I've been toying with the idea of roasting my own beans at home for a while... I've decided to give it a try and before I started up I was hoping I could get some advice/tips. Especially regarding equipment, any good online resources and general tips with the process. Thanks!
I agree with Dustin. I started roasting a few months back after about a year of researching and gathering opinions from other people who home-roast. I am on a limited budget so I wanted to make sure this would be something both fun and rewarding without killing my budget. So, I went with an air-popper.
It's not a perfect setup, but it does the job and does it quite well. In fact, I'm quite impressed with the quality of the coffee that comes out of that popper--though I believe a lot of it is in part to the beans (Sweet Marias has been the best source for me so far). Since the batches are so small, its easier to mess up. However, I figured that would help promote a more diligent and sensitive approach to roasting so that the roast profile is accurate to your intention.
If your experience as a beginning home-roaster is as good as mine has been, you most likely will be saving up for a quality roaster with a bit more to offer. But make sure roasting is something you like and want to continually do before plugging the extra money into it. As for me, I'm loving the popper for the time being and biding my time to get a higher-end roaster.
Thanks for opening up this thread, too. I've enjoyed reading this.
Dustin DeMers said:
Ok so i defiantly recommend going the cheap/free route first. Get your self some green coffee then use a pan or popcorn popper to roast it. You will soon relise that roasting is as fun as baristaing, and you will want the best roaster you can afford. And instead of wasting your money on a middle of the road roaster, you will start planing on how to afford a quest or hottop roaster.
Trust me if you think roasting coffee is fun in a popcorn popper, you will think it equally/more fun in a "real" roaster. I bought a hottop, but i got a decent deal on it. If I were going to buy one new, id just pop on the quest m3 instead.
Either way i think waiting on buying a middle of the road roaster is best.