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Complete noob guide to roasting?

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  • Complete noob guide to roasting?

    Hey all,

    Just bought my first grinder and machine - and would never have dreamed of roasting my own (partly because I still don't know what I'm doing, and partly because I can't justify spending much more $$$ at the moment).
    But I've seen some threads here that discuss being able to start this hobby using a cheap popcorn maker!
    I am astonished that this would give good results - but am keen to look into it. If it's not tooooo hard to get started on, then I want to learn.

    But all the posts I've seen have assumed a far deeper knowledge than I possess. They talk about CS8, CS9 and other matters which frankly have gone over my head. I gather such things are discussing how dark the roast is, but it's all meaningless to me.

    What I haven't been able to find (yet) is a complete noob guide to starting roasting in a popcorn maker.
    Are there any step by step "how to" guides already posted here? Just some basics like how long I should try roasting the first batch? How does one know if the beans are ready? (or over-done)? What am I looking for?

    Any first steps would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    Welcome to CS TC,

    Sounds like you've got the bug!
    Get to know your coffee making gear while doing research on the next step. Once you're
    getting good results on the machinery you will be able to take the next step more easily.
    The CS8/9 (CS=CoffeeSnobs) bit refers to roast colour and relates to a card (see BeanBay 'Other Stuff' for reference)
    which is unfortunately sold out and will reappear "when it does, if at all". There is plenty about roast
    colour on here and the web. Start looking in the 'Roasting, and 'Cupping Room' threads. Checkout some of the sites
    you'll find when you google 'popper'. You will not be handicapped in any way by not having a card.


    Ask questions, enjoy the ride.


    • #3
      G'day ThunderChild, I have been down this track myself over the last few months, and while the basics are quite simple there is a lot of devil in the detail.

      There is no "complete guide to roasting" here - there's not even one for poppers. I have thought about trying to compile what I think are the best bits from the many threads. I have started on it but I'm beginning to think it may be more than I can chew.

      I'm going to suggest that you read the following threads, and then come back with more specific questions once you have digested them. One of them runs to about 150+ posts, some of which are irrelevant, but is worth reading because there is a lot of good info in there.

      Cheers, Deegee.
      Last edited by deegee; 4 February 2013, 07:28 PM. Reason: Wrong link corrected


      • #4
        Seriously Degree, it ain't that complex!

        Get yourself a heat gun a stainless mixing bowl (cheap as chips) a wooden spoon and some green beans.

        Tip a couple of hundred grams of green into the bowl, get the heat gun going (approx 400c and start stirring with the spoon, you will hear first crack and the colour of the beans will give a good indication of the stage the roast is at.

        Half an hour later you will have about 160 grams of roasted beans, if they're too light roast em a bit longer next time, too dark, shorter.

        It's a simple process, using the spoon and bowl method will teach you heaps.

        If you don't get a handle on the process within half a dozen roasts your a slow learner.


        • #5
          Hello Thunderchild,

          Take a look at:

          There is no one best way of roasting. We all have different methods. However the common thing is that home roasting is cheaper than buying brown beans and with a little planning it is a way to have a regular supply of fresh beans at their prime which is usually about one to three weeks post roast.

          Last edited by Barry_Duncan; 7 February 2013, 10:14 AM.


          • #6
            Hi TC,

            I reckon a popper is great way to start - cheap, easy and you can get really good results.

            I suggest you look at the video on the Sweet Maria's site Air Popcorn Popper Method Getting started doesn't get much easier than this.



            • #7
              Where I vary from the bloke on the Sweet Marias video is that I take off the plastic top that will melt and use a large salmon tin as a chimney. They are made just the right size for a popper.

              I roast much more coffee. All the poppers I have used have a silver screw inside the barrel. I fill the green beans up to the screw and get perfect coffee. I stir the beans for a while with a wooden spoon handle.

              I cool the beans on baking trays where the beans are in a single layer. In the last two years I have found a couple of stones in CS greens and this week I found a spare metal zipper tag identical to those used by Andy on the bean bags. None would have been any good in my grinder. I can see these foreign bodies on my trays.



              • #8
                I just moved the pile of off topic posts to a new thread...