A Beginner's Guide to At-Home Coffee Roasting

Why Roast Your Own Coffee?

Roasting is an essential part of making a delicious cup of coffee—it’s what gives the beans the depth of flavor that you’re used to and gets them ready to brew. There are many ways to roast coffee, but the goal is to raise the internal temperature of the beans until they develop the flavors that you’re looking for.

With at-home roasting, you get a fresh cup of coffee every time, and you can experiment with its flavor profile to create a personalized coffee just for you. Learning how to roast your own coffee beans will take some time and a little practice, but the end result is well worth it. You’ll find a new appreciation for the art of coffee roasting, and feel a sense of accomplishment knowing your cup of joe was roasted and brewed by you.

Going Green

Start with unroasted green coffee beans. At Sweetwater we have a variety of fair trade green coffee beans to choose from, all featuring a wide range of complex flavors that can be delivered straight to your door. All of our beans are also organic and fair trade.

Try roasting some of our favorite green coffee beans:

Sumatra

Provided by our Sumatran trading partners, these green coffee beans are grown at altitudes between 3,600 and 4,900 feet, leading to notes of citrus, vanilla, chocolate, and nut.

Ethiopia Sidama

Grown by our Ethiopian trading partners at altitudes between 4,900 and 6,500 feet, these coffee beans feature spice, floral, berry, and wine notes.

Decaffeinated

That’s right—we even have a bean for those trying to kick caffeine! Our decaf green beans are grown at altitudes of 4,300 feet or higher, leading to complex flavors including vanilla, nut, and chocolate.

What You’ll Need

There are many different methods to roast your coffee, but there are a few tools that will help you get the best results every time. To achieve a nice even roast, you’ll either need a home coffee roaster or a popcorn popper. While you can roast your beans on the stovetop or in the oven, you’ll achieve a more uniform roast using one of these specialized appliances.

While a home coffee roaster can cost a pretty penny, it might be worth it if you’re planning to make roasting your new hobby. Check out the best at-home coffee roasters on the market to start roasting with ease.

If you’re only roasting small batches, a popcorn popper will do the trick. These inexpensive kitchen gadgets are multi-purpose, and easy to clean, making them a great investment for at-home coffee roasting. Keep in mind that these will roast your coffee pretty quickly, so keep a close eye to avoid scorching your beans. Find the best popcorn popper for the job, and you’re ready to roast!

Roasting Coffee

Roasting your coffee beans introduces many unique flavors, so it’s important to understand how the roasting process works to achieve your own balanced profile. Your beans will go through various stages during the roasting process, each stage producing varying flavors and colors.

A good rule of thumb: The higher the temperature, the darker the coffee. If you like a very light coffee, you’ll want to roast your beans until you hear a crack or popping sound. This will happen when the coffee’s internal temperature has reached anywhere from 300-350°F. In a popcorn popper, this may take as little as 3 minutes. You should continue to roast your beans after the first crack if you’re looking for something darker.

Eventually your beans will crack a second time, producing the dark roast you’re familiar with. Your beans will have an internal temperature of around 465-480°F at this stage. In a popcorn popper, you’ll have dark roast coffee in around 10 minutes, so don’t leave it unattended. Keep a close eye on your beans so they don’t become burnt and bitter.

After a bit of trial and error, you’ll nail down exactly how long to roast your coffee beans to achieve the flavors you’re looking for.

Changing the World, One Great Cup of Coffee at a Time

Whether you prefer a customized cup of coffee you roasted yourself or one of our delicious Sweetwater Organic Coffee blends, you can feel good knowing that all of our coffees are ethically sourced and organic. We go beyond fair trade guidelines, partnering with international cooperatives to help them fight inequity through coffee. Our mission is to partner with small-scale coffee farmers, connect communities, and inspire conscious consumption... one great cup of coffee at a time.

No matter what your order is, we’ll deliver quality, sustainably sourced coffee right to your door. Order today and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee that makes a difference.