The DIY Coffee Roaster: Light, Medium or Dark?

unroasted coffee beans, raw coffee beans, green coffee beans, coffee roaster

Picking up unroasted coffee beans and roasting them manually is satisfying on a level you have to experience to appreciate. There’s something truly ceremonious about transforming a batch of raw coffee beans into the most beautifully fragrant roasted beans, before brewing the ultimate cup of coffee.

Best of all, you don’t absolutely need a purpose-built coffee roaster to try your hand at DIY roasting. The oven in your kitchen will do the job just fine - some even claim a popcorn maker will work to a degree. However the end result won’t be comparable to that offered by a state-of-the-art equipment like the IKAWA Smart Home Coffee Roaster.

As you’d expect, the quality of the final product will be determined largely on the basis of the quality of the green coffee beans you buy. Start out with low-end raw coffee beans and there is nothing you can do to transform them into exquisite coffee.

But even after picking up a batch of top-shelf unroasted coffee beans, there’s another important matter to get to grips with - roast level. Depending on your preferences, you could be better suited to light roasting, medium roasting or dark roasting.

Though of course, experimenting with all three (and all sub-stages in between) comes highly recommended.

Light Roast Coffees

As you’d expect, light roasted coffee beans are paler in appearance, after a comparatively short roasting time. The green coffee beans are exposed to carefully controlled temperatures for just enough time to start bringing out their fragrance and flavor, at which point they are cooled.

Lighter roasted coffee beans produce a lighter and more refreshing cup of coffee, often with accents of flowers and distinct fruity notes. They can also be much sweeter than darker roast coffees - all while packing a much higher overall caffeine content. The shorter the roasting time, the more caffeine preserved.

Medium Roast Coffees

This tends to be the perfect balance for most coffee lovers, who enjoy a cup that’s got just the right amount of body and acidity. Medium roast is where you begin to notice more bitterness, richness and even smokiness, often with hints of caramel and even the odd note of chocolate. Caffeine levels are what you would call average, given how most commercial coffee is roasted to a medium to dark level.

Roasting raw coffee beans to this level in a good home coffee roaster like the Gene Café CBR-101 means waiting for the first audible ‘crack’ but not the second crack.

Dark Roast Coffees

After the second crack, the beans have reached the point of dark roast and need to be removed from the heat before they burn. Right at the top of the scale, dark roast coffees are exceptionally aromatic and potent in their flavor profile, with significantly more bitterness and a more pronounced smoky flavor.

Roasting green coffee beans longer to reach a dark roast is the preference of many coffee drinkers, who are all about bold flavors and intense aromas. Though they often have a dry and bitter quality that is not necessarily to the tastes of the everyday coffee drinker.

At Hayman’s online coffee store, you will find the world’s finest green coffee beans for home roasting with your own coffee roaster, including legendary coffees such as Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, best Kona coffee Hawaii, and Panama Geisha coffee beans (a.k.a. Gesha coffee). For those not into home roasting, we also offer roasted coffee, Nespresso®* compatible capsules and coffee pods compatible with Keurig K Cup coffee makers (incl. Keurig 2.0 models)**. Click here to order today, we offer free worldwide shipping!


* Nespresso® is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., unrelated to Hayman ®. Our espresso pods are not created or sold by Nespresso®.

** Keurig and K-Cup are registered trademarks of Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. unrelated to Hayman®. Our pods are not created or sold by Keurig®.