roasted. Remove them immediately from the oven to prevent scorching. Pour them in an expansive metal container to help them cool down. Stir them while in the container for even cooling. Cooling the beans this way also removes chaff.

Method 2: Using the popcorn popper

The best way to roast your coffee beans on the stove is to use a popcorn popper. The popcorn popper enlarges the beans but significantly reduces the aroma.

Step 1: Place the empty popcorn popper on the stove. Adjust the heat to medium (450 Fahrenheit’s, 232 degrees Celsius).

Step 2: Add your coffee beans in the popper. Roast few ounces of the beans at a time (preferably 8 ounces each time). Close the lid of the popper and turn the crank handle. Stir them after few minutes for even roasting.

Step 3: Listen for the cracking sound. Normally, it takes between 4 to 7 minutes for the crackling noise to begin. A cracking sound indicates that your beans are beginning to roast. Around this time, the beans begin emitting rich aroma smoke. Switch on the hood fan of your oven open the windows to let the smoke out. Sit and wait until the beans begin to crackle.

Step 4: Frequently check the color of your beans. When you finally hear the beans crackle, wait for one minute and begin checking the color. When the beans reach the color of your choice, pour them into a large metal container while stirring to cool them down.


There are many other methods of roasting beans. However, the process of roasting coffee beans hardly changes; it involves roasting, noting the smell, checking the color and then cooling the beans. But the method you choose can have an impact on the taste of your coffee. Methods that allow air flow makes the beans lose the aroma while the air tight methods trap the air thus retaining the aroma.

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