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Roasting coffee at home can be more than just a DIY - it is fun and can mean a sense of freedom to explore a variety of coffee roasting techniques or achieve desired flavors.
Home roasted coffee beans offer unique flavor character that is often lacking in store-bought varieties. It also has a lower price comparison and requires minimal investment in specialized equipment.
Facts about Coffee Roasting
1. The Taste of the Roast is in its Smell: Green Coffee beans emit a characteristic "grassy" smell as they turn yellowish few minutes after heat subjection. With further roasting, the beans begin to smoke, like coffee, giving it its peculiar smell and taste.
2. Cracking Sound Gives Good Clue about the Roast Stages: Further roasting gives off a unique crack sound as the bean loses water and changes structure with rising temperature. Listening for this sound can be a fantastic clue to determine desired roasts.
3. Length of Roast Determines Color and Flavor of Beans: Since bean structure, flavor and color graduates with each upward step in temperature, and increasing time, it is not unexpected to observe the original green bean character turn dark, with a stronger flavor, at the end of the process.
Steps to Roasting Coffee at home
Whatever is the technique employed, the instrument used or even the time set, roasting coffee at home all bores down to achieving significant desired flavors.
1: Choose a Roaster: Depending on budget, technique, time or batch size, it can be done in an oven, a skillet, a stovetop popper, or more specialized equipment.
2: Select Coffee Beans: The original pre-roast character of the bean determines the flavor and nutritional quality of the coffee. Although green coffee beans come highly recommended, many others have equally satisfying benefits.
3: Choose the Desired Roast Process: Since the flavor of coffee depends on the process and invariably the roasting time, understanding the different stages will help control the flavor of coffee.
Understanding the Roast Process
Yellowing - Few minutes after the green bean is subjected to heat, it turns yellowish and emits a grassy smell.
First Crack - Soon enough, a crack sound - an audible cracking sound is heard as the real roasting sets in. The sound is an acoustic signal, calling one's attention to what stage the roast is.
First Roasted Stage - Also known as a City Roast, this stage, determined by sight and smell, can be considered complete depending on desired taste.
Second Crack - As the heating progresses, a second crack, often more distinct than the first, occurs. This is called a Vienna Roast.
Darkening Roast - As the roast progresses, the bean assumes a very dark tone, and the smoke is more pungent as sugars burn completely. This gives a French roast.
For home coffee roasting, several techniques can be used and roasting times vary; the fundamental process is simple - employing heat to turn unroasted green coffee into brown roasted coffee, using simple techniques and equipment at home.