ye olde bread blogge

bread, coffee and tidbits

Home-roasting coffee?

with 12 comments

I’m pretty sure home-baked bread is good for me and in a best case scenario it also tastes better than loaves bought from the bakery. Now I’ve been roasting coffee in that same oven I use for baking and after about 6 kg of raw coffee transformed into espresso beans I’m quite taken with the prospect of it all. In the latest case the blend was made up of 80% “India Monsooned Malabar AA” and 20% “India Cherry a/b Robusta” from Caffè Fausto.I just shovel enough raw coffee onto a tray lined with baking paper so that the beans lie next to each other and not on top of each other and heat the oven to 200°C-220°C. In they go and after about 20-25 minutes and a little bit of tossing around, the beans are done. This way of roasting coffee also reveals the “hot spots” of the oven. In areas where after 15 minutes the most coloring of the beans is visible, there is a hot spot of the oven, in my case on the left and right hand side close to the walls. After roasting, the kitchen smells like smoke, liquorice, leather and coffee. The waves of steam billowing out of the oven when the door is opened are a bit freightening but so far no accidents apart maybe from a mild headache after being exposed to the smoke for more than 5 minutes.

There is a point where the beans start to sweat and quickly turn black. I found after that point almost all coffee tastes the same and I wouldn’t want to consume it on a regular basis. But a little oil escaping from the hot bean and a dark color is fine and helps to bring out the intensity that I like in a shot of espresso or in my “latte”.

When the beans are done it is probably best to cool them quickly to stop the cooking process and “seal” the aroma. There is a skin around the raw bean which is shed during roasting and needs to be removed in order to be able to produce caffè with crema. Also any remaining pieces of that skin can mess up the grinder. Between each Kilogramm of home-roasted coffee I grind a pound of professionally-roasted coffee in an attempt to clean it but don’t know if it is necessary.

Written by theinversecook

27 May 2010 at 19:47

12 Responses

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  1. I think if you grind a couple of pieces of dry bread it will clean the grinder at least as well as grinding professionally ground coffee and at a whole lot less money. That is what my grinder company suggests when I use the grinder for spices. Should work the same way for coffee, I would think.

    Excellent idea. I am a big coffee drinker and tis looks like a winner to me. Thanks.


    27 May 2010 at 20:21

    • rice works too


      27 May 2010 at 21:22

    • I do drink the coffee I use as cleaning, but the idea with bread is very nice and I will try that. I should probably stop for a while and drink professionally roaste coffee to compare my results better.


      28 May 2010 at 14:44

  2. Nice looking espresso, Nils. I love coffee too, and took some coffee lessons before too. The coach said that raw coffee beans can be kept for pretty long time, and for the best taste and maximum aroma, roasted coffee beans are better to consume in 2 weeks, and it’s better to grind the roasted coffee not long before brewing the coffee. Maybe you can try it! ;)


    27 May 2010 at 20:29

    • Thanks, Nat. I usually let the freshly roaste bead sit for one or two days. I can’t grind more than 300g of raw beans each time, so they are usually gone within a week or so.


      28 May 2010 at 14:46

  3. Got this from a friend who has a coffee plantation in Costa Rico. Makes sense to me.

    Dick, Any even heat source works. The secret is (and the author did not say) to NEVER take your eyes off and to always be in physical control when the color change starts… it only takes a couple of seconds one way or the other to totally screw up the beans. He is also using beans that are rather high in oils (thus acid). A good bean in the roaster gives out just 20 – 30 seconds of smoke, smells wonderful and would never cause a headache.

    All that said, I have my wifes aunt that roasts the morning coffee everyday on a tortilla iron over a wood fire… it is well known that no-one even talks to her when she is doing this, it takes absolute concentration. Best stuff I have ever drunk. No one in the family has been able to duplicate this and there-in lies the problem with manual roasting… duplication of a successful roast.


    27 May 2010 at 21:13

    • Thanks for that, dick! Only 20-30 seconds of smoke. Ok, I must be doing something wrong as there is constantly smoke coming from the oven, more like 20 minutes.

      So probably going to change beans and then do more tweaking. I didn’t know they were acidic per se.


      28 May 2010 at 14:49

  4. Just saw this chart from a company that sells coffee roasters. Talks about how long bean freshness lasts.


    27 May 2010 at 21:40

  5. Nils. I don’t use baking paper because I’ve been told that it makes the coffee taste funny.
    I also have problems getting rid of the chaf, What’s your method?


    28 May 2010 at 11:27

    • Hi massimo,
      I didn’t even realize I was using baking paper as use in bread-making often. Will lose that from now on.

      chaf = skins? I rub the cooled down beans between hands and blow them away. The least fun part of it all.


      28 May 2010 at 14:52

  6. Chaf is the skin. I use a similar method; I use a wooden spoon, while there’s still warm. Must try with hands, when they’re colds of course!


    28 May 2010 at 22:06

    • Perhaps a hair-drier would do the trick too. Or rattling them around in a large sieve.


      29 May 2010 at 01:53

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