Intro

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You may remember we like our coffee around here. Here, here, here, and here. I know, how cliche. Seattlites who like coffee. But I might even say that we out-Seattle many Seattlites. Since we last spoke about coffee we’ve added two more brewing systems to our collection. I believe we are now at seven.

Stepping further into coffee nerd-dom we’ve recently began roasting our own beans. We’re just dabbling but at this rate we’ll be Q graders in no time. Maybe not, but it’s fun to dream.

We’ve had so much fun roasting we wanted to share the process with you. Really, it’s quite simple.

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We begin with a popcorn popper. That’s right. A $15 Presto air popper. I might even go as far as to say it’s the best $15 we’ve ever spent. Fresh roasted coffee AND popcorn. Two of my favorite things. Just add to that silver white winters that melt into springs and the list is complete.

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Then you’ll want to order some high quality green beans. Sweet Maria’s is where we found ours (they come highly recommended). I would also recommend picking up a copy of Home Coffee Roasting by Kenneth Davids.

What’s worked for us so far is to simply fill the “butter melting cup” – the technical name for it – with green beans, pour them into the machine, plug the machine in and wait for the beans to reach our favored color. Gabe tends to prefer a lighter roast which allows you to taste more acid and fruit and I tend to like a darker roast which yields more sweet, chocolate and caramel flavors – of course this also depends on the beans we’re roasting. I typically brew espresso which likes dark roasts.

I found the roasting charts in Home Coffee Roasting to be very useful giving visual and audible cues to when to stop the roasting process. Also, often the notes on your green beans will give you the recommended roast for that particular bean.

It doesn’t always work perfectly – it is a $15 machine after all. For example, lighter beans, such as peaberries tend blow out into the bowl along with the chaff. Then there are the times when the machine is chugging a bit and the beans need a little help from the end of a wooden spoon to keep them moving so they will roast evenly. *Be very careful doing that (I’m sure it’s not recommended – in fact I know it’s not but it’s all in the name of evenly roasted coffee) as the machine gets very hot. Don’t let the spoon touch the bottom. You’ve been warned.

Once the beans reach the desired color immediately dump them out into a strainer and stir to cool quickly. We often will have a fan blowing right on them to stop the roasting as quickly as possible.

Now you have freshly roasted beans ready to brew.

When we first started roasted I had visions of the house being flooded with the glorious smell of freshly roasted coffee. In my dreams neighbors would come pounding on the door with coffee mug in hand begging us for whatever we were brewing. But instead the house often smells of burnt burlap. In fact, so do the freshly roasted beans. But after even just a couple hours of relaxing in a lightly sealed ball jar the dark, earthy and glorious aroma of my dreams takes a hold of me. Oh coffee, how I love thee.

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There you have it, a basic introduction to how we roast at home.

Now please enjoy this beautiful video my talented husband put together to further illustrate the process.

Roasting Coffee from gabe on Vimeo.

A huge thank you to my dear husband and fellow coffee nerd (in fact, he out nerds me) for providing all the visuals today. He is a talent and brews a mean cup o’ joe.

One last thing. We have a NWS first with this post. A GIVEAWAY!!  Somehow in the midst of all the holiday giving we wound up having two air poppers. That’s great news for you because we want to send you one! Just simply leave a comment to enter and we’ll pick a winner Friday, February 4.

*Congratulations!!** Lindsey Cota!! You won!!! Please email me your address and I will send this popper out your way!

*Just a note: I’m not getting paid by Presto for this post. This is just something we love and would love to share with you all. I do, however, make a few pennies if you buy through my Amazon links – which is awesome, thanks!

 

86 Responses to “Simple home coffee roasting”

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Arnold – We just got an Aeropress for Christmas. I like it but it sure doesn’t taste like espresso. Any tips on how to use it? We’re still practicing.

      Reply
  1. alison

    Now you are really my hero!!! I LOVE me some coffee and I am so impressed that your are roasting beans, but not really surprised, you are so talented!!! I think I might have to try this one day!!

    Reply
  2. Melissa

    I never thought of roasting my own coffee and it looks so easy. Gabe’s video was beautiful and you picked great music. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  3. Rachel

    What an awesome idea! As fellow Seattleites, we also adore (which is an understatement) our daily brew. Not to mention popcorn and movies! I definitely will have to try roasting. Thanks for the opportunity!

    Reply
  4. Michelle

    Also being from the PNW – I am a coffee snob. I would love to try roasting at home, I honestly didn’t know it was that easy!

    Reply
  5. melanie

    this is a pretty awesome post, and timely to a discussion we’ve had around my homestead! my bf has suggested that we roast our own beans for premium freshness, but i had no idea it could be this easy! you’ve definitely inspired me. thanks!

    Reply
  6. Wendy K

    I’ve been told by my fellow coffee lovers that once you start roasting your own beans, you’ll never go back. I’ve never heard of doing it in a popcorn popper though, and I love that idea! Do you really notice a difference in the taste of your coffee? I suppose I might have to try it to find out for myself, eh?

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Wendy – Freshly roasted (good quality) beans is one of the most important factors to a good cup o’ joe – doesn’t get much fresher than this. When we do buy beans we buy good stuff just roasted within the week so we don’t notice a huge difference.

      Reply
  7. Melissa

    How fun! I always buy my coffee from local roasters so I can get it as fresh as possible, but it doesn’t get much better than doing it yourself. Can’t wait to try it. Got my fingers crossed to win the air popper!

    Reply
  8. Laken

    I really love this post. My brother has been wanting to start roasting his own beans, so I bought him a popcorn popper but we didn’t know what to do from there. I just shared this video & post with him.. can’t wait to get started!

    Thanks, Ashley!

    Reply
  9. Bunnee

    After a trip to the Big Island, my husband decided to try roasting his own beans. He started small but over the past couple years, he has moved up to a very large coffee roaster. He orders beans from a website that has a wide range of sources – Kona, Africa, South America -and he keeps meticulous records of every batch. I do nothing to help except drink it!

    Reply
  10. Chez Us

    Okay, I have always wanted to learn how to roast coffee beans, was even going to pay money to learn now. Now, I am completely intrigued; I just need a pop corn popper? I am so there!!!

    Reply
  11. Juliya

    Wow. This is amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing. And the video was awesome! I recently came across your blog and I’m so glad I did. Thank you for the awesome recipes and beautiful photos.

    Reply
  12. Danielle

    What a cool idea! I’ve always wanted to be able to roast my own beans, but (poor college student me) hasn’t found a good excuse to invest in one yet.

    Reply
  13. EmilyM

    How neat! I know a few people interested in roasting their own beans and I shared your post with them. I would love to try it sometime!

    Reply
  14. Lindsey Cota

    This is so cool. I have been looking into air poppers recently so I could get back into making popcorn. I had no idea I could roast my own coffee as well! That sounds just delicious!

    Reply
  15. Elizabeth

    This is dangerous. It never occurred to me to roast my own beans. Danger, danger, danger. And I thought I was a Seattleite!

    Reply
  16. Elle

    Wow, I’m floored! I had no clue you could do it this way. In fact, when I clicked on the link, I was expecting to see you guys use a Whirly Pop type thing, with the pan and the handle that stirs in the pot. This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while! Also love the photos and video.

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Elle – We have used a Whirly Pop as well. It works pretty good. The benefit is that you can do more coffee at one time but we also got more scorching with it than the air popper.

      Reply
  17. Bre

    Both my boyfriend and I have worked at Starbucks at some point, and since then, have realized the importance of GOOD smaller coffee shops… from time to time we make a point of straying away from the “corporate” roasts and venture out to independent roasters! My love for coffee hasn’t stemmed from the addictive caffeine (I think??) but from the sheer joy that a chat over a perfectly free-poured latte in a ceramic bowl can bring. Nothing beats the culture of coffee! Thanks for this tip! We will for sure try it out!

    Reply
  18. Sarah Hope

    I’m not going to lie, I’ve been itching for an air popper for a little while but just haven’t committed. Your using it to roast coffee is rather ingenious!

    Reply
  19. Anne

    I would love to give this method a try with an air-popper! I’ve just been converted to the pour-over method and it would be so much fun to try roasting too…
    Great post!

    Reply
  20. tracy

    oooh air poppers! my brother and i were just talking about air poppers and how he got burned by a kernel as a kid (and our parents threw it away after that happened) that was a sad because we thoroughly loved the popcorn it made. Love this post! My husband is the coffee geek of the family too. Hooray for that.

    Reply
  21. cathy

    Would love to win a popcorn popper on February 4th! That would make a wonderful present for my birthday on February 5th!
    Love the site, by the way!

    Reply
  22. Katie

    What a great video! I love this idea and I never thought about the possibility of using a popcorn popper! Love, love, love!

    Reply
  23. Rita

    What a great idea! I love gadgets you can use for more than one thing, saves some space in my tiny kitchen.

    Reply
  24. Julie

    I woke up this morning thinking I want to get an air popper. Seriously I mean it!! My daughter and I did our usual popcorn/movie night and I am trying to eat healthier but I was thinking we could do better than microwave popcorn. Anyway I woke up this morning and after my morning thoughts which I already shared I got up to read my blogs… with coffee I might add when I linked to your blog from vanilla and lace… roasting your own coffee caught my eye. Sounds like a great idea. I am always trying to make a better cup of coffee. Well I just had to give this a shot because it was too coincidental for me. Great Blog by the way. Another one to add to my feeds. I love video demos too!!

    Reply
  25. Catherine

    Roasting your own coffee sounds wonderful–what’s it like in espresso form? (I assume that with seven brewing systems, an espresso machine must be lurking in there somewhere).

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Catherine – Oh yes. I have a very beautiful Rancillio Silvia espresso machine. I adore her. Her name is Silvia.
      If the beans are for espresso I just prefer they be a darker roast.

      Reply
  26. honeybeeluvsjackfruit

    Very innovative! I love coffee too, am often disappointed at coffee shops (did find one local gem that roasts its own beans though!) but havent tried roasting my own at home. Great idea with the popper :)
    The video was nicely done… and love the song.

    Reply
  27. Adam

    I first have to thank you for bringing joy to my wife everyday. She comes home from work explaining the new recipe, goal, or experiment with so much joy and excitement that it always blows me away. I always tell her that you two are the same person, just separated by a lot of land in between (we live in MA). We have always had a passion for experimenting with local produce and learning new ways to create everyday necessities (i.e. coffee). We started with a CSA (learning to cook with root vegetables was difficult at first) and then recently by making our own beer and have always hoped to roast our own coffee beans. We love your blog and are so thankful for your inspiration!

    Reply
  28. Tony Della Ripa

    COFFEE!!! I love it, I can’t wait to roast it, grind it, drop some hot water on it, and drink it!

    Reply
  29. Kelly

    I have to tell you that the Cold Brew Coffee method you blogged a while back is in my constant summer rotation and this may be joining it!!!

    Reply

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