How to Roast Coffee Beans at Home: A Basic Guide

What could be better than mastering the art of coffee bean roasting? It's a rhetorical question because, in our opinion, there's nothing better than mastering the art of homemade coffee roasting.

When you know how the coffee is roasted, you can better appreciate the science and art that go into making the perfect cup of coffee. As an added bonus, you can control the roasting time and temperature to make your coffee exactly how you like it, whether that's a light or dark roast.

We at Home Grounds are huge fans of home roasting, and we're passionate about promoting it. Many people have started out with the intention of trying home roasting just once, but ended up becoming committed enthusiasts. It's a hunger for knowledge that will never be satisfied. Follow our easy steps for the best home-brewed coffee. In this article, we'll go over all of the available options, discuss their benefits and drawbacks, and help you choose the strategy that's right for you.

ways to roast coffee beans at home

When do I need to have what in order to begin?

Choosing the best green coffee beans and roasting them at home has a lot going for it, and the best part is that you can do it with very little investment. The time it takes to begin roasting depends on the method you choose and the equipment you have on hand.

Watch this short video to get a grasp on the basics before you get started. In just a few short minutes, you'll increase your chances of success:

Methods for beginning the process of roasting coffee at home, in 4 steps

Beginning your own roasting at home is a breeze. Select the approach that best fits your needs:

  1. Cook on a stovetop or grill until browned.
  2. BAKE until golden brown
  3. Popcorn-oven roast
  4. Use an in-home coffee roaster designed for the task.

To obtain fresh beans at a low cost, roast them in a pan or oven. However, a popcorn machine or a dedicated coffee roaster will get you the best results thanks to their ease of use and reliability.

This video will teach you how to roast coffee beans on a shoestring:

The cost difference between a popcorn machine and a coffee roaster, however, can be substantial. While you can find brand new popcorn machines for as little as $20, a good home roaster can start at around $500 and go up dramatically from there. Machines in this price range can be found for as little as $150, but they are typically of lower quality and have a shorter lifespan.

Investing in a high-quality machine is essential if you plan to roast your own coffee beans regularly.

Note of Caution

  • Popcorn is the only thing popcorn machines can reliably pop. The warranty will be nullified if you use a popcorn popper to roast coffee, and the machine may stop working after only a few months of use. In addition, not all popcorn makers can be used to roast beans.
  • Ensure that your popcorn popper heats evenly on all sides. To avoid scorching the bottom of your coffee, never use a bottom-heating roaster. The roast will be undercooked and uneven, and the accumulation of chaff poses a fire hazard.
  • Never leave your popcorn machine unattended without first clearing out the chaff.

If it's in your price range, invest in a coffee roasting machine. The resulting roast is typically superior to that produced by a popcorn machine, and since these devices are designed specifically for the task at hand, they tend to last for much longer.

Microwave roasting is the only cooking method we don't go over here. Although this technique can be used to roast beans, the subpar results and inconsistencies it produces make it unsuitable for our purposes. If you're going to roast in the comfort of your own home, try one of the four alternatives we've provided.

It's easy, and if you follow our instructions you'll have a great roast every time.

Learn About the Roasting Method

All four of these methods can be done at home, and we've included detailed instructions for doing so below. To a certain extent, how you roast will depend on the technique you employ.

The method remains the same, however:

  1. It's a fact that beans get scalding
  2. When beans are roasted, they become more digestible.
  3. Beans chill out
  4. The bean flavor improves
Coffee Bean Stages During Roast

It's a straightforward procedure, but there are a few important details to keep in mind along the way to ensure successful outcomes. These fundamental procedures are necessary for any technique.

So that you can witness the magic as it unfolds, let's take a quick look at what occurs during and after roasting:


  • The generally accepted temperature range is between 175C and 260C (350F to 500F). Method plays a role here, so the answer will change.
  • Constant upheaval prevents your beans from settling down to a nice, even roast. Maintaining a consistent roast requires constant stirring to ensure even heating.
  • The first audible crack will come from the beans after 3–5 minutes. Indicative of a lightly roasted bean, suitable for white coffee, this crack is a good sign. This is the bare minimum time needed to make a batch of roasted beans. If you want darker roasts, keep roasting and stirring.
  • The sound of a second crack can be heard a few minutes later. This split suggests a roasting temperature of about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You can't afford to roast the beans for too much longer, or they'll be completely ruined. You can try different roasting times to find your preferred method.
  • Advice: After the second crack, we wait about 30 seconds.
  • Remove the beans from the heat and place them in a metal colander or on a sheet of baking paper. To avoid melting plastic, use two metal colanders. Stir your roasted beans around in a couple of colanders and give them a good shake. The beans cool rapidly and the chaff is easily shaken off.
    Instead of using a metal colander, simply spread out on a sheet of baking paper. This strategy is not as efficient.
  • Chaff must be eliminated; it is the coffee bean's dried husk. The situation is extremely untidy. Put the beans in the refrigerator, the freezer, or the sink to cool them down and minimize dishes.

You'll develop the necessary "feel" (and "eye") through repeated practice. Here's a good video to get you started:

Chemistry, After the Roast

The Maillard reaction, triggered by roasting coffee beans, is a fantastic chemical transformation.

In the roasting process, raw bean compounds are converted into roasted bean compounds, a process that involves the addition of over 800 compounds (1).

Colored plant compounds like chlorophyll, anthocyanins, etc., begin to decompose in the first few minutes of roasting [...] accompanied by subtle shifts in aroma from grassy to more toast/popcorn notes.

For this reason, roasted beans cannot be compared to the aroma and flavor of raw beans. There is potential for change in the compounds found in the beans.

The process of gas (CO2) release from roasted beans continues for weeks ( 2 ) after roasting. What's the big deal, anyway?

  • Roasted coffee beans are naturally preserved by carbon dioxide, which displaces oxygen.
  • Because of oxidation, beans become unusable. Their freshness quickly fades.
  • Extra crema from coffee beans containing too much carbon dioxide is undesirable.
  • Reduced CO2 levels result in flat coffee flavor.

For degassing, it's recommended to leave sealed containers open for 12 hours.

  • If you put freshly roasted beans in storage too soon after roasting, the CO2 pressure will cause the beans to explode. This could cause your container's lid to explode, resulting in spillage and possible breakage.
  • Coffee beans with excessive levels of carbon dioxide have an off taste. Please allow some time for the gas in your beans to dissipate.
  • Conflicting viewpoints Several hours up to several days Our research has shown that 12 hours is a good benchmark. While it's possible that this won't be the case for you, it's important to do what does.

The Post-Roasting Process: Grinding and Storing

  • Coffee should be ground and brewed the following day. It takes a day for beans to fully develop and mature into their flavor.
  • Put beans in an airtight container and consume them within a week.
  • In regards to coffee, freshness is key. If you keep your roasted beans for longer than a week, the oxidation process will cause them to go stale.

The First Steps

White Coffee Beans

All right, enough with the chemistry for now; you're here to learn how to roast your own beans at home; with any luck, you'll be roasting like a pro in no time if you just follow these instructions!

Get Some Green Beans, Number One

The seeds, or "beans," are the first step in the process. Beans that have recently been harvested are bright green. As they dry, they lighten by a few shades. Once roasted, they undergo a metamorphosis into the familiar warm brown colors we associate with being delicious.

Consistency is the key to making great coffee. Pick out beans that are the same size and color, as this will result in a roast that is uniform in color and flavor. It is crucial to get the two factors, color and size, right to avoid producing coffee with inconsistent and unfavorable flavor ( 3 ).

Coffee tastes the same every time because it is roasted consistently, which is appreciated by both baristas and customers.

Method 2: Roasting

To put it simply, this is where the magic occurs. Follow our step-by-step instructions for any one of these four approaches and your beans will be the freshest and tastiest you've ever had.

In the following paragraphs, we will demonstrate how to roast using a variety of household appliances, including a frying pan, an oven, a popcorn maker, and a dedicated roaster. ​

Methods of Cooking on a Grill or a Pan

This method is widely used in the home coffee roasting community because nearly everyone has a pan or grill lying around.

There are many instructional videos available online; however, it's important to exercise caution when selecting a source of information, as many do-it-yourself roasters overcook their beans when following this method.

Make sure you're not using a coated or nonstick pan. The flavor will suffer if you do that.

  • Beans for making green coffee
  • Uncoated cast-iron, steel, or other thick pan.
  • Cooking device that generates heat; gas grill is preferred.
  • Two metal strainers
  • Oven mitts
  • Utensil made of wood
  • Sealed container for storing items

In Brief

The correct roasting time is

12 hours 15 minutes

Beans roasted on a grill or in a pan, and how to do it

  1. Ventilation should be increased as much as possible. If you want to get some fresh air in, open the windows and turn on the fan. Smells and smokes (both good and bad) are in the cards. You shouldn't grill indoors if you don't want to drive your neighbors crazy.
  2. Set a heavy pot over medium heat. Usually, a temperature of about 450 degrees Fahrenheit is all that's needed.
    • It can be challenging to find the optimal temperature the first time around. Try different things until you find the perfect temperature
    • A gas stove or grill will make it much simpler to set and maintain the desired temperature.
  3. Put some beans in the bottom of the skillet. A sufficient amount for easy stirring.
  4. Never Stop Mixing Don't ever let the pressure drop Be sure to heat them uniformly.
  5. If you wait for 4-5 minutes, you should hear the first crack. The beans are now at a medium roast.
  6. Keep an ear out for the second crack after 6-7 minutes. A second crack in the beans a few minutes later indicates a medium roast. Beans roasted for too long will turn black. The average person, including ourselves, waits about 30 seconds after the second crack before taking the food off the stove.
  7. Throw beans into a colander. Combine and mix Stop the heat immediately To avoid making a chaffy mess, do this in the sink or outside. Put on protective gloves. It will be extremely warm everywhere.
  8. De-gas the beans for a full day in the open air.

Please be aware that this is not the best method to use if you want French roast coffee. Don't stop reading!

Using an Oven

Using an oven to roast coffee at home is another common DIY method, but be aware that the process can get quite smokey.

Do not use your oven if it is the type that creates a tornado. As the wind picks up the chaff, it will scatter all over the place, creating a huge chaffy mess.

  • Beans for making green coffee
  • Sheet pan with perforations for the oven (regular trays will also do).
  • An oven
  • Two metal colanders
  • Insulated gloves
  • Sealed container for storing items

Quickly Summarizing

How long to roast:

12 hours 30 minutes

Techniques for baking beans in the oven

  1. Turn the dial to 11 and preheat the oven to 500 degrees. The ideal baking temperature shifts depending on the type of bean and the oven used. Begin with 500 degrees Fahrenheit and adjust up or down from there.
  2. Let the smoke out, but don't open the oven. Increase airflow as much as possible.
  3. Beans should be spread out in a single, even layer on the perforated tray. Avoid piling them up.
    • To get the best results, use a perforated tray. Beans can easily fall through the cracks of a poorly designed tray.
    • During the roasting process, the beans will expand and become lodged in any openings that were initially large enough to hold a green bean.
    • Lack a tray with perforations You can give a regular baking sheet a shot by placing a sheet of baking paper under the beans before putting them in the oven. While they are roasting, give them a shake or two.
  4. Set baking sheet in the oven's center, where temperature is most stable.
  5. After 5 to 7 minutes, when you hear the first "crack," your beans are done roasting. Beans roasted for too long will turn black.
  6. The beans are done roasting when you hear a second "crack." Usually, we wait about 60 seconds after the second crack before pulling something out of the oven.
  7. Put in a colander Mix and shake: quickly chill them. Keep the chaffy mess to a minimum by doing this in the sink or outside. Always use heat resistant gloves.
  8. Allow CO2 to escape by leaving beans out for 12 hours.

Using a Popcorn Maker Technique

Popcorn is the natural fit for a popcorn machine. However, some models, like a hot-air popcorn popper, are excellent for roasting coffee beans. Don't start popping until you've read our safety tips for using a popcorn machine.

In order to prevent burns and guarantee rotation, you must use a machine that emits heat out the side.

  • Beans
  • Popcorn maker with heat vents on the side
  • Bamboo soup spoon
  • Metal colanders in quantities of 2.
  • Protective gloves against heat
  • Sealed container for storing items

In Brief

Prepare for a roasting time of

time interval of 15 minutes to 12 hours

Popcorn makers and bean roasting

  1. Ventilate If you want to avoid filling your home with smoke and odors while roasting, do it near an open window or, better yet, outside.
  2. Warm up the machine ahead of time. Thirty seconds, give or take a model
  3. Beans: 1/2 cup Toss into the machine The beans must be able to rotate freely.
    • Popcorn makers should shake the kernels up. Perhaps you overloaded the machine if there was no agitation.
    • In general, it's a good idea to use the same number of beans as the machine calls for corn kernels.
  4. You should help the protesters Put some muscle into it by stirring the beans with a wooden spoon or spatula.
    • The lid should be put on once there is steady motion.
    • Keep an eye on this for the duration of the roast, and assist if necessary.
    • If your spoon is too large, hold it by the handle.
  5. Get a big bowl for the chaff. The machine's spout will be spewing chaff, so be prepared to collect it. As soon as you've replaced the lid, place your bowl where it belongs to prevent a major cleanup.
  6. At around the three to five minute mark, you should hear the first "crack." A mild roast is what you've accomplished here.
  7. Approximately 6-8 minutes in, you'll hear the second "crack." You have a medium-rare roast. If you want a darker roast, roast it for another 30-60 seconds. If you wait much longer, the beans will start to burn.
  8. To reduce the temperature of the beans, you can use multiple colanders. When handling the machine or the colanders, make sure to wear oven mitts. Temperatures are expected to soar. To avoid making a chaffy mess, do this outside or over the sink.
  9. To let the CO2 escape from the beans, give them 12 hours. This process, called "degassing," removes excess gases.

Procedure for Roasting Coffee at Home

You'll probably end up with a decent home roaster if you put in the time and effort into roasting. They're getting more affordable and they roast better than those gimmicky alternatives up there.

Roast levels produced by a high-quality home coffee roaster will be much more uniform. Once you've found your ideal coffee, sticking to it is the key to long-term satisfaction.

The FreshRoast sr540 is ideal for novices and small-batch roasting, while the Behmor 5400 1600 drum roaster is ideal for seasoned roasters looking to roast a pound at a time.

  • Beans
  • Roasting equipment for coffee
  • Insulated gloves
  • Two colanders, if desired

In Brief

The correct roasting time is

Where the coffee is roasted has a significant impact.

DIY coffee bean roasting instructions

  1. Ventilation No roasting method, even with specialized equipment, can avoid creating a great deal of smoke.
  2. Start the machine Add beans Get the job done the way the maker intended While many machines serve similar purposes, not all meet the same criteria.
  3. Keep a close eye on the roasting process as a whole. There are a lot of machines out there that say they're fully automated. Bean size/type, environmental temperature, machine age, and so on are just some of the factors that could affect the outcome. (Roasting times are still subject to variation.)
  4. Don't miss the first and second "cracks" The first means a medium-rare roast, The second symbol denotes a middle Once you've reached the level of roast you want, you can stop roasting the beans.
  5. It's possible that your machine has its own built-in cooling process, in which case you won't need to transfer the beans between colanders. If they aren't already, you should try to cool them down.
    • You'll end up with a chaffy mess unless you do this in the sink or outside.
    • For this step, oven mitts are required.
  6. To let the CO2 out of the beans, give them 12 hours.

Here's a look at how to roast at home with the Freshroast SR540, a fantastic starter machine:

3. Keep them in a safe place

Usually, there will be a small valve on the exterior of the bag of pre-roasted beans. This is a one-way valve that releases the trapped carbon dioxide but prevents oxygen from entering. This extends the period of time during which the beans remain edible.

The same one-way valve technology used in these storage solutions is commercially available. Inert gas pressurization is a high-tech option as well.

No matter how advanced or primitive your storage method is, it must be airtight (4). To extend the life of the flavors, it should be stored in a cool, dark place.

And for something completely different, there's the Zevro Indispensable SmartSpace Dry-Food Dispenser (below), which can be mounted on the wall, promises to be airtight, and dispenses about 1 ounce of food with each turn of the handle. ​

Zevro Food Dispenser

Also, the Coffee Gator Coffee Canister (below) offers a lifetime guarantee on quality or your money back. The only caveat is that you'll need to remember to reseal it after each use if you want to keep your beans fresh.

Coffee Gator Coffee Canister

The shelf life of your freshly roasted beans can be extended by a few days with the help of fancy storage solutions. On the other hand, you can save money by using a recycled mason jar instead of buying new containers.

Additionally, if you don't have anything suitable, you can get something inexpensive like the Friis 16-Ounce Coffee Vault made of stainless steel:

Friis Coffee Vault

Whatever method you choose to use to keep your beans fresh, keep in mind:

  • Airtight
  • Opaque/Solid
  • Never Lose Your Cool

P s Curious as to which roast works best with which brewing technique? Look at this article if you need convincing. In addition, our coffee refractometer guide is useful if you prefer a more scientific approach to determining the success of your roasting process.

As a Closing Remark

If you want our opinion on whether or not you should try roasting beans in your own home, it's a resounding yes from us.

In addition to being a rewarding hobby, roasting your own coffee beans is the best way to ensure that you always get the freshest, most flavorful beans in the roast that you like best (whether that's light, medium, or dark).

You can get started roasting immediately with only the things you already own or with a few cheap additions, as there are very few prerequisites. You can roast coffee beans right in your own home, and now you know how to do it!

The degree of darkness to which the coffee beans are roasted distinguishes among various roasts. Even if you're roasting to your own tastes rather than following a coffee shop's or roaster's guidelines, it's still helpful to learn the range of roasts possible so you can evaluate the quality of other roasters' efforts and improve your own. Lighter roasts typically only roast the beans until the first crack, preserving their natural flavor profiles of toasted grain, wood, and sometimes fruit or floral notes. Toasted flavors predominate in darker roasts, with the deepest (Italian, Espresso, and French) tasting charred and smoky like charcoal-grilled fare. The various coffee roasts are described here.

Which coffee roast has the most flavor and/or caffeine depends on your priorities. Coffee that has been roasted dark has a more robust flavor and a bitter aftertaste than coffee that has been roasted lighter, and these lighter roasts often have hints of grain, wood, and even fruit. Caffeine-wise, light-roasted beans are superior to dark-roasted beans, but they also weigh more. There is not much of a difference in caffeine content between light and dark coffee if you brew it by weight. Using scoops to measure out your coffee means that lighter roasts will have a slight advantage.

The health benefits of coffee are not dependent on the roasting method. Although the antioxidant content of dark coffee is slightly higher, it's best to roast your own beans to achieve the flavor profile you prefer. The antioxidant benefits of coffee continue to increase with each additional cup.

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