How to Roast Your Own Coffee

Published on January 10, 2015 by Lauren

Do you love coffee and have you ever wondered how to roast your own coffee at home? There is a small (but growing) community of people who roast coffee at home very inexpensively.  No pricy coffee roaster needed, just a decent air popcorn popper. You can also roast coffee in a brand machine, here is my post about how to roast coffee using a bread machine.  By no means am I an expert at roasting beans, but the process is pretty straight forward and hard to screw up.  Here is what I do:

How to Roast your Own Coffee

1.) Get Green coffee beans.  I get mine from Burman Coffee Traders.  They have great prices on single-origin coffee from pretty much anywhere in the world. Single-origin coffee beans are generally better quality than blended beans.

how to roast your own coffee

2.) Have your “coffee roaster” on hand.  I used to use a popcorn popper, but have since moved up to a bread machine and heat gun (really).  Whichever roaster you choose, BE CAREFUL and roast your beans outside. The chaff from the beans can ignite if you leave your “roaster” on for a long time, so never leave it unattended.

3.) Go outside, or in your garage.  This process doesn’t smell great… not that it smells bad, it just lingers and would be difficult to get out of your home.  During the winter, my dad uses his fireplace with the damper open to roast his beans.

4.) Turn it on, and pour the beans in.  You can’t put an entire pound in at once.  I would estimate that I probably pour in about 1/2 cup at a time.  Basically, you put enough in so that the air in the popper will swirl the beans around, giving them a nice even roast.

how to roast your own coffee

5.) Listen.  You should hear “first crack” (a hissing popping sound that the beans make) in the first 5 minutes.  Let them roast some more, but keep an eye on them.  When the color looks right to you, take them out.  Once the beans have reached a medium-dark roast, you will hear the “second crack”.  During this crack, small parts of the beans actually pop and fly off.  If you want to go darker, continue to roast even more.  It could take anywhere from 8-15 minutes to reach second crack.  A dark french roast will leave the beans looking a little shiny as the oils have been pushed to the surface of the bean.  I took mine out during the second crack.

how to roast your own coffee

First Crack

how to roast your own coffee

Second Crack

6.) Once the beans have reached the desired color, dump them out on a cookie sheet to stop the roasting process.

how to roast your own coffee

7.) Take your time and relax.  Continue until you have your batch of coffee.

how to roast your own coffee

8.) Grind your coffee and enjoy as you normally would.

I can almost guarantee that you will have good results.  This is nowhere near as complicated as some other popular at-home food processes like brewing beer.  And freshly roasted coffee is really that much better than the stuff you buy in the store.

Let me know if you try this and how your coffee turned out!

how to roast your own coffee


  • I live near enough to Burman’s coffee to stop by and get my green beans from them. I have been roasting my own coffee for about 4-5 years now and there is no other way to do it! The coffee always turns out smooth and low/no acid. You just can’t beat the aroma of the freshly roasted beans either.

    • I’m so jealous that you can stop by and pick them up personally! What method of roasting do you use?

  • here we use a large cast iron skillet over open flame.
    And – our coffee is always fresh since we have about 40,000 coffee trees.

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