How to Roast Someone Like a Pro

What will I need to get started?

The great thing about selecting the best green coffee beans and roasting them at home is that there’s virtually no barrier to entry. Depending on your chosen method and what you’ve already got at home you can get started roasting today.

But before you start, make sure you watch this quick video on the fundamentals. It will improve your chances of success in just a few minutes:

But wait there’s more

We have a white paper out about roast defects that covers even more. I’ve tried to entertain you, and cover the bases as best we can. All of this conversation feels a little asinine when it seems in some ways like the world is breaking down around us… or maybe that’s just me feeling that way. However, a good friend of mine pointed out that even though finding ways to roast coffee better seems small and insignificant… we are possibly making someone’s day a little brighter in the middle of this current mess by giving them something flavorful and enjoyable every morning. Hopefully that is as meaningful to you as it was and is to me. 

Roasting defects, whether the wiggly-woobly subjective roasting defects or the firm and clearly defined objective roasting defects stand as a barrier between us and presenting the coffee that we want to present to our customers and the world. Once you figure out what it is you are dealing with, there are ways to avoid these defects and course-correct. 

Remember, your job is not to please everyone with the flavor of your coffee… that would be impossible. Your goal is to please yourself and your customers with the quality and type of coffee you are putting forward. Regardless of criticisms levied against you (constructive or otherwise) you have a framework for trying to understand what they are suggesting you change. It is however up to you to decide if you care to make that change.

When it comes to objective defects, use your trier, be vigilant and observant. Make the changes necessary to mitigate physical damage to the coffee and maintain quality.

For more… check out the white paper, holler at Loring to see how one of their machines may help you business, or hit me up for a consult.

Warm regards,

Rob HoosSpecialty coffee educator, author, consultant, and Head of Roasting at Nossa Familiawww.hoos.coffee

Video

Roast Pork Loin

4.7 from 10 reviews

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: American

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Roast Defect Categories

Because of these differences in perspective due to differences in extraction (and differences in preference) I think it is necessary to break the “roasting defects” down into two separate categories. One of the categories being those roast defects with obvious physical markers which can be spotted and corrected irrespective of taste or preference, namely the “objective roast defects.” The other category has no visual indications on the surface of the bean, and is based on people’s ability to taste, as well as their preferences. Though some suggest that there are markers within the recorded roast profile curve… there is a significant amount of disagreement amongst roasting professionals as to how to identify them. Because of the lack of clear visual signs on the beans, identification by taste (which is skewed by extraction and preference), and wide disagreement within the industry I have opted to label these as “subjective roast defects.”

Understanding the Roasting Process

In this article, we’ve provided you with step-by-step instructions for each of the four home methods. Your exact approach to roasting will vary depending on your chosen method.

But what never changes is the process:

  1. Beans get hot
  2. Beans get roasted
  3. Beans get cool
  4. Beans get delicious

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It’s a simple process with some necessary steps to note along the way to guarantee great results. These important steps hold true for every method.

Let’s take a quick look at what happens during and after roasting so that you know what’s going on while the magic is happening:

Roasting

  • Temperature: 350F to 500F is the widely accepted temperature range. This varies depending on the method you’re using.
  • Agitation: Your beans can never rest and roast! Constant stirring ensures an even distribution of heat, and thus an even roast.
  • First Crack: After 3 to 5 minutes the beans will produce an audible crack. This crack indicates that your beans are lightly roasted and ideal for white coffee. This the minimum amount of time required to produce roasted beans. Continue roasting and agitating for darker roasts.
  • Second Crack: After a few more minutes another crack is heard. This crack indicates a medium roast. A few more minutes of roasting and your beans will be burnt and unusable. Experiment with times to find your favorite roast.
  • Tip: We usually wait roughly 30 seconds after hearing the second crack.
  • Cool Down: Transfer beans to a metal colander or baking paper to cool. Use two metal colanders (plastic can melt). Shake and transfer your roasted beans between colanders. This cools the beans quickly and removes the chaff.Spread evenly over baking paper to substitute for a metal colander. This method is not as effective.
  • Remove Chaff: Chaff is the dried husk of the coffee bean. It is very messy. Cool your beans down outside or in the sink to reduce clean-up

It is one of those things that you’ll get the feel (and eye) for with practice. This video is a good start:

Post-Roast and Chemistry

When you’re roasting coffee beans, you are creating an awesome chemical transformation – the Maillard reaction.

Over 800 compounds are transformed (​1​​​) from the boring, flavorless compounds present in the raw beans into the delectably delicious and aromatic compounds found in roasted beans.

In the very early stages of roasting colored plant compounds such as chlorophyll, anthocyanins, etc begin to decompose […] accompanied with subtle changes in aroma from grassy to more toast/popcorn notes.

This is why raw beans smell and taste nothing like roasted beans. The compounds in the beans are waiting to be transformed!

Roasted beans release gas (CO2): This continues for weeks (​2​​​) after roasting. Why should you care?

  • ​CO2 helps to naturally preserve roasted beans by displacing oxygen
  • Oxidation ruins beans. They become stale
  • Too much CO2 in coffee beans creates too much crema (a bad thing)
  • Not enough CO2 creates stale tasting coffee (also a bad thing)

De-Gas: Wait 12 hours before sealing in a container (Allow the initial Co2 to escape)

  • Sealing newly roasted beans in storage too early will lead to CO2 pressurization. This can pop the top off your container, potentially damaging it.
  • Coffee beans that contain too much CO2 will result in an undesirable flavor. Give your beans a chance to de-gas!
  • Opinions differ. From a few hours to a few days. In our experience, we’ve found 12 hours to be a good rule of thumb. Your experience might prove otherwise – do what works for you

Grinding and Storing after Roasting

  • Wait 24 Hours before you Grind & Brew. Beans need a day to mature and reach full-bodied flavor
  • Store in airtight container: Keep beans fresh and use within seven days
  • Coffee is always best when it’s fresh. After more than one week, your roasted beans will begin to turn stale as oxidation does its thing

What Foods Can You Roast?

  • Large meats and poultry. When you think roast, large cuts of meat—whole chickens or turkeys, ham, rib roast, beef tenderloin—probably come to mind. That’s not just because big cuts of meat are unwieldy on the stovetop (they are!) but because they would also take forever to cook. The ability to cook things in the oven at a moderate temperature for long amounts of time is ideal for tougher cuts like pork shoulder, which only become tender once their connective tissue has turned into gelatin. Don’t roast thinner, less fatty cuts of meat such as boneless skinless chicken breasts, since they’ll probably dry out.
  • Veggies. Roasting is also great for caramelizing vegetables. Hearty vegetables—beets, carrots, potatoes, winter squash, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, zucchini, turnips, and parsnips to name a few—tossed in olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper make for a delicious and easy side dish or a vegan main.

Conversation Starters

Whether you’re at a party talking to someone you’ve just met or spent time with friends you haven’t seen in awhile, coming up with a good conversation starter that isn’t just boring small talk can be a struggle. When you begin a discussion with someone, you want it to be interesting, insightful, and entertaining.

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