selecting your beans
Choosing a variety can be overwhelming especially if you do not know what you like. Don’t get discouraged if you don't know. We get calls all the time on this subject, we suggest trying our assorted unroasted sampler. It contains all of our top sellers and is a perfect way to start roasting.. Go ahead and get creative with it mix beans together and make your own blends. We think blending is great... what you lack in one bean you can make up with another.
selecting your roasting method
Using a stove top popper is a very inexpensive way to get started as a DIY roaster. This method allows for the largest batches of fresh, at home roasted coffee. You will also be able to control your temperature in more of a complete manner than other methods and it’s also is the most customizable of the options we have listed here. Now, before you think this is our method of choice, we should discuss some of the cons associated with this method. Roasting can take a while and requires continuous hand-cranking the WHOLE time to keep the beans spinning. Without your undivided attention, your beautiful light roast can quickly turn to a French roast or darker. If you have an electric stove, this method is not recommended for you, since part of the process requires sliding the popper back and forth on the stove; electric burners will not only scratch the bottom of your popper, but also possible ruin your stove. Another con, and possibly one of the bigger ones, is the amount of smoke that this method generates. Without proper ventilation this could be a very big annoyance. So there you have it -- a few pros and cons of the stove top popper method.
Using an air popper produces a very even roast. The popper has its own motor for spinning so that the beans are in motion at a consistent rate for the roast, a very big plus for the DIY roaster, and the machine itself is customizable for those of you who are mechanically inclined. You can likely find an air popper at your local thrift shop, or the internet-based thrift store known as eBay. What are the cons you ask? Well if you didn’t find one in a thrift shop, and had to by a new one, roasting coffee in your air popper will void the warranty. This is a very hands on way method of DIY roasting. You will need to be right on top of the process the whole time so you can get that perfect roast level you are looking for. This method also only produces about ¼ pound of coffee per batch. So if you were looking to roast more than 1 pot’s worth (12-cup pot) this would take you several batches in a row. Those are a few of the pros and cons of the air popper method.
That’s right you can roast coffee in your cast iron skillet! This is a very easy method, and possibly the most old school approach on our list. You could go back to the origin of coffee roasting: the basic heat, metal, and beans way. It’s also pretty inexpensive; most of us already have a cast iron skillet or two in our house, so there is no equipment to purchase, and if you don’t already have a cast iron skillet, this is a great excuse to get one! On the flip side, some of the cons: this method is the easiest to scorch your beans. With such a basic process it’s difficult to keep the beans covered and moving, hence the chance of scorching increases. This method also produces a very uneven roast, because it is hard to keep the beans covered and moving. That covers our pros and cons of the skillet method.