Home coffee roasting for the true coffee enthusiast.

If you watched the video, that's just a super-short demonstration of how a home roaster works.

The practice of home coffee roasting goes back for centuries.

In fact, being able to buy roasted beans in bags became popular only a little over a century ago.

Before that, everyone bought green coffee beans and roasted them at home. Transportation was not as it is today, and green coffee beans stay fresh a great deal longer than their roasted counterparts.

The only reason to buy your coffee beans roasted, and ground - and even prepackaged in K-Cups and coffee pods - is to make life a little more convenient.

If you really want to taste a fresh brew, you’ll want to roast your own coffee beans at home, and then use them as soon as they have cooled.

The basics of home coffee roasting...

There are several ways to roast your own green coffee beans.

You can roast them in the oven, on your stovetop and even in a hot air popcorn popper. Perhaps surprisingly, a good popcorn popper can do an excellent job of roasting coffee.

Or you can buy a home roasting machine. There are several different brands and models on the market, most of them using a column of hot air to both roast and agitate the coffee beans.

These home coffee roasters include a variety of useful features, like chaff collectors and various different time settings.

The time settings give you the flexibility to take the same batch of green coffee beans and try a medium roast, a dark roast and even a very dark roast.

Some other benefits of home coffee roasting.

There are several good reasons to roast your own beans.

First, it gives you the opportunity to experiment with different roasts. Take your favorite beans, and then adjust the roasting times and see the difference it makes to the taste and aroma.

Second, you can store green beans for a year or more, and still get a fresh brew once you have roasted a small batch and let it cool.

Third, you can quickly offset the cost of a home coffee roasting machine with the money you save on the beans.

Unless you are buying something very exotic, you’ll find that you can often buy five pounds of green coffee beans for about the same price as you would pay for one pound of roasted beans.

Finally, how about building your own coffee roaster?

Home made coffee roaster.

That’s what Scott Marquardt did, as you can see from his roaster in the photo above. And that’s Scott behind the roaster.

I had an opportunity to talk with Scott at CoffeeCON 2013. He was heading up the roaster’s area.

At first sight his roaster may look like a crude mashup of an old BBQ grill and a kitchen sink. But it’s way more than that. At the heart of it he custom built the drum in which the beans are roasted. For a closer look at all the components, you can check out his own page on this roaster.

If it seems a little big for home use, that’s because he takes it out to events and farmers’ markets and roasts green beans under the name of Open Sky Coffee.

What could be better than that? Go to the market for your fresh produce, and pick up some fresh-roasted coffee at the same time.

This is one of the great things about following a passion for coffee. You don’t have to go out and buy fancy equipment. Whether you are roasting, grinding or brewing your coffee, there are always some really low-cost ways to do it.

And there are always ingenious individuals like Scott who can surprise you with a unique way to enjoy the whole coffee experience.

If you don't feel that enterprising, you can buy home coffee roasters at Amazon.com.

About the author: Nick Usborne, aka Coffee Detective, is a writer and long-time coffee enthusiast. Read more…

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