So, You Want To Roast Coffee? : Part 1

Home Roasting

coffee in hand
If you’re reading this, I fear your heart has been smitten by that little brown “bean” we affectionately refer to as coffee (a.k.a. the list of coffee names that Dave Parton wrote about.) You may recognize the symptoms. It starts with a casual cup of coffee from the Mr. Coffee at work. Or perhaps you come from a long tradition of any number of mainstream brands of coffee at home. After all, the goal when buying coffee has always been to find the cheapest can and hope no one complains, right? But then one day, you were introduced to fresh coffee. That is, coffee that was not roasted, ground, canned and purchased from a store shelf after sitting there for who-knows-how-long (could it be that the can sitting on that grocery store shelf may have been sitting there for a few months? …and how long did it sit in the supermarket’s regional warehouse before that? …or the coffee company’s warehouse before that?)

There is something very special about sipping a cup of coffee that was roasted yesterday; that was ground just before brewing only several minutes before hitting your mug. There is a freshness about that experience that will ruin you to anything else that may cross your palate.

Evolution of the Coffee Lover

As your appreciation for fresh coffee has grown, you began to pass by the supermarket brands in favor of purchasing whole bean coffee from your local coffee shop or specialty market. Now, you are hooked! You are a coffee connoisseur (or “snob,” as your friends call you). You spend time reading about coffee, researching it on the internet, watching YouTube videos about any number of coffee-related topics, naming your dog after a coffee bean (*cough* Jason! *cough*). You find that you can’t get enough! You’ve turned into E.T.: “Input” (you do remember the 80’s, don’t you?)

As the coffee bug burrows its way deep into your soul, you have arrived at that dreaded day when you say to yourself, “I need to learn how to roast coffee!” If so, I fear for you… you’ve reached the point of no return.

Transformation into a Full Blown Coffee Connoisseur

“How do you know me so well,” you may ask? Well, I know because I have been down that trail. I am a home coffee roaster and I’m here to help. As I begin a series of articles on home coffee roasting, I will take you on my journey to tell you what I have learned and mistakes I have made along the way. There is a learning curve to roasting, but persistence pays huge dividends! I am by no means a professional coffee roaster. I still have a long way to go. But I have started my journey and have found some success. I encourage you to hang in there and join the conversation.

In the words of Cash Cab’s Ben Bailey, “So, what do you say? You in?” Leave a comment to let me know if you’re along for the ride, but also leave your questions or comments that we can discuss as we travel down this road together.

I look forward to hearing from you.



Randy is a pastor and hospice chaplain with a bachelor's degree in Transformational Christian Ministry. He enjoys motorcycling, music, photography, social networking, technology, and... oh yeah... COFFEE!!! His coffee drink of choice is a caramel latte, which he has been actively trying to perfect at home since the early 2000's. He has been roasting since mid-2011. His interest in coffee continues as he is always seeking to further his knowledge and ability of our craft.

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