You probably have all you need to give roasting coffee at home a try.
A baking sheet with raised sides and an oven is all you need.
To roast in your oven, you need to lay the beans in a single layer on the baking sheet. Pre-heat the oven to between 400 and 420 degrees. Place the beans in the oven and allow them to roast.
You will need to watch them closely and stir them occasionally to ensure that you don’t over roast one side of the beans.
This is the cheapest method and it also produces the most inconsistent roast of the beans.
You also will need to be aware that roasting coffee produces a lot of smoke so you may need to address that by temporarily deactivating your smoke detectors during the process.
While this is not the ideal method it is still worth a try just to get an idea of what freshly roasted coffee can taste like.
Other more effective ways involve two kinds of popcorn poppers. One is a an old fashioned stove top popper that has a crank handle top, which spins an agitator to keep the corn, or the beans in our case, moving.
This method is better than the oven approach because you can keep the beans moving and produce a more even roast.
There are also ways to augment the apparatus by adding a thermometer that will read the temperature of the beans.
Again, smoke is going to be an issue so if you don’t want to be yelled at by your smoke detectors turn them off temporarily.
Finally the way I started was with an old air pop corn popper.
This method uses a heated fluid bed of air to move and roast the beans.
You can still find these at your local big box retailer.
There are two styles and only one is good for roasting coffee.
One style has a mesh screen at the bottom of the chamber.
This will not work for roasting coffee as it creates a potential for catching the chaff on fire.
The other style has a solid bottom in the chamber and vents around the side of the chamber. This creates a circular flow of air that will spin the beans to keep them moving.
Before you buy one, check the chamber to make sure that it will work for you.
These popcorn poppers can also be augmented with a thermometer and I’ve even heard that you can hack the electronics to put in a switch that will cut off the heating element and allow the fan to work giving you a cooling cycle.
As with the other methods this has the issue of smoke to deal with but, if you are not roasting dark roasts, the smoke will be minimal.
Where can you find beans?
You can get beans locally at Just Love coffee Roasters and through the Internet via sweetmarias.com, coffeeproject.com and coffeebeancorral.com.
Some good coffees to start with would be a Sumatra because you can make some mistakes with this coffee, read “burn,” and still get a good cup in the end.
Another good type of bean is a Peaberry. Usually you will find Tanzanian Peaberries or Kenyan Peaberries.These are actually a mutation where only one bean grows in the cherry.
Due to this they are more rounded and roast more consistently due to their ability to roll more during agitation.
They also can taste pretty good dark. This means that you don’t have to throw away your mistakes!
If you are interested in giving some home roasting a try stop by at Just Love Coffee Roasters and ask any questions you may have.
I’ll do my best to give you access to my experience and guide you to enjoying coffee you have roasted with your own hands.