As any coffee lover knows, coffee is always best when it's fresh; freshly ground makes a more flavorful and aromatic cup. That's no surprise; however, if you've never tried making your own roasted coffee beans, you've been missing out on an entirely new dimension of flavor. If you really want the best and freshest possible cup of coffee, you will need to buy freshly roasted beans from a coffee roaster and use them within a week or two or to roast your own at home.
Unroasted coffee beans are a yellowish green color, but turn brown once roasted. The longer they are roasted, the deeper and darker their color and the more intense their flavor; French roast coffee, for instance, consists of especially dark roasted coffee beans. If you'd like to start roasting your own, then you have two choices: you could purchase a roasting machine or you could do it yourself. There are a couple of ways to roast your own beans - keep reading to learn about a few of them.
You can roast coffee beans easily on your stovetop. All you need is a frying pan (cast iron pans work especially well) and some green coffee beans. Just place your pan on the stove and fill it evenly with a thin layer of beans. Try not to fill it with more than two or three layers in order to ensure an even roast and prevent accidental burning. Turn on the heat to medium-high and roast for ten to fifteen minutes, stirring continually to prevent burning. How long you'll need to roast your coffee for depends on how dark of a roast you'd like. Once they're done, pour them into a large ceramic or metal bowl and stir constantly for another five to ten minutes until they are cool enough to handle safely.
Once your roasted coffee beans have cooled to room temperature, allow them to sit for twelve hours to allow moisture and carbon dioxide generated by roasting to dissipate before storing them in an airtight container.
For this method, you'll need a hot air popper, a wooden spoon for stirring and a large colander for cooling the beans. A pot holder is also a good idea here for safety's sake. Just set up your hot air popper as you would when making popcorn and roast the coffee beans in small batches; two to four ounces at a time is best. Set the bow under the popper's spout to catch the beans and start your hot air popper.
After a few minutes, you'll begin to see some smoke and smell the aroma of roasted coffee. Roast the beans for about four minutes for a lighter roast and six to seven minutes (but no more than this) for a French style roast. When they're done, turn off the popper and pour the roasted coffee beans into a colander, stirring constantly for seven to ten minutes or until they're cool enough to touch without burning yourself. Allow the beans to sit for twelve hours and store in airtight containers.
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