Create Your Own Coffee Boost


Post by community member:

Has anyone else joined in on roasting coffee beans at home yourself?

I love a good cup of coffee.  If I wasn’t so frugal, I would probably be one of those coffee junkies frequenting coffee shops for a good cup.  Well on my trip of learning to do more things for myself, I am mastering an easy way to roast my own coffee beans.  Cathy (catray44) started a topic about roasting your own coffee beans at home in a cast iron pan over on the forum. She’s also posted the process here on Farm Bell Recipes.

Of course, the first thing I did was compare costs.  I simply couldn’t see investing my time and money if buying green coffee “peas” was going to cost more than I was already spending on coffee in a blue container.  It just wasn’t going to happen — miss frugality here!

I searched the net and landed on eBay at this shop.  I bid on and won 20# of El Salvador Arabica Organic Green Coffee Beans for $60, with free shipping.  Through my searches, I found you will lose about 18% of the weight during roasting –1# of green coffee beans will yield about 13 oz of roasted beans.  So, with this loss of weight, these beans cost $3.63 per pound.

Now, back to that blue container……WHEN DID THE 3# CAN BECOME NOT QUITE 2#  ?!?!?! The last container I bought was $8.27.  So that’s $4.14 per pound!

CHEAPER!!!  And I could not see anywhere in my mind where my home roasted, home ground, home brewed coffee beans would not be better than my store bought, already ground coffee!

I’ve been roasting my own coffee beans every week since the beginning of April.  It’s another one of those things where you can picture your grandma in her apron, at her old stove, with a cast iron pan stirring up coffee beans.

It really, really is a very simple process.  And you can keep experimenting to get that perfect roast that you like.  I don’t think I’ve had the same roast twice in a row.

In a hot cast iron pan with the fire on low, dump in your beans. Don’t add oil or anything, just your hot cast iron pan is all you’re going to be using here!

With a wooden spoon, stir continuously!  Now that I’ve gotten a little more experienced, I leave the beans sit for a few minutes until I start hearing some noise, that’s my cue to start stirring.  This gives me a roast that has some very deep, dark beans and some that aren’t quite so dark, leaving many levels of flavor.

You will go through different crack stages.  You will not end up with a perfectly even roast with every bean.  This is just a few minutes into the roasting.  Continue stirring. 

It will start to make popping/cracking noises.  It scared me the first time it happened, but it doesn’t really do anything – not like popcorn.  You will see chaff coming off of the beans.  Right on track!  As they turned darker, you could see the oils coming out more.

Empty into a colander.  Take outside and shake the colander.  All of the chaff will fly out! I found this old deep fryer basket at a yard sale — it works perfect!

See the chaff left in the pan?  It looks like the skin of peanuts.

There’s a great chart for the color of the beans as they go from green to as dark as charcoal. Those beans that I let get darker at the very beginning end up being a 3rd crack, a very dark, dark bean.

Here is a before and after of my beans.  I lost 1 1/2 ounces, but look how much bigger the roasted bean is!

You can put them in a jar now, but don’t put the lid on for at least 10 hours, they are continuing to lose carbon dioxide.  You will smell the roast and it will get stronger the longer you leave it sit!

I fill my little coffee grinder up every single morning with fresh home roasted beans to make my pot of coffee.

Beautiful home roasted, home ground coffee!!!

Go ahead, try it!

You can also find Cindy at
Chippewa Creek ~ Our Life Simplified.

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  1. sahmcolorado says:

    That look so wonderful! Too bad I can only drink decaf – now if you can explain to me how to get he caffeine out….

  2. CindyP says:

    Oh, sahmcolorado, I’m sorry! It takes some steaming and some soaking in a chemical or something like that….not something even I would try at home, I don’t think! LOL!

  3. Cathy Jones (catray44) says:

    This is still my favorite kind of coffee! I love the whole process, too. I am not brave enough not to start stirring my beans from the get go, as I scorched my once, but have learned a little more about how long to cook them and how hot to make the pan. Your pics and post are great!

  4. kellyb says:

    This looks so wonderful and I don’t even drink coffee. I love the smell and your kitchen must smell heavenly as you make your coffee each morning.

    Thanks for sharing one more way we can become more self-sufficient.

  5. Sheryl - Runningtrails says:

    The kitchen smell would be wonderful! This is something I have considered doing for awhile now. Maybe if I think about it long enough, I’ll muster up the courage to invest time and money in it. I am so afraid that I will scortch them!

    I’d like to try it once to see how the flavour compares to that made with good quality beans bought at the store and ground as needed at home. If roasting them myself gave me far superior flavour then I would definately put in the time! (I’m really particular about my coffee.)

    I wonder if I could grow coffee beans here, maybe start really early indoors like the tobacco. Hmmmmm…going from seed to coffee pot would be an interesting challenge! I’m off to do some research…

    Thanks so much for the post!

  6. CindyP says:

    Cathy, I am soooo glad you brought this up on the forum. I’ve made quite a few gifts of this, too. I’m trying to figure out how they flavor it next 🙂

    Sheryl, please share any information you can find on growing coffee! That would be more than great 🙂

  7. Pete says:

    Still haven’t tried this. It is such a great way to manage coffee around the house. Maybe the best part being that the unroasted peas are shelf stable for a long time.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  8. debnfla3 says:

    Oh gosh! What a great post. I totally love coffee and drink it all day long. I use an electric perk that makes unbelievable tasting coffee. I can even remember having coffee in my bottle as a young toddler…I can remember that far back. Those beans look good enough to eat!

  9. Miss Judy says:

    I guess it would have to be a cast iron skillet.One of those old Stir Crazy popcorn poppers just wouldn’t work? I figure the cast iron does something for the flavor? It sure would be easier not to stir, stir, stir. Always looking for an easier way…

  10. CindyP says:

    Miss Judy, I have read other places online of using those popcorn poppers! I’ve been looking for one, but haven’t found one yet, though. LOL! I even tried making my own “stirrer” type of thing on top of the pan, but that just didn’t work right. I thought with using the stirrer, it would create a more even roast.

  11. BrendaE says:

    Oh you make it look so easy. You didn’t mention what it smelled like. The reason I say that is my son-in-law decided one Christmas some few years ago to buy my daughter a coffee roaster for a gift – uh-huh. I just gave him the “look” as she did. She never used it but he did. He ordered the beans and roasted coffee beans every month. Let me just say that you would not even want to be in the house when these things are roasting – the smell is just awful. Not what you would expect. Now maybe yours smell different but in that machine it was ungodly. He finally quit after the entire neighborhood wanted to know who was dying in his house – ha. Coffee was good but not worth the smell. Good luck Suzanne in your bean roasting. Don’t let this discourage anyone from trying this but I’m just saying.

    • CindyP says:

      To clarify on the smell….it doesn’t smell like roasted coffee as you’re roasting the beans. It’s after they’re cooling and the carbon dioxide is releasing that you begin smelling that wonderful smell!

      I don’t think it smells ungodly at all, though! The kids think it smells like steak. They say it smells like steak when they’re walking up to the door. The house can get smoky if you don’t have the vent on. I don’t have a stove vent that pulls outside, but I just open the kitchen window with a fan, and it’s not bad at all.

  12. Patrice says:

    I bet your house smells wonderful while you’re roasting!

  13. Leah says:

    Enjoyed your post CindyP! 🙂 Youre always up to something wonderful.

  14. NorthCountryGirl says:

    Cindy, that sounds so like something I want to try! I’m a coffee nut and used to grind my own roasted store-bought coffee beans in a spice grinder. Made the best coffee. BUT, roasting my own and grinding them sounds infinitely more interesting! About the smell…would it be feasible to try roasting them on the outdoor gas grill? It might be harder to control the heat if you don’t have one of those side burners, but the smell would be outside the house. Hey, I’d be game to give it a try but I don’t have the coffee peas to do it. Bummer. I guess I have some hunting to do on Ebay today. Thanks Catray44 for a great idea. And, thanks too to Cindy P who always comes up with the most novel ideas!

  15. Cathy Jones (catray44) says:

    The first smell is kind of a grassy smell, then it moves to what I would not call at all a bad smell… I imagine if you roasted a large quantity, it might be worse, but I actually like the smell while it roasts.

  16. NorthCountryGirl says:

    Just an update to Sahmcolorado’s question about decaf coffee beans. I was just on Ebay and someone had 14# of decaffeinated unroasted coffee beans for bid.
    I didn’t realize it till I hit the description and it said they were decaffeinated. May want to check it out. Seller info: checkpointpawnshop

    Hope this helps.

  17. sahmcolorado says:

    Holy smoke – the prices on decaf beans are outrageous! Guess I’ll be sticking with store-bought. Maybe I’ll try roasting some fully-leaded for my hubby.

  18. Granma2girls says:

    Actually, I use a hot air popper to roast my coffee beans. It has to be the kind with the air vents around the cup,not vents on the bottom of the popper’s cup. Otherwise, the chaff will fall thru and cause a fire. But I went to a thrift store, bought the popper for $2. It’s been going strong a year now. Anyway, I roast it outside,in the garage, as it can get smoky. I roast enough for 4 or 5 days at a time. Depending on your bean, i roast them for 6-8 minutes. Some coffee beans do better as a dk roast and some are better at med.roast. I probably end up spending $6/lb. But the flavor is so worth it. I like to try different coffees from around the world, so I dont want to commit myself to a 20 lb. bag. Its fun and everyone enjoys a great cup of coffee. I use a french press so you get a real true taste.

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