On my way to being a Roast Master

I literally had to Google, “What is a master coffee roaster called?” Answer: a Roast Master.

It has now been a solid couple of months of roasting my own coffee beans. Initially, I was totally rocking amateur hour by sticking my arm into a 500 degree oven to constantly stir the beans, but luckily my friend, Amanda, bequeathed me her air popper to make the far job easier.


I’ll admit the first time I used it, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. Coffee beans were flying everywhere, and I let the popper get so hot it turned itself off. I yelled, “This SUCKS!” and even considered going back to my primitive cave roasting in the oven. But with several more tries, I’ve definitely gotten a rhythm down. I can’t believe I never learned how to do this before!

Here’s my process:

First, I buy raw coffee beans on Amazon (I can get 3 lbs of organic for about $25). If you know a better or more economical route – LET ME KNOW.

Then, I carefully use the measuring cup on top of the air popper to scoop and then add my raw beans into the air popper (trust me – that measuring cup is there for a reason). Before turning it on, I have a big bowl held up to the popper.

Once it’s on, it gets HOT…and FAST. A few red hot beans and a lot of the bean husks get spit out the popper so having a BIG bowl is critical to clean freaks like me.

The beans begin to crackle or pop, and once I see that the husks are pretty much done being spit out and the beans are beginning to smoke, I quickly unplug the popper and stick it under the stove vent and dump the beans into a bowl.

The beans are supposed to “rest” for one to three days, and I can definitely taste a difference when they have had a chance to sit for a couple of days.

All in all, I can roast about a pound of beans in 10 – 15 minutes.

And that’s it!

Yesterday, we made coffee with my Costa Rican blend. This morning, it was freshly ground beans from Vietnam. At least from my newbie perspective, my roasted beans are legit:


I’m still fine tuning this process; it’s annoying that some of the beans are getting spit out amidst the husks, and I’m either leaving them to be totally wasted or picking them out like hot coals to throw back into the machine.

While I understand that some coffee snobs may be reading this thinking, She’s using an air popper? Oh please! I’m ok with that. I’m totally new to this whole “roasting coffee beans” thing and not only is it more economical, it’s also fun. And to me that’s all that really matters.

That being said, Amanda gets to be my first outside taste tester (other than my husband, Thor) since she provided me with the tools to make fire. (Cue the Strauss).


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