How To Roast Coffee at Home on the Stove

3 min readMar 25, 2020
Back-to-basics coffee roasting. Good stuff.

During extraordinary times, we find comfort in the familiar. Few daily rituals are more beloved than the morning — or afternoon, or evening — cup of coffee. And if you’re anything like us, you’re roasting and drinking a lot of coffee right now.

So it got us to thinking: Could this be a good time to share the experience of roasting coffee with people who have never experienced it before?

They’re still delivering mail out there. So if you’re a roaster, consider sharing a bit of your green bean stash with the people you care about. (Or, even better: you can order some from your favorite vendor — most are still taking orders.)

On the other hand, if you’re new to the roasting game, and your friend sent you this link to get you started, then that means they must be thinking about you. You’ll also be very pleased to know that you don’t need a fancy roaster to roast some good coffee at home.

Here’s how to do it:

Materials Needed: Green Coffee (50–150g is enough), Wok/Pan/etc…, Spatula/Wooden Spoon/Whisk, Colander, Stove, Fan (optional)

  • ** Beans will be hot; do not use a plastic spatula or colander unless it is heat-resistant.


  1. You’re probably roasting inside, so first turn on your stovetop exhaust fan, or open a kitchen window. (There will be a little smoke.)
  2. Preheat the wok or pan on medium heat until it is hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle away quickly. (Do not add oil.)
  3. Pour your beans into the wok and immediately begin stirring with your spoon, spatula, or whisk.
  4. Keep the beans in constant motion. If the beans stop moving they may burn in the pan.
  5. Over the next 5–10 minutes, your beans will first begin to yellow, and then begin to brown. The beans may also release a papery skin called
    “chaff”. Don’t worry, this is normal. As you continue the roast, some of the beans will begin to “pop” in the pan with a pretty loud cracking sound. This is called “first crack.” At this stage, the beans that are cracking will be a dark tan color, and the very lightest roasts will end here. But because it is difficult to roast evenly on the stove, we recommend you keep roasting the beans darker, otherwise there will be some beans that aren’t well-roasted and that may lend a grassy flavor to the coffee.
  6. As you continue to roast the beans, they may begin popping a second time. This is called “second crack” and it is a little quieter than first crack. All roasts pushed past this point are considered “dark”. As you enter this stage of the roasting process, the unique flavors in the bean have begun to burn away, replaced by a smoky, bitter, “roasty” flavor. Unless that’s what you want, you should really end the roast here.
  7. Once you’ve roasted the beans as dark as you like, transfer them to your colander and stir to cool. If you have a fan, you can use it now to help them cool more quickly.
  8. Wait. Though you may be tempted to brew your beans right away, please wait at least 12 hours. Their flavor will continue to improve over the next few days, so your patience will pay off.