Before expensive commercial drum roasters it all happened in a pan.
Roasting your own coffee is not an art. It is an experience. It is a test of control, timing and judgement. You need only raw coffee, a pan and a hob.
Unorthodox Roasters began this way and so we invite you to try your hand at the roasting game too with micro-lot coffee from our warehouse. Well, there is no point in roasting bad coffee, right?
THE HOME ROASTING GUIDE
1. Pre-heat an empty, dry pan on your hob. Gas or electric hobs will both work and you need no oil.
2. Add a handful of raw coffee to your pre-heated pan and start a timer. You can roast any quantity of coffee if your pan is big enough.
3. Maintain a high heat and continually stir and toss the beans so the flat side does not burn.
4. The coffee will turn from green to cereal coloured. At this point water content in the beans will have dropped and the beans will begin to smoke lightly. Drop the heat only slightly and continue stirring and tossing.
5. As the coffee roasts it will begin to pop. This is the First Crack*. Try to time the First Crack* at 8 minutes.
6. Turn the heat down again slightly and continue to roast for another 2 minutes as the Chaff* is expelled and the coffee Develops*. Smoke will be released too.
7. It is now up to you to judge when to stop the roasting process. Colour and smell are good indicators. Another method is to roast for 2-3 minutes longer than First Crack*.
8. To stop the roasting process you must rapidly cool the coffee. Remove from the heat and stir in a cold metal sieve or colander. You must cool the coffee quickly or all sweetness will be lost.
*First Crack: happens when pressure inside the beans becomes too great and they split open releasing energy. Try to time the First Crack at 8 minutes. Too fast and you may burn the coffee. Too slow and it'll be under-roasted.
*Chaff: is a light feathery substance that is released while roasting. To remove the chaff you can toss the coffee into the air while allowing the chaff to fall into your sink.
*Development: is a measure of how well the coffee has roasted internally as well as externally. To ensure good development you should roast past first crack for 2-3 minutes but avoid burning the beans. Try to slowly reduce the hob temperature over the roast to achieve this.