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Published on May 23rd, 2012 | by Brawling Barista

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Steal An Idea: Home Roasting Coffee Beans

Home roasting coffee beans- a cool craft project for your next derby fundraiser!

We all know what it’s like to be a grass roots organization. Every member wears many hats, and fundraising is, and should be, a top priority. Here’s an easy and interesting home craft that will wow your team and add interest to your next craft table fundraiser.

Brawling Barista’s Home Roasting

What you’ll need:

-“Green” coffee beans. I started with about 3 pounds- but since this isn’t exactly a fast process- I wouldn’t do more than that unless you have multiple people and multiple whirly pops.
-2 medium sized metal colanders
-A whirly pop, stove top popcorn popper
-Paper towels
-A baking tray or a pasta pot insert
-a box fan/ good over stove ventilation
-a wooden spoon
-some tupperware

Step 1.

Buy green coffee beans. You can use a site like Sweet Maria’s Home Roasting Supplies, or just contact your local roaster. I purchased 3 pounds of green Brazilian Cerrado from local good coffee people- Blanchard’s Coffee Company in Richmond VA. For home roasting- I don’t recommend getting anything too expensive—because you know, you might mess up.

green beans.JPG

Step 2

Set up your work station. Once you get started- the process happens quickly- so you want to be ready to catch those beans! I have my colanders set up over mixing bowls for stability-

set up beans.JPG

Step 3

Sort your beans. They have been pre sorted and graded- but bad beans make a bad batch. Take out any beans that are misshaped, an odd ball color, super dark or smell funny. There’s not going to be that many- but quality control is important!

bad beans.JPG

Step 4

Open all the windows /doors to your kitchen to the outside, and put a box fan in the window/door to assist in ventilation to the outside. Its going to get smoky in here! If you have an over stove hood/ turn it on too. Close the doors leading to the kitchen if you can too. The smoke is a normal part of roasting- and there’s not a lot that can be done to prevent it—just make sure to do it in a well ventilated area.
Pour your beans into a room temp whirly popper (make sure you have the turning knob!) about 1-2 inches deep- but no more. You’ll need to turn the beans using the stirring contraption—and the agitation will be important to even toasting, and if you try to roast too many beans at once you’ll end up with some burnt and some underdone.

calico beans.JPG

Step 5

Turn your burner on to medium/medium low heat and place the whirly popper full of beans onto the burner. You’ll want your popper and beans to heat up together- and since the whirly popper is aluminum- its not going to retain heat very well. Start stirring the beans immediately.
1st Crack. When you’re stirring vigorously, you’re going to start hearing the beans open up- or crack after about 6-8 minutes. Its going to sound sort of like popcorn popping- but less excitedly so. Keep stirring! Don’t walk away! You’ll also notice that the bottom and the edges of the pan will be covered in papery chaff that has come off the beans—this is from the cracking of the beans, and it’s a good sign!

you’ll also start to notice a little smoke and your beans will look yellow/blond. This is normal- you will think your heat is too high and you’re burning them- but just keep stirring and ride that tide!

blond beans.JPG

Step 6

At this point- you’ll be sure you’re screwing them up and burning everything. The beans will resemble all the colors of a calico cat, and some will even stay yellow. Hang tight—this is pretty normal. Just keep twirling that whirly pop handle- and go fast a couple times to make sure the temperature inside is even all around. Its going to smoke A LOT.

medium roast beans.JPG

Step 7

You’ll start to notice a lot more uniformity to the beans, and they’ll start to look glossy. You could continue to roast at this point towards the 2nd crack, but I like to take the beans outside and agitate them so the chaff doesn’t burn/ set fire in the pan. Move the beans to the 2 colanders (or one big one) and take it outside. Once you’re outside- try to position the fan behind you and shake and toss the beans so the chaff (that papery stuff) flies off into the air. This will also cool the beans some- but be careful- they’re still hot. (turn off the heat to the popper at this time so it doesn’t get too hot)

shaking the chaff of the beans.JPG

Step 8

Once you’re sure the chaff is gone, put the beans back in the pan and put the heat back on medium/medium low. Keep stirring the beans, and you’ll hear a second crack- or sizzle after about 4 more minutes.

completed beans 2.JPG

At this point- you can take them off at the roast you like—light to French roast. Just remember to take the beans off slightly before your preferred doneness- they’ll continue to darken with carryover temperatures.

completed beans.JPG

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