Here is a great article on home roasting from a site Craig mentioned - The Captains Coffee
Maybe you're looking around our site and asking yourself, "Can I really roast my own coffee beans at home?" Not only is the answer "Yes, you can" but it is also "Yes, you should"! There are a few old hard-heads out there who might not agree, but over and over we hear from people who say their first cup of home roasted coffee is the best cup they've ever had. We certainly think so!
So why would you roast your own green coffee beans?
- Home coffee roasting does not require a lot of special equipment, it doesn't take a lot of time, and it won't break the bank.
- What home roasting WILL do is open up a whole new world of flavors and aromas
- It allow you to roast as light or dark as your particular taste desires
- Roasting coffee at home lets you roast only the amount of coffee you need at a time so there is no waste or need to ever drink flat, stale coffee.
We often tell people the difference in fresh, home roasted coffee and commercial coffee is like the difference in a tomato right out of your garden and one off a supermarket shelf. There simply is no comparison. Priscilla perhaps said it best when we roasted our first batch of coffee at home years ago, even though we didn't have a clue what we were doing. Her eyes lit up and she said, “This is what coffee is supposed to taste like!”
We never looked back.
So coffee tastes better when fresh. But is it difficult?
Home coffee roasting can be as simple or as technical as you care to be. Your roaster can range from a skillet to a Gene Café. A popcorn air popper makes a fine coffee roaster. A lot of folks start with one and then move on to a dedicated roaster when they realize they can't possibly drink that stuff in a brick again! Depending on your roaster and batch size, roasting only takes between 5 and 30 minutes. A full 16 ounce pound of premium single estate specialty grade (highest) green coffee costs about half what a 12 ounce bag of Star***** roasted coffee sells for in the supermarket, and goodness knows how old it is.
How to store coffee that's unroasted
Green coffee has a very long shelf life. Although there is disagreement among coffee professionals, some say you can keep it up to 10 years with no degradation. While that might be a bit long, a general consensus is about two years. If you'll simply treat it like you would dry pinto beans--keep it out of direct sunlight and keep it dry, and it will keep a good long time.
Once you roast it, then the clock starts. Now think of your roasted coffee like you would fresh bread. Protect it from oxygen (we use old fashioned canning jars--the kind with the metal latch and the rubber seal), and only roast what you'll use in the next 3-5 days. Just like bread, freshness makes a world of difference in coffee. But if you haven't tried it, how could you know?
There is a whole world of flavors and aromas waiting for you to discover. We offer many specialty grade coffees that are superb as single origins, and you are really limited only by your imagination when it comes to creating your own "signature" blend possibilities. Our offerings are continually changing with the seasons, so check back often.
Home coffee roasting is easy, quick, economical and delicious. But maybe the best reason is that it is just plain fun. Why not give it a shot? We're betting you'll be just like us--the first sip of fresh, home roasted coffee and you know right then you'll never go back to that grocery store swill!