Home Roasting FAQs

Some Home Coffee Roasting FAQs

Q: What do I need apart from the Severin popcorn maker to home roast?
A: (1) Green beans – Arabica beans of your choosing. See on this Group for mail order suppliers.
(2) A ‘chimney’to stop your beans jumping out. I use a large paper takeaway coffee cup with the bottom cut out.
(3) An accurate timer – I use my iPhone.
(4) A weighing scale that weighs in grammes.
(5) Extractor fan in the kitchen.
(6) A seive and collander. I also use a large, heavy pan as the mass of metal cools the beans down faster.
(7) A Hoover to Hoover up the chaff afterwards.
(8) A bit of knowledge of the coffee roasting process – first crack, second crack etc.
If in doubt, make the first roast lighter – after first crack and before second.

Q: When does first crack occur?
A: It depends on your roasting machine your coffee, and how much you add to your machine. It may be as soon as two minutes – mine typically starts around 2:30. It may be 3 or 4 minutes.

Q: When does second crack occur?
A: Again, it depends, and you’ll only find out for your machine and specific coffee by experimentation. For me, with the Severin and 100g Peruvian, it’s around 6 minutes.

Q: When should I stop the roast?
A: It’s up to you. A while after 2nd crack gives a dark roast – Italian or Spanish, with black, glossy beans. This type of roast doesn’t show the characteristics of the region the beans come from. Light roasts – right after 1st crack show highly individual characteristics and higher acidity. In between 1st and 2nd shows a balance of character and classic ‘coffee’ taste.

Q: What do I do after stopping the roast?
A: Grab the machine (you may need a kitchen towel) and dump the smoking beans into the sieve. Transfer to collander and back. I dump mine in my huge, heavy steel pan to conduct the heat away quickly. This takes a few minutes. Keep the beans moving.

Q: What are Roast Levels?
A:  Roast levels are how dark your coffee beans are when you finish a roast. When you roast at home, you can control exactly how dark or light you want your coffee beans to be. You can roasting stop anywhere between Light and Carbon.

From Light to Dark Roasts they are:
Cinnamon Roast – Very light. Just yellowy coloured . Barely at 1st crack.
New England Roast – Light brown, dry surface of beans. At or slightly after 1st crack.
American Roast – After 1st crack. Looks more like regular coffee. Brown and still dry at the surface.
City Roast – A bit darker brown and still dry.
Full City Roast – A few beans may get shiny, dark brown. Will have a bitter component to the taste.
Vienna Roast – After 2nd crack. Shiny beans. Very dark with bitter sweet taste overpowering individual bean characteristics.
French Roast –  Darker still. Bitter. Little of the taste of the original bean.
Italian Roast – Really bitter, needs milk & sugar.
Spanish Roast – I would say over-roasted, and no taste of the original bean.
The last four classifications blend into each other and may be somewhat interchangeable.

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