Home Roasting Coffee Want cowboy style coffee at home? Learn how to roast your own coffee beans with the Whirley Pop!

The Proper Function

Roasting Coffee At Home

Home roasting coffee can be as simple or as difficult as you’d like to make it. For me, I like to keep things simple and with no experience at all, you can create your own quality roast using the Whirley Pop Popcorn Maker. Before we get into the details, let’s nerd out a bit and provide some brief information on the beans and roasting stages.

home roasting coffee

Roasting Stages

The best home roasting coffee is one that brings out the character in the bean, which is often accomplished with a lighter roast. The “first crack” takes up about 75% of the roasting time, roughly 4-5 minutes over a medium flame. Approximately 6-8 minutes the “second crack” will take place which leads to a much darker roast. The “first crack” will sound like twigs snapping while the “second roast” sounds like rice crispies in milk! Here are the roasting stages:

The green bean is the appearance of an unroasted bean. As the bean starts to heat up, what from within the bean will vaporize create a yellowish tint. At “first crack” it will turn brown and at “second crack” the bean will turn dark brown.

Home Roasting Coffee Guide

coffee roast

“The power of a man’s mind is directly proportioned to the

quantity of coffee he drinks” – James Macintosh

The Essentials: A Whirley Pop, 8 Oz of Green Coffee Beans, Colander, Coffee Pouch, Thermometer, Coffee Roasting Log

Get your stove to a medium heat to begin home roasting your own coffee. Place 8 oz. of green coffee beans into the Whirley POP and start your timer. Begin stirring the beans at a medium pace and check the bean about every 45 seconds. Check the color, temperature and listen for the initial cracking. After a couple of minutes, the beans will start smoking so I advise using your vent fan or open a nearby window.

Roughly around 5 minutes (around 375 degrees) you will start to hear the First Crack – similar to the sound of breaking twigs. The First Crack usually lasts 1-2 minutes with the beans going from a light to medium brown. Depending upon your taste, beans are drinkable after the first crack. The smoke will increase after the First Crack and as the temperature approaches 425 degrees, a Second Crack (like rice crispies) will produce a Full City Roast. You want to assure you are achieving the darker roast that you want and need to stop before the beans burn.

When you’ve acquired your desired roast, put the beans into a colander and gently shake the beans to eliminate any residue. The beans will continue to roast at this point while hot, so you can place over a fan to speed up the cooling process. Once the beans are room temperature, pour the beans into an air tight bag and wait 24 hours before brewing. My preference is to grind the beans just before placing them into a coffee press. If you try this home roasting coffee method, be sure to drop me a note below!

Roasting Resources

Ethiopia CoffeeCamping & Roasting


Dan is an explorer for The Outbound and founder of The Proper Function, an outdoor editorial. He is passionate about exploration and can’t stay put for more than a week.