Coffee information from The Coffee Brew.

Some tips for perfectly roasted coffee beans at home.

Home roasting green beans has taken off – today coffee lovers want more control over the quality of their roast and are more prepared to experiment with different beans and blends – all in search of the perfect cup that’s fresh and full of flavor.

A Coffee Roaster – they come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. You can buy roasters from just a few dollars up to nearly a thousand dollars. Like all home accessories – you tend to get what you pay – you want a reliable product so be sure to look for a known brand of manufacturer. Here are a few tips about what to look for.

How involved do you want to be?

Have you got a bit of the chemist in you? Like to measure, stir, mix and whir? Well some roasters vary along these dimensions. There are some really simple stove top models which are no more than just a sauce pan with a tight lid and a special handle.

The handle contains a crank. This allows the roaster to stir the beans during the roasting process. Stirring is essential to keep the beans from burning on the bottom as well as to keep the hot air circulating evenly inside.

Whatever you use make sure to look for ones that have a thermometer in the lid. Temperature control is of paramount important for proper coffee bean roasting.

As with all modern gadgets these days you can go to the other extreme – find one of the models that will do it all for you. Just put in a measured amount of your favorite fresh green beans, close the lid and walk away for a few minutes. All done!

These super models have inbuilt thermometers, thermostatically controlled heating mechanisms, clever air-flow control geometry and rotating canisters plus there is also a timer to automatically shut off the device at the correct time.

At the top end of the price range, these unique style roasters do everything but eliminate the smoke that invariably accompanies the process.

The importance of effective heat and air circulation.

The most common type is air roasters that work in a similar fashion to a popcorn popper. Hot air is circulated throughout the unit while the beans are agitated. This gives a uniform roast. Some models are able to filter out the chaff produced as the skins burst from the heat expansion of the bean.

With most models you can watch the process through a glass exterior – this enables you to judge the degree of roast you might like. Usually they have pre-set amounts on the dial ranging from light to dark.

This is really important, critical in fact - the ability of the roaster to circulate air evenly and heat uniformly. Coffee roasters vary in designs and also vary in the degree to which they meet these goals. As an example, a roaster with a heating source that is only at the bottom and also has a constricted air flow is almost certainly going to provide an uneven roast.

This can be overcome by using drum roasters. They provide a rotating drum that uses gravity to keep the beans on the move, rather than relying solely on a stirrer at the bottom.

But beware, though. Many models don't have observation windows for keeping an eye on the roasting process - a must for people who like to experiment and fine-tune the roast. And the other thing worth mentioning, with the greater quantity of beans comes a larger volume of smoke. So make sure when you are roasting beans to do so in a well ventilate spot.

Coffee roasters were once the domain of professional users but now home roasting machines are readily available and have the added benefit of being able to roast large quantities. Very useful for those big dinner parties where you want to enjoy the best quality coffee possible. And who wouldn’t want that?

Now that you have all the ins and outs about roasting coffee it is time to start on the next step – coffee grinders.


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