Art of the Roast

Roasting green beans is truly an art form; you can be as creative and innovative as you desire or as you dare.  Home roasting has an allure about it.  The thrill of the intoxicating aromas that only come from freshly roasted beans along with the pursuit of that perfect roast can actually become quite addictive.

We here at Original Pilot House Coffees have worked diligently to perfect our proprietary roasting process which produces the unique full-bodied flavors you have all grown to love.  One reason few people roast coffee at home for very long is the cost.  Most people get into it as a hobby or as a way to save money, but any savings quickly disappear the moment you realize a loss of 10 – 20% if you roast light, and up to 30% loss of weight the darker you roast.  One failed roast wipes out any potential savings, and every home roaster knows the inevitably of such failures.

There are several terminologies to describe the depth and differentials of each roast.  These roast differences can be measured in many different ways.  Here are a few examples that are easily recognized.  Roasts are measured by specific temperatures for a specific duration. There are six stages that are recognized in this industry.

1. Cinnamon

2. City or Full city

3. Vienna

4. Espresso

5. Italian

6. French

The higher the number represents a darker bean governed by temperature and duration used in any roast process.  There are several different ways to home roast coffee.  It can be as simple as a black skillet on your stove top or your home popcorn popper.  You can roast beans over an open fire in your own fireplace or you can purchase a roaster for home use.  They vary in price from a couple of hundred bucks to a couple of thousand.

If you do decide to try your hand at home roasting there are a few things you need to be aware of.  During the roast process a coffee bean loses a really thin skin called chaff.  This skin is much like the skin on a roasted peanut.  This skin can be your nemesis because during the roast process it can and will burn or catch fire.  Being able to dissipate this skin quickly and efficiently greatly improves your chances for a phenomenal tasting roast.  Each roast technique produces a different flavor.  For a true gourmet cup of coffee you must start with a great bean or a blend of beans.  Your home roast technique will differ according to your specific taste and desire.

My advice to you is to have fun and let your creative juices flow.

If you are one of my customers and want to try your hand at the fine art of gourmet roasting coffee we can provide you with a great bean to start with. For more information about our green coffee beans, please feel free to shoot me an email at