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To Roast or Not to Roast Your Own Coffee

Updated on October 25, 2009

Straight from the coffee growers, coffee arrives as a bright green bean. That green bean, if brewed, would produce the most bitter, sour, and probably most foul-tasting liquid. The whole goal of roasting coffee beans is to draw out the delicious and robust coffee aroma as we know it, and minimize the characteristic bitterness and acidity which in moderation we know and love.

Roasting draws out flavors

As coffee-drinkers start to relish the variety of coffee flavors, artisan roasters or gourmet roasters have been on the rise in the past years. While the coffee bean spectrum is no where near the size of wine grape spectrum—as its limited to two main species of Arabica and Robusta, the coffee flavor spectrum, however, is becoming as intensely complexified and analyzed. Thanks to roasting, that is. Roasting draws out the much-loved coffee flavors. Coffee roasters roast anywhere from first crack to just after the second crack to reign in a rainbow of flavors.

Variety of roasted coffee beans from light to dark.
Variety of roasted coffee beans from light to dark.
Perfectly roasted espresso-roast beans.
Perfectly roasted espresso-roast beans.

Home-roasting your own coffee beans

For home-roasting your own coffee beans you could choose to pan-roast, oven-roast, or use in an electric roaster. Whichever method you choose, there are a few tips that are important for whatever method. First, the beans need to be stirred so that all beans are evenly roasted. You want to avoid burning the beans and constant stirring will help you avoid this. Second, the beans must be heated up to a certain temperature. Some guides state that anywhere from 370 F to 540 F will yield the perfect coffee bean. Other guides state that ending the roasting anywhere from the first initial pop to just after the second pop will produce delicious coffee. And finally, the beans must be immediately cooled to stop the roasting process. Spread out the freshly roasted beans on a heat-conductive surface that will help pull the heat away from the beans. For more tips on roasting coffee beans at home check out this coffee roasting guide.

Delicious roast alternatives for the DIY-shy

Short of roasting your own coffee, there are quality gourmet roasts available from top coffee suppliers. If you’re completely opposite of the DIY-types who love cultivating their own cups of joe from the raw green bean but you still appreciate delicate gourmet roasted flavors, you should look into one-cup brewers and their selection of coffees. Currently Keurig is dominating the market with a huge diversity of coffee roasts. The variety of Keurig coffees—which are pre-roasted, pre-ground, and individually vacuum-packed for the freshest taste—is absolutely astounding. Check out various Keurig sites to find descriptions of the flavors that variety roasting styles draw out of these coffees. On websites of Green Mountain Coffee or Greatcoffee, you can navigate these coffee descriptions to discover the varying levels of bitterness, sweetness, aroma, body and finish that is produced by the roast intensity. Check out discount coffee retailers for more information on Keurig and Keurig coffees.

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    • globalcoffeegrind profile image

      globalcoffeegrind 8 years ago

      Awesome to hear, Matilda! Thanks!

    • Matilda T profile image

      Matilda T 8 years ago

      Well done hub. Love the pictures.