6 Reasons You Should Roast Your Own Coffee

Back in the 1930s and earlier, Americans used to roast their own coffee. However, with the rise of modern conveniences, the majority of Americans buy pre-ground coffee without knowing how long ago it was roasted or where the beans originated. In a time when people are becoming more aware about what we are putting into our bodies, coffee shouldn’t be overlooked. In order to be in control of your coffee and not pay a small fortune, you need to take the beans in your own hands, literally. Most people don’t understand how easy it is to roast your own coffee. I’ve been a home roaster for a few years now and know many people who swear by home roasting. Yes, it takes some practice, but having freshly roasted coffee on the regular is beyond rewarding. It’s an incredible, yet affordable, luxury. Here are 6 solid reasons to start roasting your own beans.

Quick and easy!

Roasting your own coffee may seem daunting, but it’s really quite easy once you understand the basics. It can be done with a Whirley Pop (a stovetop popcorn popper), a thermometer, a colander and a kitchen scale. You probably already have most of these things in your kitchen closet. Once you start roasting, the entire process takes around 20 minutes. It takes most people 20 minutes to get to and from the store to buy a bag of beans, so no time is lost and you have the satisfaction of having done it yourself. It’s a gift that keeps on giving—a ray of sunshine on a cloudy, sleepy morning. Sound enticing?

Green coffee beans, Kona, Hawaii

Green coffee beans, Kona, Hawaii

Fresher

Green beans can be stored long term without going bad. Roasted coffee, on the other hand, begins to lose a lot of its flavor and health benefits around two weeks after roasting. The taste steadily becomes more flat and one-dimensional, which becomes very noticeable if you drink your coffee black. By roasting a batch of coffee (around a 1/2 pound at a time), you can ensure that your coffee is as fresh as possible before you drink it. Most professional micro roasters suggest you use your beans within 30 days of the roast date, so keep that in mind.

More sustainable

By roasting your own beans, you have the ability to know exactly where your coffee is coming from. You’re supporting fair pay and good working conditions for farms who care about their bean quality (especially if you buy good sources like Sweet Maria’s who include descriptions of the individual coffees and their origins). You’re also cutting out on time-critical transportation and packaging for roasted beans, which is a plus for the environment.

Way cheaper.

If you were to buy high quality organic beans at a boutique coffee shop, it will probably run you $12 to $20 for a mere 12 ounces. However, organic fair-trade green coffee beans runs an average of $4.50 per 12 ounces (or around $6 a pound, depending on the bean). That’s an incredible savings and well-worth the 20 minutes a week that you will put in to it.

Tastier.

By roasting at home, you have greater control over the bean quality and the roast level. You can buy green beans from sources who care about quality and sustainability. You can make sure your beans are organic (since coffee is one of the most highly sprayed crops in the world), you can choose the region and flavor notes you enjoy, and you have complete control over the roast level. With a little practice, you can create your perfect cup of coffee. If you love coffee, there really is no greater alternative.

Coffee

Healthier.

The same way that making your own potato chips at home encourages you to eat them more mindfully, roasting your own coffee can help encourage you to moderate your caffeine intake. Not only does roasting your own coffee discourage you from binge drinking copious amounts throughout the day, but it also boosts the antioxidant content of your morning brew. Coffee begins to lose its antioxidant content within a week of being roasted. This antioxidant loss accelerates immediately after being ground, so if you buy ground coffee you’re losing out on a lot of the health benefits. For your healthiest and tastiest cup, roast fresh, grind just before brewing and let the beans sit for no more than 15 to 20 days. Also, never put your beans in the freezer!

There’s nothing wrong with buying bags of quality roasted coffee. It’s great to support your local roaster. However, if you want high quality coffee for a smart price point—and you want to add a new hobby into the mix—home coffee roasting is a great option. Your body runs on what you put into it. Sure, you can buy pre-ground, low-quality Folgers if you just want to chug bitter caffeine. But, if you want to enjoy your coffee, save money, support direct and fair trade, and drink beans of the highest quality, home roasting is the way to go.

Do you home roast? If not, here are some tips to help you get started!

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120 comments

W. C
W. C5 months ago

Thanks.

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William C
William C5 months ago

Thank you.

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natasha p
Past Member 6 months ago

hate coffee

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Sonia M
Sonia M6 months ago

I love coffee, thanks for sharing

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Philippa Powers
Philippa Powers1 years ago

Thanks.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R2 years ago

TYFS

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Kathryn Irby
Past Member 2 years ago

Noted! Thanks!

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Kathryn Irby
Past Member 2 years ago

Noted! Thanks!

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