The answer to this question depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re the type of person who likes to understand and control all aspects of your coffee experience, then roasting your own beans can be a rewarding hobby.
If you want to save money while still drinking great coffee, then it’s probably not worth it. You’ll need a few key tools and supplies before getting started with roasting at home.
But did you know it takes years of experience and knowledge to get the perfect roast every time? If this sounds like too much work, then check out some ways to make your own coffee without roasting it yourself.
Pros of roasting your own coffee:
- You know exactly what you’re getting, and it’s fresh.
- You can roast as much or as little as you want.
- Great fun, like a science experiment!
Cons of roasting coffee at home:
- It takes years to master roasting techniques. This means mistakes (and burned batches) are common for new roasters.
- You need to invest in some expensive equipment and tools.
- Coffee beans have a very short shelf life, so you only get a few days of freshness after roasting them yourself.
- The lighter the roast, the more caffeine is lost during roasting. This means darker roasted coffees contain less caffeine than lighter roasts.
Tools For Roasting Own beans at Home:
- Oven (or popcorn popper or hot air roaster). You can use a stovetop or electric range oven, but heating the beans evenly for an extended period of time will be difficult. Roasting beans on your gas stove or electric oven can produce a smoky environment as well, which is not good if you have allergies.
- A heat diffuser to spread the heat evenly from the bottom of the roaster. This ensures all the beans roast more evenly and prevents burnt beans.
- A cooling tray so you can quickly and safely cool the beans.
- Proper roasting equipment , like a metal colander, mixing bowl, or heat-resistant gloves to pour the beans into the cooling tray.
- A vacuum container to store your roasted beans in. This is especially helpful if you roast less than one pound of coffee at a time.
- Coffee beans , of course. A good starting point is about 0.5lbs per batch, but experiment to see what size batches you like best.
- Hose or another way to easily clean your oven or stovetop so the smell of smoke doesn’t linger for weeks after roasting.
The total cost of getting started with home coffee roasting will vary depending on how much of the equipment you already have, or what type of tools you want to invest in. It’s not free, but if you’re drawn to the idea of roasting your own coffee beans, then it can be worth it.
Home coffee roasters range in price from $20 for a hot air popcorn popper to upwards of $1,000 for a larger capacity commercial-grade roaster.
If you’re just getting started in home coffee roasting, then it doesn’t make sense to invest in an expensive machine right away.
Alternate To Coffee Roasting For Home
If you love the taste of freshly roasted beans and want a fun activity to share with friends or family members, then investing in a home coffee roaster can be worthwhile.
You’ll have to spend time learning the different techniques for producing the perfect roast, but once you do, it can save some money and taste great!
But if you’re not sure if this hobby is for you, check out some other simple ways to make your own coffee at home without roasting it yourself.
Grind Coffee Beans
Grind your own coffee beans instead of buying roasted beans, which are already ground for you. This is one of the easiest ways to make better coffee at home, because there are less things that can go wrong in the process.
Cold Brewed Coffee
Make cold brewed coffee by soaking coffee grounds in cold water overnight until the flavor is extracted from the coffee beans. This is a different process from brewing hot coffee, but can be even easier for beginners to use.
Try a French press if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make an iced coffee at home.
Make your own lattes at home using a milk frother or an Aerolatte whisk , which works great for frothing up hot or cold milk.
Try your own chai tea from scratch to save money and cut out the extra sweetness usually found in premade mixes.
Use Coffee Maker
Use a coffee maker instead of a complicated espresso machine if you don’t have much space in your kitchen. Get creative with your morning cup of Joe by adding some unique ingredients to your coffee, like fruit or nut butters.
Make your own hot chocolate with real cocoa powder to cut out the extra additives you’ll find in store-bought mixes.- Invest in a quality mug so you can drink good coffee without burning your hands.
The one caveat to these ideas is that they don’t give you the same satisfaction as roasting and grinding your own beans and feeling the immediate gratification of drinking a cup of coffee that you made yourself.
So, if you’re craving the unique sensation of roasting your own beans and don’t want to invest much money into this hobby right away, then buying a hot air popcorn popper might be the best way to begin.