TJE 61: My Improved Home Roasting Procedure

A few days after my failed first home roasting experiment, I already tried the method demonstrated in this video. Two changes were made: (1) I used the gas-fired stove, and (2) used a rounded bottom pan, similar to a wok. It’s an old pan we had since I was a kid, the handle’s even gone. But it still is very useful!

I practiced a few times throughout the course of 4 months. I had a bunch of roasted Ethiopia Sidamo beans, that’s why I wasn’t roasting frequently. Anyway, my last 3 roasts yielded pretty good tasting coffee. And so albeit late, I present to you, the manual roasting method I do at home:

One obvious limitation of manual home roasting is the stirring. Can’t be consistent in that, so a few beans will inevitably be burnt compared to the rest.

I guess the tips are:

  • Use a round bottom pan, that’s a bit thick. The thickness avoids premature burning of the beans.
  • Play around with the amount of flame, until you get the setting where you don’t have to adjust it in between. Finding the optimum flame setting is important so you can just stir continuously. In my case, I used the burner head with a weaker flame, where its max opening is enough for a good pace of roasting.
  • Determine an optimum weight of the batch. Considering the above 2 items, the weight of the batch is 200g to 300g of green coffee beans. I’m yet to find a good setting for bigger batches, say 500 grams.
  • Egg whisker is indeed a good tool to use for stirring or mixing the coffee beans for even heat distribution.

Since I’m pretty confident with this manual roasting procedure, the next challenge is to find a cheap automated or semi-automated operation. 🙂

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