Preparing green coffee requires that the beans, which are raw, must first be roasted to reduce the acidity that would make a bitter flavor otherwise. The roasting process is relatively simple and can be accomplished using specially designed appliances. The final product will depend upon how precisely the steps are followed as well as the quality of the beans in their green state.
The beans must roast at a high heat. It’s important to stir the beans nearly constantly. If they remain stationary for any length of time, they will scorch, and the coffee will be undrinkable. During roasting, a considerable amount of smoke will be generated and will need to be vented.
The fluid air bed method is the simplest method for home cooks, but it requires purchasing a costly fluid air bed roasting machine. The machine sets the temperature and automatically keeps the roasting beans in motion. Fluid air bed machines manage venting and dispose of the messy chaff that the beans shed in roasting.
For those who prefer a less expensive approach, a stove top popcorn machine is a good alternative. Steadily rotating the beans by turning the machine crank allows a more even roast than other stove top methods. With the method, green coffee beans roast in about 10 minutes, so steadily cranking the popper won’t put excessive strain on the cook.
A convection oven is another option for those who have one. The beans take about 20 minutes to roast in convection ovens. They should be placed in a single layer on a perforated baking pan; the beans need to be shaken a few times during the process.
While it may be easier to purchase beans that have been roasted, such beans maintain optimum flavor for less than a week. Green coffee beans are easy to ship and can be stored for a long time without losing quality. For true coffee aficionados, home roasting is worth the effort for the exceptional flavor offered by freshly roasted beans. In addition, the green coffee beans’ natural sugar caramelizes during roasting and contributes subtle and rich layers of flavor.
Unroasted beans can be stored for up to a year in one of two ways. For those who own vacuum seal equipment, packaged and sealed green coffee beans can be kept at room temperature for a year or more. Alternatively, green beans can also be stored in cotton sacks in a dark cupboard for nine months to a year.