Home Coffee Roasting Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most asked questions and answers regarding roasting coffee at home with a hot air popcorn popper.

Question: Is home coffee dangerous?

Answer: Home coffee roasting is not dangerous if certain precautions are taken. Roasting coffee at home should only be done by an adult and in a well vented area, preferably in a garage or outdoor setting. Popcorn poppers do get hot so oven mitts should be worn. Also a home roaster should not leave a batch of roasting coffee unattended while roasting.

Question: Is home coffee roasting messy?

Answer: Roasting green coffee beans can get a little messy as the green coffee beans let off chaff as they roast. A popper should be aimed over a sink or bowl to collect the coffee bean chaff as it leaves the popper. It is advisable to roast outside if at all possible.

Question: What is coffee chaff?

Answer: Chaff is the outside thin layer of skin that comes off green coffee beans while they are roasting. It is very thin and light weight.

Question: Is it very expensive to roast coffee at home for a beginner?

Answer: No, it is quite an inexpensive hobby. Popcorn poppers are fairly cheap and can be found at thrift stores, garage sales or online auction sites such as eBay. High quality green coffee can be bought by the pound for often times less than ten dollars a pound. The intial investment is usually well under $75.00.

Question: What supplies are needed to roast coffee at home?

Answer: The supplies you will need include an appropriate hot air popcorn popper to roast green coffee in. A large bowl to collect the coffee chaff. Oven mitts to handle hot items. A timer to time your roasting process and a cookie sheet to pour the beans on after roasting is finished. Also a home hand held coffee grinder will be needed to grind your roasted coffee beans for brewing.

Question: How long does it take to roast a batch of coffee at home?

Answer: Usually for a half a cup of green beans, roasting time is less than 12 minutes depending on how dark you are wanting to roast. From setup to finish you can roast a full batch in less than 15 minutes.

Question: How long after roasting a batch do I wait before grinding and brewing?

Answer: Usually you will want to wait 4 to 24 hours depending on the bean and the roast as to let the CO2 escape from the bean after the roasting process.