Introduction: How to Roast Your Own Coffee
One of my favorite hobbies is roasting my own coffee. In this instructable, you'll learn how to roast your own coffee (tastes way better than any other you can buy). I buy it green from a company called Legacy Coffee. You can order it green online from Sweet Marias.com. One of the reasons that I like to roast it fresh, is because I read somewhere that 2 weeks after roasting the coffee, it loses nearly 70% of it's flavor. Most store bought coffee has been sitting on the shelf for over 3 months. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I do know that my coffee tastes a LOT better than store bought! You can buy green coffee for about $4.50 a pound (this is one pound at at time, buy in bulk and it gets cheaper pretty fast), so you save some money roasting your own too.
I can't really take full credit for this, I learned this from a friend, but it still might help you guys out.
Step 1: Supplies, Tools, and the Roaster
You will need to purchase a roaster. I have an old popcorn popper, a "Poppery II". It works great. You can purchase new coffee roasters online, but they coast over $200, when you can buy one that works just fine for about $30 on eBay. Just make sure that the popcorn popper does NOT have a screen in it! Which is why Poppery IIs are so good.
Also, you'll need some oven mits (so your hands don't get burned), coffee of course, and some cookie sheets. You'll want to work in an area that has a freezer near by.
Step 2: Roasting the Coffee
Pour your coffee into the popcorn popper. For my Poppery 2, I prefer to use 2/3 cup at a time; that way it doesn't have too much air going through it to stay cold, but not so much coffee that it burns on the bottom. Place the lid on it and turn it on. You will probably need to use an old coffee can or some other type of metal container to hold the coffee chaff. There is a LOT of chaff , as you can see from photo 3. :)
Note: My Poppery 2 starts to overheat after about 3 batches, or 15 minutes. Too much longer than this, and the coffee starts to get a burnt, bitter flavor(really disgusting); so make sure you let it cool off after a couple of batches.
Step 3: Getting It to the Perfect Roast
After about 2 minutes, you will start to hear a cracking sound. This is called the "first crack". You should now stir the coffee to make sure the coffee is being roasted evenly (don't forget to wear your mits, the air from the roaster is REALLY hot). This sound will soon die down, and a louder more popping sound will take it's place in another minute or two. This is called the "second crack". Light roasts, which have more caffeine and flavor(but also more diversity), should be roasted to just before the second crack. Dark roasts should be roasted till slightly after the second crack is finished.
Pour the coffee onto the cookie sheet, and spread it out using your oven mits. You should then stick the cookie sheet into your freezer.Let this cool until the beans are about room temperature. Repeat until you have a masonry jar full of nice roasted beans.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Now that the coffee is cool, you can put it into a masonry jar. Put the lid on, but do not seal it. If you seal it, the lid will explode when you try to open it. Trust me - I've had this happen before - it is VERY dangerous. Don't seal it until about 2 days after it's roasted. If you want, you can enjoy the coffee right away. But it peaks in flavor the third day after the roast. After the 4th day, it will slowly start to loose its flavor, so drink it quickly!!! Grind it and then enjoy. You can purchase your own bur grinder too, which allows for different types of grinds(that's fun to experiment with too). Have fun my coffee roasting friends!