I picked up some Kenyan green coffee beans a few weeks ago with the intentions of roasting them myself. I felt like I did all my prep work before purchasing: I read about roasting, watched roasting videos, learned about the different techniques. I even spoke with the coffee roaster who sold me the beans and obtained her advice. Her biggest piece of advice was to use an air popcorn machine to do my roasting with, which I had read about prior to speaking with her. I took the beans home and stuck them in the farthest corner of my darkest cabinet to stay fresh until I had time to roast. During the time between purchasing the green coffee and roasting, I also happened upon a used air popper machine at a yard sale for only $5! Now I had all my ingredients. A few days later, I set out to roast my first batch of coffee. Much to my disappointment, I could not find the cord to the popcorn machine anywhere. It’s okay, I thought, I’ll just try roasting them in the oven (one of the other methods I read about). Well, let’s just say that oven roasting is very difficult to get right and my coffee ended up tasting like charcoal. This did not deter me from trying again, luckily. I set out on a mission this morning to find the missing cord, and after much digging and searching I found it and decided to give this roasting thing another shot. Let’s just say this time I actually drank the coffee I roasted. Take a look below!
First, I warmed up the popcorn machine. After it was hot to the touch, I poured in about half a cup of my green coffee and closed the lid to the machine.
Now, it was all about listening. Listening for what, you ask? Popping. When the coffee beans start heating up and begin the roasting process they begin making a popping sound. Once I began to hear this popping, I opened the lid and stirred the beans around with a spoon to promote even roasting. The picture below shows what they looked like once the popping sound became regular.
What I did now was wait, watch, stir, and smell. I stirred the beans around about once every 2 minutes, all while monitoring their color and looking for that deep brown – and of course watching and smelling for signs of them burning. The picture below shows the beans about half way through the roasting.
After about 25 minutes of the beans roasting they had achieved the color I was looking for. I unplugged the machine, and quickly poured them into a tupperware container to end the cooking process and allow them to cool slightly. The completed product is shown in the picture below.
If you aren’t planning on using immediately, I would definitely recommend storing them in an airtight container. The beans will stay fresh for about a week. I had to go ahead and sample my first successful roasting, though, so into the grinder they went! Take a look at my beautiful ground coffee below.