At some point, you might decide to start roasting your own coffee beans. Before you do, you might so many questions on your mind. We’ve answered 13 questions that most people have about coffee roasters.
These will help make your decision about home roasting way lot easier.
13 Frequently Asked Questions To Coffee Roasters
1. What does a coffee roaster do?
A coffee roaster transforms the chemical and physical properties of green coffee beans into roasted coffee products. The roasting process is what produces the characteristic flavor of coffee by causing the green coffee beans to change in taste.
The vast majority of coffee is roasted commercially on a large scale, but small-scale commercial roasting has grown significantly. Some coffee drinkers even roast coffee at home as a hobby in order to both experiment with the flavor profile of the beans and ensure the freshest possible roast.
2. What Happens During the Coffee Roasting Process?
Green coffee changes drastically during the roasting process.
When you roast coffee, moisture is forced out of the bean, causing it to dry and expand. During the process, some of the natural sugars are converted into CO2 gas while others are caramelized into some of the flavors that help form the complex flavors in the coffee.
When the process is complete, the green bean will transform into a brown bean that is about 18% lighter while being 50 to 100% larger. As soon as the roasting process is complete, the coffee begins to “Degas,” and in as little as a week or two, the roasted coffee will have already begun to lose some of its flavor and aromas.
3. How does roasting affect coffee flavor?
The degree to which coffee beans are roasted is one of the most important factors that determine the taste of the coffee in the cup.
Before roasting, green coffee beans are soft, with a fresh smell and little or no taste. The coffee roasting process transforms these raw beans into the distinctively aromatic, flavorful, crunchy beans that we recognize as coffee. Other factors, of course, enter into the complex equation that determines your coffee's taste.
Two coffee varieties, from different countries of origin or grown in different environments, are likely to taste quite different even when roasted to the same level (especially at light to medium roast levels).
The age of the coffee, the processing method, the grind, and the brewing method will also affect the taste. But the roast level provides a baseline, a rough guide to the taste you can expect.
Light roasts are light brown in color, with a light body and no oil on the surface of the beans. Light roasts have a toasted grain taste and pronounced acidity. The origin flavors of the bean are retained to a greater extent than in darker roasted coffees.
Light roasts also retain most of the caffeine from the coffee bean.
Medium roasted coffees are medium brown in color with more body than light roasts. Like the lighter roasts, they have no oil on the bean surfaces. However, medium roasts lack the grainy taste of the light roasts, exhibiting more balanced flavor, aroma, and acidity.
Caffeine is somewhat decreased, but there is more caffeine than in darker roasts. Medium roasts reach internal temperatures between 410°F and 428°F between the end of the first crack and just before the beginning of the second crack.
Read more: MEDIUM ROAST COFFEE BEANS - SMOOTH OPERATOR
Dark roasted coffees are dark brown in color, like chocolate, or sometimes almost black. They have the sheen of oil on the surface, which is usually evident in the cup when the dark roast coffee is brewed.
The coffee origin flavors are eclipsed by the flavors of the roasting process. The coffee will generally have a bitter and smoky or even burnt taste. The amount of caffeine is substantially decreased.
To reach the level of a dark roast, coffee beans are roasted to an internal temperature of 465-480°F about the end of the second crack or beyond. They are seldom roasted to a temperature exceeding 490°F, at which point the body of the beans is thin and the taste is characterized by flavors of tar and charcoal.
- As coffee roasts get darker, they lose the origin flavors of the beans and take on more flavors from the roasting process.
- The body of the coffee gets heavier, until the second crack, where the body again thins.
- Lighter roasts have more acidity than darker roasts.
- Lightly roasted beans are dry, while darker roasts develop oil on the bean surface.
- The caffeine level decreases as the roast gets darker.
Ultimately, it is all about the taste, the flavor, the aroma. You may prefer a lighter roast in the morning (with more caffeine) and a darker one later in the day. Coffee, including the optimal roast level, is a personal preference. What's yours?
Read More: SIN CITY - MEDIUM DARK ROAST BLEND
4. Can you roast coffee at home?
One of the best ways you could ever hope to enjoy coffee is by roasting it yourself. When you roast coffee at home, you guarantee that every cup of coffee you make will be fresh and, with a little practice, you can ensure that it is roasted exactly to your taste.
It is important to understand the process from start to finish so you can better understand how your roasting can impact the flavors of your coffee. Pre-roasted coffee can be delicious, but even the best coffee beans begin to lose the best part of their rich flavor and aroma just a few moments after roasting.
If you’re ready for the ultimate home coffee experience, it’s time to heat things up with a coffee roaster of your very own and enjoy a fresher, tastier cup.
5. What is the best coffee roaster for the home?
Here are the top 3 coffee roasters we found are the best on the market and offer the features you need to start roasting at home.
Nesco CR-10-10-PR Coffee Bean Roaster
The Nesco CR-10-10-PR also has advanced smoke and odor control to keep you from feeling like an extra on the set of Backdraft while you roast. With an easy-load roasting chamber and simple, straightforward menu controls, this machine is a strong choice if you’re new to home coffee roasting or stepping up from a popcorn machine or manual model.
Behmor Plus Customizable Drum Coffee Roaster
If you ever admired the drum roaster, and the amazing smells wafting from it, at your favorite java joint then you certainly will love bringing home this tumbling wonder from Behmor. Roughly the size of a small microwave, this machine is a bit larger than less expensive coffee roasters.
In exchange, however, it lets you roast 1 lb. (454 g) of coffee beans in a single batch. If you’re brewing and drinking, a lot of coffee each week, this model will save you time and effort. It has smoke suppression technology built right in, along with five different roast cycles and light so you can watch your beans while they’re getting nice and brown.
Fresh Roast SR500 Automatic Coffee Bean Roaster
Make a wee bit of room on your counter for the Fresh Roast SR500. It has a small footprint but big features, including a variable-speed fan and three different temperature settings. This model will roast 4 oz. (90 g) of coffee in a single batch.
That’s 21 cups of coffee, give or take, so you can still invite a few friends over without worrying about having to store a bunch of extra coffee. Add in simple controls and easy-to-clean components, and you’ve got a coffee roaster that’s a perfect fit for smaller coffee creation stations.
Read more: Best Home Coffee Machines
6. How much is a coffee roaster? Amazon
Prices of a good roaster vary. On Amazon, prices start from and low as $30 to $500 USD
7. What roast of coffee is the strongest?
This can be debated but caffeine level decreases as the roast gets darker meaning light is stronger.
8. What coffee roast has the most caffeine?
There is a popular myth floating around that dark roasts have more caffeine than light roasts. Unlike the myth of the Loch Ness monster (oh, it's real), dark roasts do not have more caffeine than light roasts.
Many coffee know-it-alls say that lighter roasts have the most caffeine, but they are wrong as well. Bean for bean, both roasts has about the same amount of caffeine, though it is a bit more complicated than that.
When beans are roasted, they lose some of their mass, so dark-roasted beans, which have been cooked longer, weigh less than light-roasted beans. Therefore, a pound of the dark roast will have slightly more beans than a pound of light roast.
9. Can I make money roasting coffee?
Yes, you can make money from roasting coffee.
Start small by offering your coffee blends to family and friends to sample, and see which ones they like best. Then you can start selling your coffee to them. You can also offer your blends to local coffee shops and restaurants, or even your local flea market.
You can make a business out of coffee roasting.
10. How do I roast my own coffee beans?
You will need a few supplies to help you perform the roast properly at home
- Green Coffee – Depending on where you live this could be the most difficult part of your roasting process. Check with your local coffee shops or look to see if there are any roasters in your area that sell unroasted coffee beans.
- Roaster – There are many different types of roasters out there.
- Storage – Once you roast your coffee, you will need a place to store it until you use it. Remember, the more airtight the better. But even the best container won’t stop the coffee from losing its flavor and aroma after about a week if it isn’t used.
11. Can you roast coffee in the oven?
There are many ways to roast coffee at home. One of the most basic and least expensive methods is the oven.
Yes, you can easily roast your own coffee at home using an oven. It doesn’t make the brightest, most flavorful coffee, but it works. If you’ve never home roasted coffee before, you may be impressed with the outcome.
12. How do you roast beans at home?
Diving into the world of home roasting is incredibly easy.
Choose the home roasting method you feel most comfortable with out of the following:
- Roast in a pan/grill
- Roast in an oven
- Roast in a popcorn machine
- Roast in a purpose-built home roasting machine
What never changes, is the roasting process:
- Beans get hot
- Beans get roasted
- Beans get cool
- Beans get delicious
It’s a simple process with some necessary steps to note along the way to guarantee great results. These important steps hold true for every roasting method.
Let's take a quick look at what happens during roasting, and after roasting, so that you know what's going on while the magic is happening:
- Temperature: 350F to 500F is the widely accepted temperature range. This varies depending on the roasting method you’re using
- Agitation: Your beans can never rest and roast! Constant stirring ensures an even distribution of heat, and thus an even roast
- First Crack: After 3 to 5 minutes the beans will produce an audible crack. This crack indicates that your beans are lightly roasted and ideal for white coffee. This the minimum amount of time required to produce roasted beans. Continue roasting and agitating for darker roasts
- Second Crack: After a few more minutes another crack is heard. This second crack indicates a medium roast. A few more minutes of roasting and your beans will be burnt and unusable. Experiment with times to find your favourite roast
- Tip: We usually wait roughly 30 seconds after hearing the second crack
Cool Down: Transfer beans to a metal colander or baking paper to cool. Use two metal colanders (plastic can melt). Shake and transfer your roasted beans between colanders. This cools the beans quickly and removes the chaff.
Spread evenly over the baking paper to substitute for a metal colander. This method is not as effective
- Remove Chaff: Chaff is the dried husk of the coffee bean. It is very messy. Cool your beans down outside or in the sink to reduce clean-up
13. What is a coffee roaster job?
A coffee roaster is responsible for the quality and efficiency in roasting coffee beans to perfection.
These frequently asked questions list and answer about coffee roasters will help you to get the best-roasted coffee near you.