Cheaper, richer and tastier coffee: How to roast your beans at home – CNET


It’s hard to beat the taste of coffee beans that you roast yourself.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

For many, coffee is not just a luxury, it is a habit that gives coffee structure and satisfaction daily routine. With states To instruct them to stay indoors most of the day and even Starbucks shops close for pedestrian trafficYou will probably make more coffee yourself. Now you have the opportunity to improve your skills and roast your own coffee right at home.

Green coffee stays on the shelf for years and still keeps its taste. Only when you bring in intense heat during the roasting process, the powerful coffee essence is released and slowly begins to fade. However, if you roast your own beans, you can stock up on raw products in large quantities and only roast as much as you need in the short term. In a way, it’s the perfect one Quarantine staple.

In addition, freshly roasted coffee is incredibly tasty compared to the standard variety that is usually months old, even the whole roasted beans, bought in the shop.

Unroasted or green coffee also costs less, saving you money in the long run. In fact, you can buy green coffee for just $ 4 to $ 5 a pound. Sure, the idea of ​​roasting at home may sound intimidating at first, but the profits are huge. Here’s how to get started.

These are raw or green coffee beans that have not been roasted.

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From raw to roasted coffee

With sufficient thermal energy for green coffee, the hard structure of a bean disintegrates and releases its complex mixture of contents. This cocktail contains everything from water to sugar, proteins, fats and caffeine.

The high temperature during chemical roasting changes many of these compounds (e.g. by caramelizing sugar and oxidizing lipids, proteins and starches) and ultimately produces what we expect to smell and taste in freshly roasted coffee.

Gather the tools and hardware you need for this project.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Build a backyard roaster

You can easily build a coffee roaster from inexpensive items that you can buy in a hardware store or a kitchen shop. Here is a list of the parts I used.

First, drill a hole through the center of each sieve’s base using a 3-eighth-inch metal drill. Then screw a nut and a wing nut onto one end of the threaded rod (approximately half) and slide a washer over the rod from the opposite side. Then slide one of the screens with the open side up through the drill hole next to the washer onto the rod. Follow with another washer and two normal nuts and tighten all nuts so the strainer is tight.

In the same way, attach the other strainer to the bar with the edges of the bowls facing each other. Leave a space of 6 inches between the two jars, hold the bar upright and put your green coffee in the lower strainer. It’s a 5-liter model with plenty of room for the 1-pound batches. I suggest you fry. Finally, slide the second strainer down to close the gap and tighten the nuts.

The roaster you have built should rest over the burners and be able to turn freely around the threaded rod.

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Prepare your grill

I suggest using a gas grill to roast coffee. These grills have reactive burners that run on propane. This makes it easier to control the inside temperature compared to charcoal grills. First remove the grillage, the heat diffuser (bar or pan) and the heat stand. If your grill has a slot for a rotisserie accessory, use this opening to place the threaded rod over the burners. If not, place the bar over the sides of the hood with the hood open. (Many grill hoods have sections cut out on the side to make room for accessory brackets when closed. Align the rod so that it matches these gaps.)

Your roaster should now be hung and centered over the burners of the grill. To rotate the device, connect an electric drill to one end of the roaster bar as if it were a drill and tighten the drill jaws.

Use a cordless drill as a motor to turn your roaster.

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An adjustable hose clamp that is wrapped around the drill trigger is an easy way to apply constant pressure and rotate the roaster drum at a constant speed. Aim for 120 RPM (I count the revs for 30 seconds and then double the number).

This is quick for a rotisserie motor (10 to 55 rpm), but easy for a drill (600 to 1,500 rpm). The goal is to mix the beans quickly enough so that the heat hits them evenly, yet slowly enough to minimize stress on the drill bit and avoid loosening nuts and washers.

Fill your roaster with raw coffee beans.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Roast, baby, roast

How long a roast will take depends heavily on factors such as the type of coffee, the heat of your roaster and whether you want a light, medium or dark roast. As a general guideline, expect a small amount of beans (1 pound or less) to take around 10 minutes.

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Turn on your grill burner and start roasting.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

First start the grill and turn the burner to maximum. Close the hood so that the grill cavity warms up. When the grill thermometer reaches 400 degrees Fahrenheit, set the burner to medium. Next, put green coffee in the drum, pull the two halves of the sieve together, insert the rod carefully and start rotating.

Now you can close the hood, keeping your ears, nose and eyes open to monitor what’s going on inside. It’s okay to get a few quick glances, but open the hood too often and you risk losing vital heat. Ideally, you want to keep the temperatures in the roaster constant between 400 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Since it is difficult to mount a heat sensor in a rotating roaster, just use your grill’s built-in thermometer instead.

Pay close attention to what you see, hear and smell when the beans roast.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Pay attention to the pop and don’t burn your beans

The first change is visible when the beans change from a jumbled green to yellow to a darker shade of gold. When the inside temperature of the beans approaches and exceeds the boiling point of water, steam is formed and trapped water struggles to escape.

When the time finally comes, the coffee beans start to crack with an audible bang. In the so-called “first crack”, the beans split in the middle and swell. At this point, your beans are technically roasted, but they have a light acid on the edge of the acid. Drinking coffee from this roasting level is perfectly fine, but to develop a traditional coffee taste you have to go a little further.

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Roasting coffee beans definitely creates a lot of smoke. So it’s best to do this outdoors.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

When the temperature rises (435 to 445 Fahrenheit), fats, sugars and proteins are broken down. The beans are now roasting seriously. Be careful at this stage as the pace of these reactions will accelerate. If you are not careful, you will have burned beans in no time.

When gases, including CO2 (carbon dioxide), form, they cause another round of persistent snapshots called the “second crack”. The beans then release oils that give them a shiny, shiny appearance. If you roast longer, the beans will turn dark brown and even border on black. This creates dark roasts like French roasts.

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Transfer the just roasted coffee beans to another jar. An additional metal sieve is sufficient.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Cool things off

When you have reached the desired degree of roasting, switch off the grill and the gas and quickly put the roasted coffee beans from the roaster into a metal pan. Remember to use heat-resistant gloves or potholders to handle the device.

Set the pan and contents aside for 24 hours to allow the beans to cool. As long as they don’t smoke, you can do it inside. Technically, you can brew coffee from these beans. However, it is best to wait another 24 hours. Freshly roasted coffee usually emits CO2 gas, which can create funky aromas. Finally, keep your roast in an airtight container, a special valve bag, or at least a zippered bag.

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Atomo: coffee without coffee beans


Brew, sip and optimize

Congratulations! They have made raw green coffee the essential ingredient for the preparation of a uniquely delicious drink. Of course, you need a high quality brewery and grinder to take advantage of all the coffee taste. And if the joe you made isn’t what you want, there are countless ways to optimize the roasting process to get a result that better suits your taste.

Even with the same type of coffee, changing the roasting level will greatly change the aromas that ultimately end up in your cup. And just wait until you start experimenting with beans and blends from exotic areas. Better hold on to your mug.

For more tips on making better coffee at home or fun projects to pass the time in the self-quarantine, see how to make wine in your instant pot, how to prevent bread from getting stale and Clean your oven without harsh chemicals.