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Coffee Roasting

BBQ Coffee Roasting

If you don’t care for the oven, electric roaster, or just want to take your coffee roasting outside but don’t have access to a birch bark sizzling, red-hot coal burning, leg hair smoldering fire then this method is for you! 

What you will need

BBQ

Deep pot or pan – we recommend cast-iron

Wooden spoon

Oven mitts

Green un-roasted coffee beans

A pan to cool the beans when roasted

Approximately 20 minutes of your time

A go get ‘em attitude

Turn on your BBQ and set all of the dials to the highest heat setting. All BBQ’s operate at different temperatures so roasting time will vary, with this being said total roasting time should be 15-20 minutes. Place your deep pan on the grill and let it warm up. Don’t forget to wear your oven mitts, as the pan will get extremely hot.

Pour desired quantity of green unroasted coffee beans into the warm pan then close the BBQ lid. If you have a temperature gauge on your BBQ you will want to maintain a temperature between 205-260°C/400-500°F. Open lid and give the beans a quick stir once every 45-seconds. Stirring the beans decreases the time they touch the surface of the pan significantly enhancing consistency within the roast and prevents scorching the beans.

At around the 10-minute mark the beans should turn a dark yellow to light brown. This colour will continue to darken turning to a deeper brown between the 10-15 minute mark. Make sure the coffee beans hit first crack (an audible popping sound) before pulling them off of the grill, or continue roasting until your desired roast profile has been achieved. First crack can happen anywhere between 15-20 minutes dependent on BBQ temperatures.

Once your desired roast profile is reached pull the beans off of heat and pour into a second pan to cool. Allow the coffee beans to off-gas for a few hours before packaging, storing, and brewing.

Now that you have read through these instructions try something new, grab a pan, some green beans and get roasting!

Pros: Neighbourhood envy. By roasting your own coffee you are proving to everyone that you are awesome, and by roasting on a BBQ you will fill the entire block with a delicious aroma! This is a seemingly simple method to roasting coffee that keeps the smoke outside (instead of in your kitchen). You also get to keep your BBQ skills up to par, so those summer steaks wont know what hit em.

Cons: You cannot constantly agitate the beans causing them to cook unevenly. There is heat loss every time the BBQ is opened. Not all BBQ’s operate the same and are unpredictable. This can also be said about the weather and ambient air temperature at the time of roasting.

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

 

Oven Roasting

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. The CHRC owners, Mike and Jamie, initially learned how to roast coffee in a cast iron pan over an open fire, fortunately for us and our consumers they have moved out of the woods and onto professional equipment. Anyone can roast at home and while there will be some trials and tribulations we believe that those failures are half the fun as you begin to master your craft! 

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 un-roasted coffee beans (can be purchased from Calgary Heritage Roasting Co.)

Another pan to cool the beans once roasted

A great attitude

We suggest preheating the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with a roasting time of 16-20 minutes for the beans. Warm up your perforated baking sheet then pour in your green beans. The beans needs to be agitated as frequently as possible. Every 45 seconds open up your oven as stir the beans in the pan.

After a few minutes there will be a noticeable change in colour and aroma of the beans, as the change from green to yellow. As the beans begin to brown you will be approaching first crack. At this stage you will hear an audible crack coming from the beans, a lot like the sound of popcorn popping! We suggest you take the beans out shortly after first crack to avoid burning them. 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. 

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.