Buy Pre-Roasted or Roast My Own???


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Feb 9, 2006
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I am sure the answer to this is obvious, but a I am wet behind the ears when it comes to being a student of this art. If I should Roast My Own, 2Q's: 1) Does an oven do the trick? (cons?? pro's, if any?) 2) If not, what is a good inexpensive roaster for home use? I am not cheap by any means, just looking for something small for now, and will gradually invest as I learn \ expand my knowledge. As usual - Thanks to those that respond.

My target blend is a light roast.

roast your own if at all possible

If you have a local micro-roaster in your area or one that roasts to order and ships quickly, that's the quickest no-hassle route.

If you have a little extra space and a little extra time... I would always vote for the "roast your own" option. I would probably recommend something like a "hottop roaster". It roasts 1/2 pound at a time. (you would not want anything more than that) It's pretty smokey even though it has a filter. You may want to use an overhead exhuast or do it ouside if the weather is nice.

Personally, I've never been one for the "cowboy roasting" frying pan - oven etc. Coffee is so subjective to your own preference though. I'm sure it could'nt hurt to try some free methods first. I don't sell green beans as part of my roasting business, but if you'd like to try roasting your own, feel free to hit me up.
Sweet Maria's has a lot of info on roasting and roasting methods.

For freshness and quality, you can't beat home roasting. There's a learning curve and I don't think you'll hit the roasts or blends of some very experienced specialty/micro roasters but you'll top anything grocery store bought.

With home roasting you can pick your green bean and have available to you varietals that you won't find at the store. As well most green bean suppliers source out very high quality arabicas which makes for very tasty coffee. Fresh green beans can also be stored for years so if you home roast you can build up a stock and roast on demand to ensure freshness. Green beans are also considerably cheaper than roasted beans of the same quality so you'll save money as well. Where I live green beans are tax exempt.

It's also an interesting hobby to get into if you like coffee. There is so much I've learned about coffee just from home roasting that I don't think I would have learned otherwise.

You also don't need expensive, computer controlled equipment. Roasting coffee is like popping popcorn. Nice and even and try not to burn it. Expensive machines make the process easier but they're not essential.

It's a myth that home roasting is difficult and inaccessable to the public. Commercial coffee suppliers would like you to think that but it's really not true.
Roast your own!

It can't hurt to try home roasting!! It is easy and fun and you will love the results. You can use your oven with a cookie sheet but it will produce smoke in the house. You can always use a popcorn popper to get you going or purchase a roaster. The Fresh Roast Plus 8 is a great, affordable unit. For around $70 you can roast your own coffee at home. This method produces less smoke and takes less time. Once you get addicted, and you will get addicted, you can play around with building your own roaster. I can email you instructions for building your own roaster using a convection oven lid and popcorn popper base if you are interested. Home roasting is worth it!!
do it at home for sure

I second the opinion that you should for sure try it at home. If you screw up, you will at worst be out a small bag of beans and can try again. If you get it right, you will be well on the way to enjoying a great cup of coffee :)