Coffee Roasting

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Since the dawn of time, humanity has searched for more efficient ways of staying awake. The subtle and unique flavor of coffee has been treasured for centuries, whilst providing this needed 'awakeness' via caffeine consumption.

And now, coffee can be roasted at PS:1! Here is a simple procedure that has been tested and refined, and mistake-proofed to achieve a consistent roast every time.


This method of roasting coffee uses an air popcorn popper device to evenly roast coffee using hot air, and blowing the seed coat (aka chaff) off the beans. The hot air generated from the device also spins the beans inside the roasting chamber, assuring a uniform roast throughout all the beans. However, since heat is at a constant, variability is controlled by maintaining (1) a specific quantity of coffee beans and (2) a specific roasting time, monitored by stopwatch. In this procedure, a specific quantity of beans is recommended to assure that the spin rate in the roasting chamber gives an even roast to all the beans. The quantity of time is mutable according to your own tastes and preferences. It is also recommended to keep the roasting time consistent between batches of beans. For this reason, the procedure recommends to record the times of First Crack, Second Crack, and final roasting time. These times will also help duplicate your success for your fellow roasters!


As our experience grows, so too will our list of recipes to achieve an excellent tasting coffee. Feel free to reference recipes located here, or add your own if you wish!

Coffee Roasting Recipes


  • Coffee Roaster with major lid and minor lid
  • Pyrex measuring cup
  • Large bowl
  • Colander
  • Cookie sheet
  • Funnel, wide-mouth
  • Hot gloves / oven mitts
  • Stopwatch
  • Green coffee beans (minimum batch: 1/3rd cup)
  • Mason jars, 16oz wide-mouth preferred
  • Paper towels or napkins


  • Wet the paper towels, and place them inside the bowl. As part of the roasting process, chaff will be generated and blown out of the roaster; the wet paper towels make collecting and discarding the chaff easier.
  • Position the air popper to blow the hot air and chaff into the bowl. Plug the air popper in.
  • Add one third cup of green coffee beans to the roasting chamber within the air popper. Note: the level of beans should be no higher than the line indentation around the interior circumference of the roasting chamber.
  • Place the major lid onto the air popper. Place the minor lid atop the major lid, with the slot of the minor lid fitting into the groove of the major lid.
  • Simultaneously start the stopwatch and flip the air popper switch to the 'on' position.
  • As the air popper turns on, watch the beans; they should be rotating within the roasting chamber, slowly at first, then slowly rotating faster. Chaff will be expelled from the popper and ejected onto the wet paper towels in the bowl. Some steam and smoke may be observed; this is normal.
  • As the roast continues, crackling noises may be heard. The first time these are heard, this is called "First Crack." This usually occurs anywhere from one-to-three minutes after roast initiation. Write the time down when First Crack occurs. Second Crack will occur from three-to-five minutes, write down this time as well.
  • The coffee roasting shall cease after the Second Crack, usually no earlier than thirty seconds to one minute after Second Crack is heard. At this point, the end-of-roast time is according to your tastes and experience.
  • Flip the power switch on the air popper to the 'off' position. Put on the oven mitts, and immediately pour the beans into the colander, separating out any residual chaff.
  • After a few shakes, pour the beans out onto a clean cookie sheet, in a single layer. This will speed up the cooling process.
  • Once the beans are on the cookie sheet, the next batch of beans can be roasted. Repeat the roasting process until all the desired green coffee beans have been roasted.
  • Once all the beans have been roasted, transfer the beans on the cookie sheet to the colander. Give a few more shakes to remove any more excess chaff, and then transfer the beans in the colander to a mason jar. Generally, one 16oz mason jar will hold 1/2 lb of roasted coffee, with some beans left over. It is recommended that these leftover beans can be placed in a baggie and used for sampling or (if you are most excellent) donated to the space for general use, or for coffee tasting parties. (hint hint!)

References and Green Coffee Bean Resources

Sweet Maria's Coffee