Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Roasting Coffee Beans at Home March 22, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — austinurbangardens @ 8:54 am
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Ya’ll know I’m all about making everything at home (or trying), so when my good friend Stephanie asked if I wanted to try roasting coffee beans, I said yes!  She had procured some green coffee beans from Casa Brazil, and armed with some instructions from the web, a cast iron skillet, thermometer, a fan, and a desire for the best cup of coffee ever, we got started.

Cast Iron Skillet to 200

Cast Iron Skillet to 200

Following our online instructions, once the cast iron skillet was at 200 degrees, we put in about half a pound of green coffee beans.

Green beans

Green beans

The instructions called for continuous stirring, so that’s what we did.  We set a timer to compare our progress, with the instructions.

Getting some color

Getting some color

There were things to watch for along the way, gray smoke, the first crack, and second crack, as well as color changes, and a release of oil.

First Batch done

First Batch done

When the first batch got pretty dark and started making crackling sounds, we decided to declare it done, and rushed the beans outside where Stephanie had set up a fan for fast cooling.

Fast cooling

Fast cooling

Once cooled, we ground up some of the beans, and made and made a cup of coffee.

Too light

Too light

Alas, the first cup tasted very grassy and bitter.

Round two.  We repeated the procedure for Round one, but turned up the temp a bit on the stove.  This time, we kept roasting until we heard a second round of cracking, and the beans started to expand.  This process took about 20 minutes.  Although we never saw the beans take on an oily appearance, we declared them done.  Outside they went, to cool over the fan (quick cooling to prevent continued roasting.)  This time around, a considerable amount of chaff blew off of the beans.

Second batch

Second batch

We ground up some of the second batch, and the color was much improved.  And, they smelled more like coffee.

Better color

Better color

We brewed a second cup, and it was much better, although not quite the coffee revelation we were hoping for.

This morning, two days after roasting, my cup of coffee was excellent, having lost the hint of bitterness it had immediately after roasting.

There are other methods for roasting coffee – a hot air popcorn popper is supposed to be really good for this purpose.  You can also roast the beans in the oven.   I’m going to continue this experiment with different methods and beans until I come up with the perfect combination, and the still elusive, perfect cup of coffee.

 

6 Responses to “Roasting Coffee Beans at Home”

  1. Joy Says:

    On Texas Country Reporter they did a segment about an old cowboy type that roasts coffee beans over a mesquite fire. It looked like he had an old popcorn basket they used to use to pop popcorn over an open fire. Might look it up in their archives.

  2. shefskitchen Says:

    We use a corn popper! The result is excellent. Has to be the right weather though and we wait about 4 days before using the beans. Love all your pics!!

  3. oneoklock Says:

    It never occurred to me that you could do this at home! What fun, and what a great way for the house to smell!


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