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Why Would I Roast Coffee Beans at Home?
Good question. You want to save money but you don’t exactly have a lot of time to spare, right? You also appreciate GOOD coffee and aren’t willing to cut back to instant coffee or no coffee at all. I’ve got great news for you, then. Roasting coffee beans at home takes around 15-20 minutes and can yield you enough roasted coffee beans to last you for a week or more. That’s not bad, is it?
How Much Can I Save by Roasting Coffee Beans at Home?
One pound of coffee is enough to brew anywhere from 36 to 40 8-ounce cups of coffee, depending on the brewing method.
I bought a five pound bag green coffee beans for $28.95 on Amazon.
Buy this bag now so Amazon doesn’t shut down my Affiliates account. And for the coffee.
This yields, to use the middle of the estimate, 190 cups of coffee.
190 cups of 8 ounce coffee is a total of 1,520 fluid ounces of coffee. Per ounce, roasting at home produces a $0.02 fluid ounce of coffee.
A Tall cup of freshly brewed, plain coffee at Starbucks costs $1.85.
“Tall” is 12 ounces. That works out to around $0.16 per ounce.
Roasting at home saves me 88% on the cost of a cup of plain Starbucks coffee.
But what about…?
What if you buy your coffee beans at some place like Costco?
A five pound bag of equivalent quality coffee (Ruta Maya Organic Medium Roast) at Costco costs $41.99. Instead of doing all that math again, we can see that my Amazon coffee is 31% cheaper than Costco’s coffee simply by comparing prices of equal weights. A fluid ounce of Costco coffee is approximately $0.03. From my personal experience, Costco, Starbucks, etc. do not sell the best coffee beans.
Cost of a Habit
Let’s say you drink one eight ounce cup of coffee per day. You might drink two, three, or even more, but let’s keep it simple.
- My home roasted coffee is $0.16 per cup.
- Costco is $0.24 per cup.
- Starbucks, adjusted for an 8 ounce cup, is $1.28 per cup.
Starbucks is 8x more expensive than my home roasted coffee!
A year of 8 ounce cups of coffee costs:
- $58.40 for my home roasted coffee
- $87.60 for Costco coffee
- $467.20 for Starbucks coffee
If you have a Money Multiple of 9x, that delta between Starbucks and home roasted is costing you almost $3,700 of retirements funds, and that’s just for one year of this habit!
Are We Splitting Hairs?
Look, I get that a $1.85 cup of Starbucks doesn’t seem like a big deal. As a one-time thing, it really isn’t. However, sipping on a cuppa Joe is likely a habit and as you can see above, the expense adds up over time.
I don’t want you to give up something you enjoy. Coffee is not the villain here. Instead of sacrificing one of your pleasures in life, think about how you can still have it on the cheap! If you can maintain or even improve the quality, you’re a winner.
My home roasted coffee is flippin’ delicious. At a medium roast, it has a caramel flavor. In a darker roast, it starts to get a little nutty. It’s one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever had. I can control exactly how roasted the beans are to my own liking!
How to Roast Coffee Beans at Home Without Special Coffee Equipment
Finally, after all that preamble showing you that it’s worth doing this, I’m going to show you how to roast your coffee beans at home!
First, you need a few things:
- Green coffee beans
- a baking pan (perforated, if you have one. I don’t.)
- an oven or non-stick frying pan
- a collander (metal is preferable)
- oven mitts
- around 20 minutes
- parchment paper if you’re using the oven, or a large wooden spoon if you’re using the frying pan
- airtight container
I tried using a frying pan and using the oven to roast coffee. You can also use a popcorn machine or an actual coffee roaster, but I’m assuming you don’t have those already. Why spend money on extra equipment if you don’t need to, right?
I prefer using the oven. The roast is more consistent, it yields more, and it takes less work.
Make sure your area is well ventilated. It might get smokey!
If you’re using an oven, crank that bad boy up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re using a non-stick frying pan, put it on the grill (gas is better) on a medium-high heat and let the pan warm up.
Put down a sheet of parchment paper on the baking pan. Take those green coffee beans and spread them onto the pan. Make sure there’s only a single layer of beans. The same holds for the frying pan, keep the beans from stacking up on each other.
Place that pan in the middle shelf of the oven. Wait approximately 5-7 minutes and you’ll hear what’s called as the “first crack”. Quickly take out the pan and give it a good shake so that the beans flip.
If you’re using that frying pan, use the wooden spoon to move the beans around every few seconds. This will help get a more even roast. This also takes 5-7 minutes to get the first crack.
Wait another couple of minutes and you’ll hear the second crack. Once the popping slows down, wait 60 seconds and use the oven mitts to remove the baking pan from the oven. This is a medium roast.
If you want a dark roast, wait up to two minutes after the second crack. Keep a close eye on it to make sure you’re not burning the coffee, though!
Put the coffee beans into the collander. Hold the collander over the sink or outside and shake the collander around in a circular motion. Do this until you stop seeing chaff coming off the beans.
Lay out the roasted beans on a baking pan. If you used one in the oven, use a different pan that isn’t hot. Just like before the roast, make sure the beans are spread out into a single layer.
Wait 12 hours for the beans to “de-gas.”
Put the beans into an airtight container. I use mason jars.
The beans will continue to “de-gas” (huh-huh, uh, Beavis) but this isn’t a big deal if you’re opening the container every day. If you’re not, open it occasionally to let the pent-up CO2 out or your coffee will get stale.
Grind your coffee beans and brew an amazing cup of coffee!
Aside from saving a lot of money on coffee, you can also gift your coffee to friends. I did this a couple of days ago.
If you’re enterprising, you can even make this your side hustle and promote your own brand of home roasted coffee! Charge a whopping premium to Starbucks because this coffee is better.