My son is a coffee nut and he got me interested in home roasting. While surfing the internet he discovered an inexpensive way to roast your own coffee at home. It only takes a few minutes and the results are quite delicious!
First, both the “green” beans and the roaster must be acquired. Easy enough….. green beans of various origins can be purchased online at http://www.sweetmarias.com . If you like Colombian coffee, Sweet Marias has two different Colombians to choose from! They have coffees from Central America, South America, Africa, Indonesia and Asia as well as from places like Australia, Dominican Republic, Hawaii, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. Basically, they have select green coffees from all over the world. One of the wonderful things about selecting your coffee is reading the details describing the coffee characteristics. It is quite an education.
Next is the Equipment. I picked up a basic hot air popcorn popper at walgreens for 9.99 last year. Most of these hot air popcorn makers work the same way. Hot air is blown into a small chamber heating the popcorn seed until it pops/flowers open. The coffee bean behaves in a similar way. Their is a skin that falls off after it heats up and ultimately you begin to hear cracking. This is where personal taste comes into play. Some like their coffee dark roasted like Starbucks. This coffee is usually roasted past 2nd crack. I personally roast my coffee to just the very beginning of 2nd crack. For more details about how to try your luck at home roasting and what roasting level you may like to try, spend a few minutes on this page.
Modifying the popper: I took the entire plastic top of the popper and drilled holes all over it to allow some heat to escape. Running a hot air popper for more than a few minutes gets the plastic hot and can deform the plastic. You can experiment with the heat and if you feel holes are necessary. I did it because I saw someone else do it.
Take a bowl, pour some water into it and then turn on the popper. After about 30 seconds, pour your green beans into the popper just high enough to cover the air vents where the hot air comes out inside the bottom of the chamber. Basically about 6 tablespoons of green beans per roasting batch is all you can do at one time. Quickly after you begin to roast you will see the coffee bean skin blow out of the popper. The bowl with water will catch much of the skin. Carefully watch and listen for first crack. Then, monitor your color preference and listen for the beginning of second crack. The roasting process should last anywhere from 4 to 7 minutes. After you have reached your optimal roasting level, turn off the power and pour the beans onto a cookie sheet or something flat where you can cool the beans down. I used a pizza tray and that seems to work fine for me.
After about 15 minutes of cooling you are ready to make your coffee. Roasting is trial and error but eventually you will get the hang of it and quickly realize that you have been a fool all of these years drinking stale coffee.