Beginners Guide: How To Roast Coffee Beans at Home

What is coffee bean roasting? Simply put, it's the process of heating green coffee beans until they turn brown and develop their characteristic flavour and aroma. But why roast your own beans when you can easily buy them already roasted?

There are several compelling reasons to roast your own coffee beans, and in this article, we will explain exactly why, and more importantly, how to roast coffee beans.


I - The Benefits of Roasting your own Coffee Beans

II - The Roasting Process

III - What You Will Need and How to Roast at Home

IV - The Importance of Using High Quality Coffee Beans

V - Different Roast Levels

VI - How to Store Roasted Coffee Beans Correctly

V - FAQ's


The Benefits of Roasting your own Coffee Beans

While roasting your own coffee may seem daunting, it's a surprisingly simple and rewarding process that elevates your coffee experience to new heights. For those with a passion for coffee, the satisfaction of crafting your own unique blends and savouring the freshest, most flavourful cups is well worth the effort. Roasting your own coffee gives you unparalleled control over the entire process, from selecting the bean origins to determining the roast level, producing a coffee that perfectly suits your taste.

The Roasting Process

Preparation: measure out the desired amount of green coffee beans and spread them evenly on a roasting tray for consistent roasting.

1) Drying phase

Gradually increase the heat to dry the beans and remove excess moisture, preventing cracking and ensuring even roasting.

2) Maillard reaction

As the temperature rises, the maillard reaction takes place, causing the beans to turn yellow and develop their characteristic sweetness and aroma.

3) First crack

At around 350f, the beans will emit a crackling sound known as the first crack, marking the transition from a light roast to a medium roast.

4) Second crack

As roasting continues, the beans will produce a louder crack at around 400f, indicating the start of a dark roast.

5) Cooling

Once the desired roast level is achieved, rapidly cool the beans to halt further roasting and preserve their flavours

6) Resting

Allow the roasted beans to rest for 24-48 hours to fully develop their flavours and mellow out.

What You Will Need and How to Roast at Home

There are three ways to roast coffee beans at home; 1) in a pan, 2) in an oven or 3) with a home roasting machine. For most people two of these options will be readily available so well start with those.

1) Pan Roasting

For a straightforward approach, use a pan over medium-high heat. Stir the beans continuously for about seven minutes at 200 degrees celsius. Rest the roasted beans for at least two days before brewing. There is a slight drawback to this method, in that often many of the more delicate flavours and aromas are lost from the beans and the end result while delicious, can be more limited in its flavour profile.

2) Oven Roasting

A little more technical than above, you will need to preheat the oven to 250 degrees celsius and spread the beans on a tray (perforated ideally). Roast for about 12 minutes, occasionally stirring for even roasting. Ventilate the room to avoid lingering coffee aromas.

3) Home Roaster

For the most convenient and efficient method (but expensive compared to methods listed above), invest in a home *roasting machine. Simply add your desired beans, select the preferred roast level, and let the machine handle the rest.

Always remember to use a sieve after the home roasting methods to remove chaff, keeping the beans clean.

*There are plenty of home coffee roasting kits online to choose from and to suit all budgets.

The Importance of Using High Quality Coffee Beans

Like anything, the best results require the best materials. Coffee beans are not different. The higher the quality of bean, the better, more complex, and fuller flavour the flavour will be. Quality beans derive from how and where the beans are grown and harvested - an involved process that you can find out more about here.

Different Roast Levels

Here is a round up in brief of the flavours and aromas that different roasting levels produce. Discover more about our roasting process.

Light Roast:

  • Light brown colour
  • Produces delicate flavours with bright acidity and can produce hints of fruit

Medium Roast:

  • Richer brown colour
  • Produces a balanced flavour with moderate acidity and can produce hints of chocolate and caramel

Medium-Dark Roast:

  • Darker brown colour
  • Creates a sweeter flavoured coffee with reduced acidity and can produce hints of roasted nuts and dark chocolate

Dark Roast:

  • Deep brown to almost black colour
  • Creates intense flavours with very low acidity and can highlight notes of roasted nuts, chocolate, and even smoke

How to Store Roasted Coffee Beans Correctly

Once you've carefully roasted and rested your coffee beans, it's time to store them properly. Roasted coffee beans are delicate and dont like moisture, light, air, or most temperatures. To prolong their life, youll need an airtight container made from an unreactive material like plastic. Keep your coffee beans in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Grind them only when youre ready to brew, and store smaller quantities in airtight containers for everyday use. Label and remember to date your coffee containers to keep track of their freshness.


Is it difficult to roast coffee beans at home?

Roasting coffee beans at home is surprisingly simple and can be done with basic equipment. While traditional methods involve roasting beans over a fire, there are now various home roasting techniques, such as using a pan, oven, or even a dedicated home coffee roaster.

How long does it take to roast coffee beans?

The roasting time for coffee beans depends on the desired roast level, the equipment and the method used. It's always a good idea to start with a shorter roasting time and gradually increase it. Here's a general guideline for roasting times at home: light roast: 8-9 minutes medium roast: 9-11 minutes medium-dark roast: 11-12 minutes dark roast: 12-15 minutes

Is it worth roasting coffee beans?

Absolutely, it is always worth trying! Its a lot of fun, it opens up a world of taste possibilities and it is immensely satisfying to take the beans from their green raw form right through to a complete cup of coffee we should know here at Stokes we've been doing just that for over 120 years!

You might also be interested in these:

- How do Coffee Beans Grow?

- How is Coffee Decaffeinated?

- All About a Barista