Home Roasting can be fun and its easy to do as well. There are different ways to roast and the method you end up choosing should be influenced by how much coffee you consume. To get started I would recommend using one of these methods;
The Popcorn Popper,(Fluid Bed Roasting) if you don’t have one in your cupboard you can purchase one second hand at a thrift store or buy it brand new at a hardware store for really cheap.
Stovetop Popper, Cookie sheet in the oven. These methods are can create a less even roast and do require some technique to get good results, So lets stick with the air popper method.
What You Need:
- A hot air popcorn popper (Not all air poppers are recommended for roasting coffee.)
- Optional thermometer.
- A big bowl to catch the chaff, a big spoon, a metal collander (or 2, aluminum is best) for cooling.
- An oven mitt
Here is a list of some models that work well:
West Bend Air Crazy
West Bend Poppery II (1200 watt model) - a preferred model
Toastmaster 6203West Bend Air Crazy
Presto Poplite (Model #s 04820*, 04821, and 114316)
Toastess TCP-388 (also TCP-1)
I highly recommend this method if it’s your first time. Also, it's easy and can produce a very even roasts from the City Style to the French Style stages.
Used poppers can be found in many thrift stores or rather inexpensively at hardware or department stores They roast quickly, but usually only 3-4 ounces at a time.
Instructions Popcorn Popper:
- Set up your popper in a well ventilated place near a kitchen exhaust fan or window. Good idea to have strong overhead light so you can look down into the popper chamber to accurately judge the roast as it progresses(refer to roasting chart). Have all your supplies within reach.
- Use the same amount of coffee in the popper that the manufacturer recommends for popcorn. 4 oz. is the maximum, or 2/3 to 3/4 cup.
- Put the plastic hood (including butter dish) in place, and a large bowl under the chute. If possible put your popper by the sink so it blows chaff right into the basin. Turn it on.
- Watch for the smoke, should have a nice fragrant smell. The "first crack" of the beans should occur within about 3 minutes. Then wait another minute, start monitoring the beans closely for desired roast color by lifting out butter dish and looking into popping chamber, or, I prefer, smelling the smoke and listening to the crackling(this takes a little practice though).
- Approximate time for a lighter roast should be around 4 minutes, full city roast around 5, and darker roasts closer to 6.5 minutes. Roasting style develop quickly so pay attention. Important to pour the beans out of the popper when they are a slightly lighter than the color you desire, since roasting continues until beans are cool.
- Stir or shake beans in metal colander with a large spoon or toss between 2 colanders until they are warm to touch. You may need oven mitts for this oven gloves which can buy at any hardware store. If possible you mat want step outside to speed up cooling.
- It’s best to keep coffee out of direct light (and to not store in a fridge or freezer) best to store in an airtight glass jar, but with a fresh roast, wait 12 hours before you seal the jar tightly; it needs to vent off C02.
- Warm, fresh roasted beans are wonderful, but the coffee attains its peak 4 to 24 hours after roasting. When you open that jar in the morning, you will know what fresh coffee truly is
Trouble Shooting: Roasting in a popper is a DIY (Do It Yourself) venture - so you will have to assess your own situation and make accommodations accordingly. Some of the most common issues are:
- Popper roasts too fast - Each popper can run differently - and some can run very hot when brand new. To fix this issue use an extension cord between the popper and the wall outlet - by doing this you will be reducing the voltage slightly which will make the popper run slower.
- Popper roast too slow - Try a different outlet. Sometimes if you are running a major appliance on the same circuit, this will limit the voltage. Ambient air temperature has a major impact on roasting performance as well - so if you are roasting outdoors, try to move inside or at least to a sheltered area.
- Popper never gets hot enough - Some poppers are underpowered, or too old.
- Popper gets hot, but beans do not roast - Batch size is very important: in a hot air popper, you need enough beans to block the hot air. Too small a batch, the hot air blows right past them and the beans will not roast.
And yes Happy Goat Coffee will sell you Raw Coffee Beans