Coffee, Coffee, on the Range

How hard can it be to roast coffee?  Burn it a little, flip it…  Burn it some more?

Recently I got the urge to try something new and decided to give roasting coffee a try.  A friend had gifted me a bag of roasted coffee beans and the process of grinding and brewing it in a french press got me thinking.  How hard can it be?

My first coffee grinder

I had romantic notions of sitting by the fire pit in my backyard roasting tasty, spectacular, dare I say “sensual” coffee over an open camp fire.  Coffee like you find on YouTube.  Blissful, rustic.  This was the Pioneer coffee of my dreams.

Campfire coffee

There are plenty of options out there for roasting vessels, ceramic, cast iron pan, peanut roaster, popcorn popper you name it.  Some industrial models can cost $5000+. This one would be perfect for a college dorm.


I decided my first roast would be indoors, on a cookie sheet over the warm glow of an electric Samsung range.

Amazon beans 3lbs of beans from the Amazon(.com)

Beans roasting on a cookie sheet Stir stir stir stir

Let’s just say the science of roasting one’s own beans is best performed outside of your kitchen.  The process of roasting comes with many unique and amazing smells, grassy, earthy, and very coffee.  Most of them are pleasant but the strength and duration of the smells are a little much for the home.

Degrees of roast Green to burn… The circle of bean

Roasting coffee beans is a simple process with endless depths of complexity.  I won’t hate on my first batch, even though I was beyond green (coffee bean pun intended) I still ended up with drinkable coffee.  Can it be better?  Yes, by a mile.  Did I enjoy it more than *$ coffee?  FOR SURE.

Shiny beans We'll call it a French roast

The above picture is my final product.  Half of this batch was a strong french roast and the rest was most likely where I’d like to end up.  I also had a few beans that were oily which is a sign that the beans roasted a little too much.

Overall Coffee roasting is quite enjoyable.  It requires 100% focus and provides a mindfulness vacation from the thoughts of every day life.

Spoiler alert:  I have continued roasting and my methods and results have been improving.  Since the title of this blog is my name rather than, “all computer stuff” I will endeavor to continue posting about my coffee experiments.  My hope is that one day my hipster hobby will reach across the internet far and wide, who knows my beans may even make it to Pinterest…

Hipsterbrew Hipsterbrew

Matt Detwiler
Director, IT Operations

My interests include IT leadership/mentoring, business systems, software development, gadgets, gaming, and the great outdoors. I love networking, click my contact link and let's do coffee!