Tips for Roasting Coffee Beans

Roasting coffee beans really is not a difficult task and, fortunately, the results are often as good as the professionals.

There are many types of roasters available and, although not as luxurious as designated roasters, a simple skillet or popcorn popper can be used as an alternative. It is important to always start with very clean equipment, though, regardless of what type is selected. Nothing spoils the authentic taste of coffee like that of butter of fish oils.

Lighter roasts contain slightly more caffeine than darker roasts, but the darker roasts lack the acid taste of the lighter style. Of course, be sure to use quality beans!

The beans should be heated to a temperature between 460 and 530 degrees Fahrenheit, so be ready for some smoke which can be easily taken care of with the stove top exhaust or even a small fan. In addition to the smoke, there will be an odor that occurs with the roasting process so your first time should probably be done when no one is at home and the windows can remain open for a time.

Place the beans in the roaster and turn up the heat, but be sure to temporarily disable the in-home smoke alarms. Some roasters come with a built-in thermometer, but you will need your own if you are roasting with a frying pan. Thermometers made for candy making work well.

During the roasting process, the green beans will first turn a yellowish color and, ultimately, a brown. But, how brown depends on how dark of a roast you prefer which is always on an individual basis.

As the beans being to heat, a moisture of oil and water will put pressure on the bean surface so that you may hear a loud crack. This is perfectly normal, so do not worry. You will hear this sound after four to seven minutes of heating, but be sure to stir every thirty seconds during this time.

As the roasting continues, the sugars inside will eventually start to caramelize but the extent of caramelization that occurs is, again, an individual preference. Check the color about every thirty seconds.

If you roast long enough, you will often hear a second loud cracking sound. At this stage, the beans will be fairly dark and, perhaps, overdone for some tastes. Regardless of preference, any longer beyond this second crack is really just burning which is usually too harsh for the palate of most.

Pour the beans into a colander to cool and then agitate the beans. You will need some method to detach the chaff produced during the roasting process. One option for removing this layer of "skin" from the bean is a mesh cooking screen.

To find the perfect flavor for your tastes, it is a good idea to experiment with several batches of varying times and darkening. Keep in mind that the heat trapped in the bean will continue to cook the bean for sometime, so try to stopping just slightly before the desired result. Soon, you will have perfectly roasted beans ready to make a fresh, delicious cup of well-deserved coffee or cappuccino!

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