how to roast coffee beans

The Art of Roasting Coffee Beans

Have you ever wanted to make your very own brand of coffee? After you tasted a roasted coffee blend, instant coffee doesn’t give you the same effect anymore. It may be a lot easier to make instant coffee, but the taste is not that satisfactory. A roasted coffee blend, however, has the most amazing aromas. It’s enough to wake anybody up in the mornings.

So how does one roast their own coffee beans with the same amazing flavors you would get in a restaurant? Are there different types of beans? How does one differentiate a café latte from an espresso?

Here we give you ways on how you can roast your own beans in the comfort of your own home. Depending on how you roast your beans, you can make any types of coffee, from an espresso to a café latte, or how about an Americano or a flat white? You’ll be making the perfect cups of coffee for your family and friends like the true connoisseur you are in no time.

Before you can level up to mastering the art of coffee making, you will need to know what beans to buy. There are two types of coffee beans known in the world: Arabica and Robusta.

Photo - Flickr.com

Arabica, also known as Arabian Coffee, is more popular than Robusta because of its high quality in flavor and aroma. It has a sweeter taste with tones of fruit and sugar. It also has balanced acidity levels.

There are many different subspecies of Arabica that are produced in different parts of the world. Not only do Arabica beans taste amazing but they’re also rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E. They’re also lower in caffeine levels. This leads to its delicate taste.

Arabica beans are best suited to making lattes and flat whites.

The only disadvantage of using these types of beans is that they’re expensive. It’s a lot more difficult to grow leading to high maintenance farming. However, quality over value might help you in the long run especially if you’re trying out roasting to start up your very own coffee shop. People will come from afar for a good cup of coffee.

The Robusta Bean

Photo - Flickr.com

Robusta, on the other hand, is higher in caffeine levels which make it significantly bitter. The taste of Robusta is often described as nutty and sometimes has strong dark chocolate undertones.

It’s a lot cheaper to produce as it requires less maintenance to grow.

It’s mostly used to produce instant coffee and espressos.

The fact that Robusta has high caffeine levels gives health benefits such as antioxidants that contain anti-inflammatory properties and counters fatigue. If you’re looking for a stronger bolder coffee, Robusta is for you.

The Basics of Bean Roasting

There’s nothing worse than undercooked food right? Well, it’s precisely the same with roasting coffee beans:
– If you under roast them, you will get a plant like after taste.
– If you over roast them, you will get a burnt wood after taste.

So, how do you avoid this? These methods will guide you.

Aroma

Naturally, you will start out with green coffee beans. You will notice the scent of the roasted beans will change during the process. At first, they will smell like you’re cutting plants.

After a while, you will note a distinct roasted nutty fragrance. This is when you’re making progress. It doesn’t take much time as they roast fairly quickly. Unfortunately, you have to keep a close eye on them especially at high temperatures.

Color

You will start to notice a change in color. This part is important because if you don’t check them regularly, the beans will burn.

The length of time in which you roast the beans will determine the different levels of flavor:
– A light brown color will give you a bitter taste with not much flavor.
– Medium brown beans give you more of a distinct aroma, and the taste will be a lot sweeter.
– The darker the color, the more potent the flavor will be. This type of roast is usually used in espressos.

Stages of Cracking

Lastly, you will need to listen to the sound your beans make when you’re roasting them: Cracking.

There are two stages of cracking; the first stage signals that you have a lightly roasted or a medium roast. The second stage gives you a medium to a dark roast.

DIY Roasts

There are many ways you can roast your beans in the comfort of your kitchen. Here are the different methods you can use that are quick and safe to do in your own home.

Use all the basic methods to determine whether your beans have been roasted to your liking. Remember, aroma, color, and sound.

The Following Equipment can be used:
– Frying pan
– Popcorn popper
– Air roaster

Frying Pan Method

Put the stove on medium heat and spread the green coffee beans evenly on the pan. Roast between 8-10 minutes. Using a pan lid also helps distribute heat evenly, and you can toss the beans around in the pan while they roast.

This method is ideal because the beans are less likely to burn when you toss them. Make sure the lid you use has some perforation so the water can escape. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to roast a lot of beans at a time as pans are quite small.

Pros

  • Even heat distribution
  • Faster roasting method
  • Easy tossing method

Cons

  • Not a lot of beans can be roasted at once
  • The beans are more likely to burn
  • You may need a special type of pan (one that has no coatings of any kind)

Popcorn Popper

Place the beans inside the popcorn popper. The timing is a lot shorter using this method so keep an eye on your beans at all times. You can easily have roasted coffee beans between 5-10 minutes.

There are lights in most machines that are perfect for checking the color change. This is ideal for getting the perfect dark roast.

Pros

  • Easy temperature control
  • With the light, you can clearly see the color change
  • A large amount of beans can be roasted

Cons

  • There’s not much perforation
  • You can’t move the beans around easily
  • The beans can burn on the outside and still be raw on the inside

Air Roaster

The air roaster is like a mini oven. It’s a glass bowl with a lid on the top that has different temperature settings.

Much like the popcorn popper, there are a lot of benefits to using this method. The hot air distributes evenly, and because of the bowl, you can clearly see the beans changing color.

However, the downside to this is that you may not be able to hear when the cracks happen. This could lead to under-roasted beans. You need to be able to hear the cracks as this is an indication that the water inside the beans is evaporating.

Pros

  • Quicker roasts as water can evaporate faster
  • Even roasts
  • It doesn’t require much maintenance

Cons

  • This machine can cost a lot of money
  • There’s not much air flow
  • It’s a bit of a hassle to clean up afterward

Health Benefits

Making your very own brand saves you from consuming chemicals that are in mass-produced instant coffee.

According to studies, there are properties in coffee that have the following benefits:

– Coffee can fight off type 2 diabetes
– Coffee drinkers are less likely to have heart diseases
– Increases fiber intake
– Cuts the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Bean There, Done That

When you have the basics perfected, you can easily make your espressos and lattes at home for friends and family. Once you’ve roasted your beans, you can grind them up and use a French press or a coffee machine to make the perfect cup of Joe. Making your brand is all about the flavor.

Conclusion

Coffee machines are quite pricey and overrated. As you can see, it’s so effortless to do it yourself simply.Making your own blend is all about the experience and the creativity. Using all the basics, you can quickly turn coffee roasting into an inexpensive hobby.

Using your own method gives you the opportunity to manage the following:

– The strength of your own blend
– What brand of beans you prefer to use
– The type of coffee you prefer
– Experimentation with different flavors
– The possibilities of starting your very own brand

This is a simple and easy leisure pursuit of adding to your list of skills. It doesn’t require a lot of time to prepare, and you don’t need a lot of machinery or utensils. There is a certain element of art to making your very own blend.

Now, get started and keep going because the more you experiment, the better your coffee making skills will be: Go find the perfect brew.

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