Last Updated on June 27, 2023 by Barry Gray
I know it’s always easier to head out to your local store and pick up some pre-roasted coffee beans. However, people do this because they believe the roasting process for coffee is a huge deal that requires special equipment.
Well, that’s not entirely true.
Instead, I will look at the possibility of being able to roast some coffee a bit closer to home. In particular, if you can use your oven to roast the coffee and be happy with the end result.
You can easily produce some home-roasted coffee via your oven, and it’s quicker than you think. The key is to pay close attention to how the color of the bean changes, depending on the roast you want, before taking it to a cooling area to finish the job.
But I’m also aware that you do not want to simply throw the beans in your oven and hope for the best. So, I will help you out along the way.
Why Roast Beans at Home?
First, I’m sure some people will be sitting there wondering why they should bother with all of this roasting, so I’ll tell you.
I’ve tried roasting my own coffee beans, and the aroma that starts to fill the kitchen, even while it’s all still a work in progress, is something I won’t forget. It actually makes you look forward to drinking the coffee, even though you want it to just hurry up and finish roasting.
But it also allows you to experiment with the same beans and different roasts.
I loved doing this as it showed me how the roasting process really does change absolutely everything. Honestly, it’s something I think every coffee lover should try at some point, and I’m sure it will open your eyes to a whole new world of coffee.
What Do You Need to Roast Coffee in Your Oven?
So, what do you need to successfully roast coffee beans in your oven? Well, the list of items is not as extensive as you thought, and I believe you will have most of the things already.
Aside from the obvious, which is the oven and the green coffee beans, this is the list of items I used to roast my beans.
- A spatula
- A timer (or a stopwatch on your cell phone will do)
- A baking tray (it’s best if you have one with perforations)
- A metal colander
- A strainer
- A water bottle
As you can see, most people will have those items in their kitchen already. So, you have no reason to struggle with roasting your coffee beans.
Where Do I Find Green Coffee Beans?
Before I dive into the actual process you need to follow to successfully roast your own coffee beans, I must address another issue. Where do you find green coffee beans?
This is hardly the sort of thing you will find in your local grocery store, so there’s no point in looking there. I admit it’s more of a specialty, so you must search far and wide to get your hands on some green coffee beans.
Actually, the best place to find them is online, and various sellers out there can offer an array of green coffee beans from around the world.
But don’t worry about freshness as much as you need to do with the roasted version. These green coffee beans will be sealed and ready to go.
How about beans from Asia to incorporate more of a nutty taste to things?
Think about the location, and then find the appropriate green coffee beans to prepare you for a real taste explosion.
Getting Ready to Roast
So, I will presume you now have some lovely green coffee beans in your possession, and you now want to know how to roast them.
The first thing I did was I rinsed the green coffee beans. Not everyone does this, but some argue it increases the moisture content and also means the beans are more likely to crack in less time.
But I do have a word of warning. Roasting coffee beans at home in your oven will produce more smoke than expected.
I know I was blown away by how much smoke it produced. It was something I wasn’t anticipating, which is why I want to ensure you know what’s coming.
You want to see that smoke appearing but open all windows and doors to allow the smoke to get out, or it could become overwhelming.
The Key Steps for Roasting Coffee Beans in Your Oven
I had to follow several key steps when roasting the coffee beans in my oven. There’s nothing difficult here, but I know I felt stressed out when doing it for the first time.
So, here’s what I did to get my roasted coffee beans.
The Oven Temperature
I started things off by heating up my oven. I set it to a moderately high temperature, but don’t put your oven to the maximum.
But your idea of moderately high will depend on whether you have a gas oven or an electric oven. So, think about what moderately high means to you, and set that dial to that temperature.
Putting the Coffee Beans on the Tray
I mentioned in my list of items you need to roast coffee beans that you should have a baking tray complete with perforations. Remember, those holes must be small, or the coffee beans will fall through.
Having holes in the tray does allow the warm air to circulate more evenly around the beans. I feel this gives a more even roast and a better end result, so it may even be worth investing in a baking tray like this if you do not already own one.
But here’s an important point regarding the coffee beans: do not stack them on the tray.
You cannot have beans sitting on top of one another. They need to be on the one layer and side by side. If you pile them up, you will get an uneven roast, and that’s a waste of time.
Checking the Beans in the Oven
Getting to the point of adding the beans to the oven is the easy part. However, the stressful part is when you add them to the oven.
This is where you need to keep an eye on the time and the color of the beans. Honestly, I felt the color change was the more accurate way to track things.
Generally, I noticed the green disappearing and changing into a light color. Of course, as the roast progressed, the beans became darker, which explains the difference between a light roast and a dark roast.
What Happens if Some Are Roasting and Others Aren’t?
I must stress the need to pay close attention to what is going on with your coffee beans. I noticed some were roasting, and others didn’t appear to be playing ball.
If that’s the case with you, you can move them around to ensure you get a more even roast.
But here is another crucial point.
It would help if you did not move the beans around continuously. Actually, I would only do it once, as you play around with the temperatures too much, and it can lead to an uneven roast.
However, if you notice this is happening early on, then there’s nothing to stop you from moving them around at the outset.
Listen for the Sound
Now, this does mean you need to hang around your oven to do this, but I also suggest you listen to the sounds of your coffee beans.
What you are listening out for is the cracking sound. The first crack of the beans means you have lightly roasted, and there will be another crack as the beans start to move towards being more of a dark roast.
That does mean medium-roast is difficult as it sits somewhere in between the two.
Generally, you should hear the first crack in the first five to ten minutes.
How Long Does it Take?
The actual roasting process takes less time than you think. I’ve found the entire process to take in the region of up to 15 minutes.
This is shorter than people expect because if you know anything about the professional roasting process, they use a gradual build-up of the temperature to get a better roast.
You won’t be doing that with your home oven, so it takes no time at all to get something you can then grind down and make some coffee.
The Cooling Process
I was going for a dark roast during my first attempt, and when I felt happy about the color, I was ready to put my freshly-roasted beans through the cooling process.
Again, this is an important stage, and it’s the point where you want to get that metal colander ready.
Pour the beans into your metal colander. If you live in a part of the world where it’s hot and dry, then spritz some water on the beans, but only slightly.
The last thing you want to do is to soak the beans, so be gentle when spraying water on them.
You need to then allow your beans to cool. There may be something resembling skin on the outside, which is the chaff, so remove that before grinding.
The Resting Process
Sadly, you cannot dive straight in, grind down some coffee beans, and make coffee. They need to rest first.
The resting process allows the flavor and aroma to develop even more. I recommend adding them to some airtight containers and leaving them for up to four days.
I know that’s a long time, but it will be worth it in the end.
And that is how you successfully roast coffee beans in your oven. You have seen how it’s not difficult, and the hardest part is checking on the beans and how they are developing and changing color.
Roasting coffee beans in your oven at home is very easy to do, and it’s a worthwhile experiment for most people to try out.
You do not require any special equipment to do this, and the results you can achieve will probably blow your mind. Yes, it does involve you paying close attention to it all. Still, the different coffee you can then produce from the beans is amazing.
If you haven’t tried it yet, get some green coffee beans and give it a shot. I promise it will be a lot of fun, and it will provide you with some gorgeous coffee to try at different stages as well.