Roasting Coffee in a Frying Pan

When I home roast coffee, I use a big frying-pan. I buy my green coffee beans from different parts of the world and then deliver the roasted coffee each day to some of my clients.

Equipment Needed

  • Large frying pan
  • Long spoon reserved for just roasting coffee
  • Gas stove
  • Spray bottle with fine mist setting
  • Tray for cooling beans

Procedure

The way I roast coffee is very simple. Place the frying pan on the stove and use a temperature of at least 350F. Add the green coffee beans to the pan. Use the spoon by moving the beans around constantly from top to bottom. Doing this will prevent the beans from burning.

Pan Roasting Coffee
Pan Roasting Coffee

Roast as light or as dark as you like. The picture below shows beans roasted at 8 minutes (top), 12 minutes (bottom right) and 15 minutes (bottom left).

Coffee Roasts Completed
Coffee Roasts Completed

Ventilation

Roasting coffee does produce smoke. The darker you roast, the more smoke. Make sure you have ventilation fans on and in some cases the windows open. If you have a sensitive smoke detector, you may wish to disable during the roasting process. Just be sure to turn it back on afterwards. Not every kitchen will be setup to remove the smoke produced by indoor coffee roasting. Use a smaller batch of coffee on your first roast.

Cooling the Beans

When the beans have roasted as dark as you like, it is now time to cool the beans. Turn off the stove and then spray a fine mist of cold water on top of the coffee beans. The water should immediately evaporate. Now transfer the beans to your cooling tray. Place the cooling tray in an area that will allow it to cool quickly, such as near an open window in the kitchen.

Serve Coffee
Serve Coffee

Resources

Home Roasting Coffee in an Oven – This tutorial covers listening to the roast as well as advice on cooling the beans quickly.

Roasting Coffee in a Popcorn Popper – Another tutorial which guides you through the coffee roasting process.

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Heidi Tadesse

I am originally from Ethiopia. When I was younger my parents had a coffee tree in the back of the house. When ripe the coffee beans have a beautiful reddish color and a sweet taste. We would pick the beans and dry it in the sun (depending on the weather it could take weeks to dry). As the beans dried, the color and the size of the bean changes; they became smaller and darker.

From a very young age I watched my mother preparing the coffee ceremony every day in the morning. She would invite all her neighbours and prepare little snacks. Everyone would talk about what had happened the night before and share their dreams. The ceremony lasts over two hours and can include a fortune-telling reading of the coffee grounds.

The first time I roasted coffee I was 10 years. I was fascinated how the simplest thing (coffee) brought a big gathering in my mother's house every day.

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