The Beginner’s Guide to DIY Coffee Roasting

A few weeks ago I came across this Ted Talk, where they spoke about roasting your own coffee, and why you definitely should. I was intrigued, and have always been a hands-on kinda guy, so I thought I’d try DIY Coffee Roasting. Plus I have a serious coffee appreciation/addiction/crutch. You read more about my caffeinated adventures here.

Why roast your own Coffee?

After a day, freshly roasted coffee oxidizes, and you begin to lose flavour. Green beans however can be kept for up to a year without major degrading in quality.

How do you pan roast coffee?

The process is quite simple:

  • Put a heavy based pan on the stove and heat it up till a splash of water would instantly sizzle.
  • Pour in your green beans so that they cover the bottom of the pan evenly, you don’t want beans on top of each other.
  • Toss and shake the pan so that your beans can roast evenly. Don’t leave them alone, or they will burn.
  • Once you hear first crack, your beans are now very lightly roasted. The longer you roast them, the darker they will become.

What the hell is “First & Second Crack”?

First Crack sounds a bit like popcorn popping, and for the same reasons – The moisture in the bean has been evaporated and the bean cracks after the Drying Phase. This is great news, as it means your coffee is now starting to. Just follow the colour guide to how roasted you want your coffee to be.

Second Crack is a sign that your coffee is starting to break down. Your coffee will start to burn, and eventually burst into flame – Just like your hopes and dreams for roasting that perfect cup. If you see fire, you’ve gone too far.

How roasted should my coffee be?

You’re in luck – I made this general guide for you:


Where can I get some?

I bought mine through RYO Coffee, and opted for the Ethiopian beans because they have a really distinct fruity/floral flavour.

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