What temperature should coffee beans be roasted at?

Where are my coffee addicts at? If you’re like me, rarely does a day go by without a cup of that beautiful, dark nectar. But when you start to brew your own coffee, there are a few things you might have questions on. Aside from which one is going to get you where you need to be, you might wonder what the perfect temperature is for roasting your coffee.

In the most general sense, temperatures for roasting coffee will vary from between 350 - 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, depending on the roast, those temperatures will alter slightly. A lighter roast will do better under a lower heat than a darker roast. Different roasts are determined by the internal temperature of the bean, so a higher temperature will yield a darker roast.

Although it may sound like there is a lot of science and consideration that goes into roasting coffee beans, it is not as complicated as you might think. Yes, there are important things to consider, but if you’re just the average coffee drinker, then understanding which temperatures will produce the certain type of roast will get you to a great starting point. Continue reading to ensure you know how to roast the perfect cup of coffee for whatever day might lie ahead.

Roasting Temperatures

As mentioned above, the type of roast you’re going for will also determine the temperature you should use for your beans. And how much caffeine you prefer will help you decide the type of roast you want. The lighter the roast, the more caffeine you will have. Not sure why decaf exists, but hey, to each their own. The following breakdown will accurately describe which temperature will create the best roast of your liking.

Light Roast

When you are working on a lighter roast, this will finish at the lowest temperature of all the different types of roasts. Here, you will want to get the internal temperature of the beans between 356 and 401 degrees fahrenheit. This will cause what is known as the “first crack” of the bean, which is where lighter roasted beans finish. The light roast will also yield the highest amount of caffeine. As the roasting continues, the beans will crack more, losing their density.

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Medium Roast

A medium roast coffee is a nice balance between the lighter and darker roasts. So if you want a little more body and boldness than a lighter roast, but don’t want the extremely darker, slightly more bitter taste of the darker blends, then this is the roast for you. A medium roast will also have a little less caffeine than the lighter roast, but still more than the darker. The internal temperature of the beans for a medium roast should be between 437 and 446 degrees fahrenheit.The beans in this roast will also produce the “second crack” of the coffee bean.

Dark Roast

And finally we have our dark roast. With this type of brew, you will experience a slightly more bitter and maybe even burnt taste, as well as less caffeine than the lighter or medium roast. Sounds great, right? But if you don’t need quite as much of a pick-me-up, then this could be a great option. To achieve the darker roast, the internal temperature of the beans should finish between 464 and 482 degrees fahrenheit. By this time, the bean will be a lot thinner and less dense.

No matter your particular preference on blends, there is a perfect temperature range for each that you will want to roast the beans at. You probably noticed that the darker roasts require a hotter temperature, so the warmer the bean, the less caffeine and more bitterness you will have with your coffee. Find your flavor, then determine your blend.

How Long Should I Roast My Coffee Beans?

When it comes to how long you should roast your coffee beans, you will want to take the size of the batch into consideration. As there are stipulations on temperature for each type of roast, there are a certain set of parameters for the length of the roast as well.

Small Batch

If you find yourself not needing to roast a huge batch of coffee beans, then you definitely won’t need as much time. For most smaller batches, you will want to roast the beans at right around 10 minutes or so. Now, if this is your first time roasting your own batch, it might take a few tries to find that sweet spot. However, 10 minutes is a good starting point to shoot for, then you can make adjustments from there.

Large Batch

As can be expected, a larger batch of coffee beans will require a little bit longer roasting time. The average time you want to aim for here is around 16 minutes. Again, you might need to try out a couple batches to see if there is a deviation of any kind, but this is a good average to shoot for. Depending on the machine you’re using to roast, you might need to go up or down by a couple minutes, but you should be able to get fairly close around 16 minutes.

The length of the roast will vary based on the batch size, so if you have a size in between “small” and “large,” then try to meet in the middle. But in general, 10 minutes and 16 minutes for each batch respectively should get you the type of roast you’re looking for.

Get started roasting coffee!

Roasting coffee beans is an art, but not as complicated as some might think to just roast a basic cup of coffee. Depending on the type of flavor and caffeine content you want will determine your temperature and time of the roast. Overall, as long as you stick between the general ranges given in the beginning of the article, you can produce a decent cup of coffee. You’ll only need to fine tune the details if you’re a bit pickier (like me) on the type of roast you want. Now go get roasting!

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