Roasting coffee with a rice pot

Sorry guys, got too busy hacking my MSI Wind to run OSX Leopard. Then a friend’s, too. I’m now a proud owner of a Macbook Nano. Back to coffee blogging…

So, let’s start roasting, granting you have the materials I mentioned in a previous post. Assemble the materials I mentioned earlier so it’d be easy to reach them, coz things happen fast in roasting coffee.

1. Pre-heat rice pot on slow to medium flame on your gas range. I haven’t tried on electric burner, but try it at medium. If you have a thermometer that could be placed on the pot, then let it stand there, but remove it before you pour in the beans. If you have an exhaust fan above or near your stove, power it up, coz roasting coffee emits A LOT of smoke. Before I got a kitchen with a hood and exhaust fan, I roasted outside. If you have a fire alarm in your kitchen, turn it off, or you’ll have firefighters knocking on your door.

2. Measure 8-12 ounces of your green coffee beans. If you have no measuring cup, start with one mug of beans.

3. After 3-4 minutes of pre-heating the pot (if you have a thermometer, you could also let the pot’s temperature reach 400-500F), pour in the beans.

4. Stir the beans slowly with the egg whisk, making circular movements. Of course you ought to wear gloves / kitchen mitts coz your hand above the pot would be subjected to heat. Better if you have mitts on both hands coz you’d be transferring the whisk from one hand to the other. Remember, you should stir the beans all the way. The only break should be when moving the whisk between hands.

5. Depends on your flame and the amount of beans, you should hear the “first crack” anywhere between 6-10 minutes. This is like popcorn popping.

6. The first crack will eventually stop in maybe 1-2 minutes, so there’d be a lull of a few seconds, could be up to a minute.

7. “Second crack” will follow, which is usually less audible, but more rapid, like muted automatic gunfire (ops, shows from what region I am). Sometimes, there will be no lull between 1st and 2nd cracks. The beans’ appearance, the smell, and time could assist you when to stop the roast.

NOTE: Depends on your roast level preference, but roasting could be stopped as soon as the first crack ends. You could also stop it during the lull between the 1st and 2nd cracks, or you could let it reach 2nd crack and up to several seconds into the 2nd crack. But don’t push it too much, coz you’d end up with charcoal or, worse, you’ll catch fire. There’s a more detailed description of the roasting levels at Sweet Maria’s, illustrated with pictures.


My cooling setup.

8. When you do stop the roast, dump the beans into your colander, and bring it near a fan to cool the beans as quickly as possible. I prefer a fan that faces up, so I’ll put the colander above and shake the colander for more efficient cooling. Before I had that set up, I had 2 colanders, pouring the beans from one to the other in front of the stand fan. Cooling the beans to room temperature should take in 2-5 minutes. If it takes longer, you may ruin your beans as it may continue to roast.

9. Transfer cooled beans to your airtight container. Others would prefer the container’s lid open until 6-8 hours, allowing the beans to emit carbon dioxide. Or seal it right away, but every few hours open the lid to let the CO2 out. Other would prefer foil bags with airtight seal, but with a one-way valve to let the CO2 out, but won’t allow air to get in. But it’s difficult to find that here, and that’s added cost. We’re on a budget, right?

Voila! You now have freshly roasted beans!!!

You should also check out Google for other tips on roasting coffee the primitive way. Roasting times may vary, but your definitive guide are the 1st and 2nd cracks.


3 Responses to “Roasting coffee with a rice pot”

  1. Lindzy on May 28th, 2009 11:54 am

    hi bob

    thanks for the tips. i will have to find different beans, different from what i have been tasting since. i don’t have exotic collection like yours but in due time i should be able to build my coffee barn.
    hmmmm, yummy.

  2. Jj Lumagbas on January 17th, 2010 2:38 am

    great! i can’t wait to try this. but where can i get green beans to get started (and if i’m on a budget?)

    here’s a great “lecture” on the Making the Perfect Cup of Coffee, from roasting to brewing, thought you might like it:

  3. Bobby on January 17th, 2010 6:57 pm

    Jj, click that link on Garcia’s Pure Coffee (upper right of this blog). You can order from them, have the beans shipped to you by LBC or your choice of courier service. It ain’t specialty grade, can’t compare with what you get from shops like, pero pwede na. :-)

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