How to turn coffee cherries into coffee beans: Step 4

Continuing my series on the incredibly time consuming process of producing a cup of coffee from a pile of coffee cherries (part one, part two, part three)… this next step is the roast. In theory the easiest, and quickest, step in the procedure. In theory. Because nothing in this little game is as it seems.

I use a Behmor 4600 roaster for my beans – it’s a purpose built unit with a rotating basket and two heating elements. Normally it roasts 500gm of coffee in about 20 minutes.

First, I put my 410gms of coffee into the basket.

Then the basket in the roaster.

Then, I turned it on. All very straightforward. But nothing in this process has been as straightforward as it seems. Here’s a scrambled together video (shot on my phone) of the process. It tracks the time a little, it took much longer than expected, perhaps because I hadn’t allowed the beans to dry out quite enough, and perhaps because I kept opening the door of the roaster to shoot video.

This was the situation after the second roasting cycle…

I prefer the beans to be slightly darker, and more evenly roasted, so I put them on for another 15 minutes.

Now I’ve got to rest them for a couple of days before tasting the final product.