Category: Articles

Part 2: What happens during the coffee roast process…

Let’s look at what coffee roasting is, and should be…

What happens during the ideal roast…

First of all coffee is a seed, of the arabica or robusta tree….  it generally has between 9-14% water inside of it.  Yes, the same kind of water in our pots in the 4 experiments above.  When we roast the coffee, at a certain point, that water reaches the boiling point and begins to escape the bean with an audible low-volume “POP”.  This commonly sounds the same as popcorn in the microwave popping, just lower volume.  This is commonly what people refer to as 1st crack.  It’s generally one of two indicators of the status of our roast.  As the water boils away from the bean, and as we keep heating it, the bean begins to caramelize and the structure of the bean begins to expand, and stretch as the internal sugars begin to caramelize.  This builds up stress in the bean to at which point the bean’s shell fractures and cracks.  This cracking can be

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Part 1: Understanding the roast process….Heat vs. Mass

“As simple as boiling a pot of water.”

One of the most common subjects we teach new roasters about is understanding Heat vs. Mass.  A common approach for folks excited to start producing coffee on their new roasting toys within minutes of the roaster being assembled, is to throw a pound of coffee inside, crank up the temperature and roast away until something happens.  More often than not, it results in something drinkable, but not necessarily exceptional, and in some cases a fire whence the coffee has gotten too hot and catches flame.

In order to get the whole process under precise and predictable control, I find it necessary to go back to basics on something that we all understand very well.

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The relativity of your thermometer

The reason why your roast profile temperatures may be different than other people’s… or even the profiles suggested here.

One of the key concepts that we need to understand is that we are all building a custom roaster, as unique in many ways as our own personality.  We all use a different grill from one make to another model, to another year version, with different BTU’s and so forth.  

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Lifetime Warranty

RK Offers a lifetime warranty on all Stainless Drum products.  Since we only feature 100% welded construction and only the highest quality materials, it is rare we will ever need to see one come back for repair.  We have repaired less than 10 total drums thus far in ten years of business.

Thus for this reason, if the drum ever cracks or fails in any way under normal use conditions, return it to us, and we will repair or replace the drum at our option, after an inspection, and return it to you free of charge.  Please contact us should you need any warranty service.

Where to Buy Green Coffee & Other Gear

On this page you will find links to Green Coffee Bean suppliers.

They sell only top quality Green Coffee Beans. Treat your new

drum right, get some today. I offer this page and information in

hopes it will help you with your green coffee selection. Just click

on the pictures to open links.


Royal Coffee New York — A high quality, bulk importer of all worldwide coffees, purchase by the sack and shipped to your door.  Excellent Service 


Hans Becker’s Coffee Maria — Green coffee and other home roasting equipment.


Sweet Maria’s  — Owned and operated by Tom and Maria Owen- Absolutely Best source for the highest grade specialty coffees.




Jim Cameron Sells some very fine coffee









Thor Tampers

Beautiful Tampers, Hand Crafted in Oregon by Les Albjerg



High Country Coffee

Contact: Cole or Amy Hull

Purveyors of Fine Arabica Green Coffee Beans For Home Roasters

Fairly-traded relationship coffee from Papua New Guinea & El Salvador

Work with New Guinea Traders, which manage commercial/retail accounts

Direct-from-source drastically reduces costs

Email Link: [email protected]


K-cups coffee – The finest specialty, micro-roasted, and flavored coffee pods and K-Cups

The Coffee Project
Home coffee roasters, green beans & supplies since 1997.