One of Calgary Heritage’s primary goals is to expose the art of roasting to the public yet it stands as one of the biggest hurdles faced throughout our journey. Telling people about how amazing the home roasting experience can be is one thing, but we hope that putting our money where our mouth is will be much more effective. Jamie and I initially learned how to roast coffee in a cast iron pan over an open fire, fortunately for us and our viewers we have also roasted coffee using a variety of other methods too. Today we wanted to expose our audience to a tried and trued method, and one we stand behind. Welcome to oven coffee roasting!

What you will need:

-               Conventional oven – with reasonably accurate temperatures  

-               A perforated baking sheet OR aluminum baking sheet that you can poke a bunch of holes in (this is the more fun option)

-               Wooden spoon

-               Oven mitts

-               Green – unroasted coffee beans (can be purchased from Calgary Heritage Roasting Co.)

-               Another pan to cool the beans once roasted

-               A great attitude

While oven roasting is one of the most accessible home roasting styles it does come with its pros and cons. We suggest preheating the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with a roasting time of 16-20 minutes for the beans. As with any coffee bean there will be a noticeable change in colour and aroma over the duration of the roast. The bean will start out green, shortly thereafter will become yellow fading to light, and then dark brown (this is around the time of first crack). We suggest you take the beans out shortly after first crack to avoid burning them (first crack will sound like that of popcorn popping). If you allow the beans to continue roasting they will enter into their second crack phase which will give off a large amount of smoke, show surface oils, blacken, and then char. Once the beans are out of the oven, place them on a baking sheet to cool. Allow a minimum of three hours for the beans to “off-gas” (this is when coffee beans give off carbon dioxide after being roasted) before consuming. Regardless of how your beans turn out we can guarantee you will fall in love with this skill and it will be the best tasting cup of coffee you have ever had.

Pros: You look super cool in the eyes of your friends and family for roasting your own coffee. Its relatively easy and straightforward, the equipment is inexpensive and you most likely have everything you need. The temperature looks after itself so you really just need to focus on listening for first crack and agitating the beans.

Cons: You can’t consistently agitate the beans which will lead them to cook unevenly. Heat is lost from your oven every time you open the door.  Oven temperatures and abilities can be unpredictable ,which can lead to inconsistent roast profiles.

Looking for something more visual? Check out our video on how to roast your own coffee beans at home using the trusty oven technique! 

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