The following tools and implements should be part of any home roasting kit.
Home Roaster – Obviously one need a home roaster to roast coffee beans at your home. There are many types of home roasters to choose from that fit any price range. You have choices ranging from a manual home roaster to an electronic drum roaster. Resourceful people I’ve known even have used an air popcorn popper with success.
Digital Kitchen Scale – You’ll need a digital kitchen scale to weight the correct amount of beans. Each roaster and type of coffee bean has specific direction you’ll need to follow to create the perfect roast.
Beans – You are looking to buy green whole been coffee to roast. The fresher the beans the better.
Thermometer – You will have to purchase a thermometer to measure the coffee beans temperature. We suggest a digital instant-read thermometer with a thin flexible probe attachment. This allows you to take the coffee bean temperature without having the beans lose heat during the process. As an added benefit the flexible probe attachment will reduce the likelihood of accidental burns. Make sure you buy a thermometer with a probe long enough to safely reach the center of the mass of beans to ensure a correct temperature reading.
Dry Measuring Cup – A dry measuring cup is needed to measure out the right amount of coffee beans for your home roaster.
Clock or Kitchen Timer – A clock or timer is needed to accurately track the roasting time of your beans.
Steal Colanders – You will need to purchase a set of steel colanders to cool your beans after taking them out of your home roaster
Log Book – You want to purchase a notebook or log book to write down notes and ideas. Each cultivar has its optimal roasting time and temperature. You want to write down the good and bad of each roasting attempt till you perfect your technique and gain experience. Make note of the time, temperature, type, and amount with each roast. Certain beans and blends have an optimal type of roast. If you discover it, write it down!
Heat Safe Gloves – Oven Mitts are okay but if you have the funds we suggest buying heat safe gloves. They are like oven mitts but allow for more finger dexterity. This is helpful in handling hot coffee beans as a typical home roaster is much smaller than a cake pan or oven tray.
Storage Containers – Oxygen is the enemy when trying to keep your roasted beans fresh. Make sure you have containers with tight-fitting lids. Avoid using plastic bags and paper bags if you want your beans to keep well. We have found that mason jars with rubber lid seals work great.