Home Coffee Roasting Tips and Methods

Roasting your own coffee is not only personally satisfying, it is relatively easy. You don’t really need the expense of a Probat or Diedrich roaster to begin this craft. Using nothing more than a hot air popcorn popper, you can achieve a very high level of freshness as well as being able to control your roast level. You’ll even save some money along the way and impress your family and friends with your unique coffee roasts and blends.

What You Should Know Before Beginning

Roasting your own coffee gives you virtually unlimited possibilities in your quest for making the perfect cup. You are able to make espresso roasts or bring your beans to a nice full city roast. You can blend your different roasted beans or blend them before roasting.

Green coffee will store well for over a year without loss in character whereas a roasted coffee will be best consumed within a week or two. Buying your beans green will allow you to make larger purchases without worrying about the beans going bad.

When purchasing green coffee beans be sure to buy high quality beans. when starting out your local small batch roasting company is the best place to buy your coffee beans.

We here at Tibaagan Coffees sell high quality green coffee beans for $8.00/Ib. Same beans we use for our own coffee roasting.

Please read other sections in our learning center before starting to roast your own coffee so you know what you’re trying to achieve in temperature, time, color and flavour.

Art & Science of Roasting Coffee


Yes, popcorn poppers work beautifully. They are the similar technology to our fluid bed roasting technique. There are other methods as well for home roasting coffee beans. Stove top, Whirly pop, Oven roasting, etc. Popcorn poppers are the easiest and cost effective for beginners.

Electric popcorn poppers don’t have all the conveniences of home roaster units but they do the job and do it well, whether you like a light or dark roast. Roasting with a popcorn popper is simple and eliminates the expense of a new roaster. This kind of roasting has other advantages, too: It lets you experience the various phases of coffee roasting – the “first crack” as moisture leaves the bean, the change in color as the bean roasts.

First, be sure to use a popper that has hot air enter the popcorn chamber through side vents – poppers that have hot air entering the popping chamber from a grill underneath are unsafe for coffee roasting. You want a popper that blows the chaff upward, out of the popper and into a waste receptacle, such as a sink or large bowl. Poppers that draw their air from below or fail to blow the chaff out of the popper represent a fire risk, because the chaff can ignite.

Your popcorn popper will take as much coffee as popcorn – generally about four ounces – so follow the manufacturer’s recommendation. After putting in the green coffee beans, cover the popper with its plastic hood and make sure the butter dish is in place. Aim the chute where you want the chaff to go, turn on the machine and watch the action.

You should get coffee smoke and the “first crack” in three to four minutes, depending on the popper. In another minute, a light roast will be ready. By this point, you should be watching the beans carefully by looking into the popping chamber, to make sure they’re roasted to your preference. Once you get good at this, you’ll know when the beans are to your liking by the smell of the smoke and the sound of the cracks.

Popcorn popper roasting takes less time than other methods – a dark roast can be done in six to seven minutes. And because the beans continue to roast even after they’re out of the popper, you should pour them out of the popper before they’re at the desired color.

To cool the beans, agitate them in a bowl or collander until they are warm to the touch. If you’re using a metal bowl or collander, use oven mitts.

Then store the beans in an airtight glass jar, out of the light. Because the beans vent CO2, we recommend that you wait four to six hours before closing the jar, to allow the gas to escape without building up too much pressure. The gas will continue to escape for days, however, giving you the amazing aroma of fresh coffee every time you open the jar.

Roasting coffee in a popcorn popper can be a messy venture. During the roasting process, pieces of green coffee called chaff will blow off while producing a great amount of smoke. While the smoke smells great initially, it will find its way into everything in your homestead and once stale it stinks. In the beginning, the easiest course of action is to find a place to roast outside such as a garage, porch or balcony. Along the way, you may upgrade your equipment to devices with a built-in chaff filter or a built in smoke filter.

Below are videos showing how to roast coffee in a Hot Air Popcorn Popper. There are other videos on Youtube showing how this is done.

Links to websites explaining home coffee Roasting
Roast your own coffee

Using a Popcorn Popper to Roast Coffee

Once you outgrow you popcorn popper there are other coffee roasting machines and methods.