The Unconventional Way To Roast Coffee Beans At Home

Why on earth would someone want to roast coffee beans at home? Two reasons: First, specialty coffee beans can be very expensive, and we're not even talking about coffee like Kopi Luwak, or palm civet poop coffee, which enthusiasts have been known to pay $500 per kilogram for the privilege of drinking. Whether you're buying whole beans and grinding them to make coffee at home or you're ordering a daily Starbucks, that money adds up quickly.

The second reason to roast your beans at home is that it can be immensely satisfying to transform green coffee beans into a drinkable cup of coffee by hand. There can be a bit of a price barrier to entering the home roasting game, though. At Burman Coffee Traders, suppliers of green beans and equipment, home roasters range from $200 to $650. From there, the prices only go up. If you want to explore DIY coffee roasting, is there a way to try it on the cheap? Perhaps with a piece of kitchen equipment you already own?

Check the cabinets for your old hot air popcorn popper

You can use a hot air popcorn popper to roast your coffee beans at home, according to Popular Science. The best tutorial we've found is provided by Sweet Maria's. The process is pretty simple, but there are some important safety precautions you'll want to carefully observe, like roasting your beans outside, continuously monitoring the process (don't ever walk away from roasting beans!), and keeping oven mitts handy to handle equipment and beans since they'll be extremely hot. Basically, you put a small amount of green coffee beans into your hot air popcorn popper, only a few ounces at a time, and turn on the machine. Make sure the beans move around during the roasting process, and stop them sometime after you hear the beans go through their first crack, which sounds, coincidentally, a bit like a kernel of popcorn popping.

In addition to the satisfaction of roasting and enjoying your own coffee beans, suppliers like Sweet Maria's offer specialty, single origin green coffee beans starting at around $6 per pound. This is a fraction of the price you'd pay for those beans from an artisan roaster. Whether you dig out your old popcorn popper or buy one for a couple of bucks at a thrift store, roasting your own beans at home will earn you a well-deserved spot in the historic tradition of coffee roasting.