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Home Roasting Tips

Roasting coffee beans at home has become very popular among coffee drinkers. It’s not only cheaper than buying pre-roasted coffee, but it also tastes much fresher. That’s because the shelf life for green coffee beans is VERY LONG, while roasted coffee beans have a very short fresh shelf-life!


The basic home roasted coffee process does not require a lot of tools. The basic requirements you'll need are:
  • Green Coffee Beans
  • Roaster - based on your preferred method of roasting
  • A little practice
  • A little patience

Upfront, please note that there are some challenges and cautions that come with home roasting. But, for the true coffee enthusiast, there is truly a rich reward.

Challenges and Cautions

The pitfalls to DIY home roasting include: time commitment, smoke, flying chafe, fire hazards and extra extra extra bold roasts (that border on scorched).

Time Commitment

From cooking to cooling, allow sufficient time to attend to the entire process (approximately 30-60 minutes. Never leave your coffee roaster unattended*. First, because there are fire hazards. Second, because there’s a fine line between crossing over from one level of roast and the next (light roast to medium, or medium roast to deep roast).




There will be a lot of smoke - even at the beginning. If you prefer a darker roast which requires a longer roasting time, the amount of smoke produced can set off your smoke alarms, so be prepared. You might also want to alert your neighbors so they don't freak out.


Coffee beans have a thin outer layer. When coffee beans are roasted, the high heat dries the outer skin, causing it to pull away. The dried outer layer is called "Chafe". Although the roasting temperatures will cause most of the chafe to pull away from the beans, you can remove the rest during the cooling process (more about that later). The reason you want to remove the chafe is that it has a very bitter taste.

If you are using a hot air popper, the chafe will definitely start flying out of the canister and all over nearby surfaces, plus the floor. Thus our recommendation for roasting outdoors. The flying chafe will remind you of finely crumpled autumn leaves.

Fire Hazards

Chafe is very flammable. Sustained exposure to high heat can make it flame up. This is the primary reason why you must always be present while roasting coffee at home. The longer your beans roast and the higher the temperature becomes, there is a greater risk of burning and fire. Be attentive and use precautionary measures to stay safe.

Scorched Beans

At the extreme end of making dark roast coffee beans, there arrives a point when the sucrose in the bean is completely caramelized and begins to burn. Subtle hints of bitterness can be a desired flavor enhancement, such as in an espresso. But continued roasting usually results in creating expensive, tiny charcoal pellets. And increased chance of fire. Again, keep a close watch over your roasting beans.

Coffee Roasting Methods

* Limitation of Liability

Fox River Coffee Co. shall not be liable for any special or consequential damages that result from the use or misuse of informational materials on this site, even if the Fox River Coffee Co. has been advised of the possibility of such damages. Applicable law may not allow the limitation of exclusion of liability or incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you.