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Discussion Starter #1
Many is the time I have looked at recipes, and the recommendation is to heat up the various seeds (e.g., coriander, fenugreek) used to season the dish, on a cast-iron skillet, because even though the seeds are dry, the heating releases their oils and increases their flavour.

This got me thinking the other day after I came back from buying a bag of coffee beans for a great price. The brand of coffee is decent, but sometimes you want it to taste a little darker. So I was wondering, is it possible to take already roasted beans, stick 'em on an appropriate heating surface, and "re-roast" them the way that spices get treated? Should I expect that additional roasting would do anything of use to roasted beans? If you have any idea, are there any advisories you would provide (e.g., temperature, time, etc.).

I'm certainly willing to try it, but before I either stink up the kitchen, permanently taint a good seasoned skillet with a coffee scent/taste I can never get rid of, or simply ruin the bargain I got on the beans by wasting too many, I thought I'd ask some of you connaisseurs with more varied coffee experience.

So, is that feasible? advisable? or are coffee beans "done" when you buy them?
 

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I should have thought of this earlier! I bought a bag of whole beans from a local roaster because they were Costa Rican, and I had great memories of a roaster in Ottawa who sold amazing Costa Rican coffee, very chocolatey.

Well, these beans were so lightly roasted we joked about the coffee-tea they made. I ended up throwing the beans out, but I should have tried this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Part of me thinks "If this was such a great idea, why haven't we seen gobs of information on how and why to do it?". But at the same time, another part of me realizes that we shouldn't have to be told to heat up spices either, if it was such common knowledge.

So, could be a good idea, could be stupid. I'm completely agnostic and open to ideas here.

There's a discussion here that raises pros and cons: Re-roasting coffee beans: can it be done?

Ideally, I probably should buy darker beans and use the beans I want for the flavour I want. But jeez louise, I paid $6.99 for a kilogram of these beans, and they usually taste the way I want. Hard to get darker at that price, unless I buy a lot more than I really want. I'm just curious if now and then I could get them to taste a little darker.
 

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Part of me thinks "If this was such a great idea, why haven't we seen gobs of information on how and why to do it?". But at the same time, another part of me realizes that we shouldn't have to be told to heat up spices either, if it was such common knowledge.

So, could be a good idea, could be stupid. I'm completely agnostic and open to ideas here.

There's a discussion here that raises pros and cons: Re-roasting coffee beans: can it be done?

Ideally, I probably should buy darker beans and use the beans I want for the flavour I want. But jeez louise, I paid $6.99 for a kilogram of these beans, and they usually taste the way I want. Hard to get darker at that price, unless I buy a lot more than I really want. I'm just curious if now and then I could get them to taste a little darker.
There's actually tons of information online about it; google is your friend.
 

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When you roast beans a lot of gas is released. This outgassing continues after the roast is finished. If you double roast them you will just burn them as there is no more gas to release. Their are several phases that happen in a coffee roast. There is something called a first crack and a second crack. You can can actually hear the second crack. It sounds like popcorn. Where you stop the roast determines a lot of the darkness and the flavour. Once a bean is a little beyond the second crack further roasting will only burn the bean. Plus further roasting reduces the caffeine content. Generally the darker the roast the less caffeine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I took the leap of faith before reading this, and placed a couple of cups' worth of beans on a piece of aluminum foil on a cast-iron skillet, and set the gas burner to fairly low, making sure to stir the beans from time to time. I didn't keep track of the time, but I doubt it was more than 10min after the skillet had come up to temp. And yes, I did hear the "second crack". The beans themselves are not visibly oily to begin with, but seemed to get a little "shinier" after a few minutes.

Potentially reducing the caffeine is not a disincentive for me, though I hope to retain at least half of what was originally there. I ground up what I had reroasted, and the smell was more burnt than appealing. I've had my 2 cups for the day, so I'll wait until tomorrow morning to pass judgment on whether it was a worthwhile venture, worth refining and perfecting, or a horrible mistake I will forever regret.
 

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Many is the time I have looked at recipes, and the recommendation is to heat up the various seeds (e.g., coriander, fenugreek) used to season the dish, on a cast-iron skillet, because even though the seeds are dry, the heating releases their oils and increases their flavour.

This got me thinking the other day after I came back from buying a bag of coffee beans for a great price. The brand of coffee is decent, but sometimes you want it to taste a little darker. So I was wondering, is it possible to take already roasted beans, stick 'em on an appropriate heating surface, and "re-roast" them the way that spices get treated? Should I expect that additional roasting would do anything of use to roasted beans? If you have any idea, are there any advisories you would provide (e.g., temperature, time, etc.).

I'm certainly willing to try it, but before I either stink up the kitchen, permanently taint a good seasoned skillet with a coffee scent/taste I can never get rid of, or simply ruin the bargain I got on the beans by wasting too many, I thought I'd ask some of you connaisseurs with more varied coffee experience.

So, is that feasible? advisable? or are coffee beans "done" when you buy them?
"Roasting" is not the same as "toasting" which is what you do with spices. Spices are not roasted or toasted when you use them and are tiny compared to coffee beans, so zapping cumin for a few seconds in a frying pan gives a pleasant toasty flavor to it. It's almost certainly going to be a happier thing than doing the same to coffee beans. My guess is that your beans would very quickly move past Starbucks-burnt to just plain burnt coffee.

"Roasting" is something done in an oven, with heat surrounding your product on all sides. Coffee is done that way, with paddles in the roaster constantly moving the beans so that they do NOT rest for any length of time against a hot surface that could burn them, as they would in a frying pan. Roasting in your oven with very frequent agitation might possibly make you happy but I'd guess the odds are against it. I'd just buy coffee roasted the way I want it.
 
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"Roasting" is something done in an oven, with heat surrounding your product on all sides. Coffee is done that way, with paddles in the roaster constantly moving the beans so that they do NOT rest for any length of time against a hot surface that could burn them, as they would in a frying pan. Roasting in your oven with very frequent agitation might possibly make you happy but I'd guess the odds are against it. I'd just buy coffee roasted the way I want it.
bt's method sounds plausible.
I have no idea, but I do know some people swear by roasting their own beans in an older style popcorn maker (no joke).

 

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Discussion Starter #11
In fact, following the link I provided earlier, several people testified to roasting their own beans from a green state in a popcorn air-popper.

I did make sure to move the beans around constantly, but I think the "roast vs toast" argument has some validity. That spices are dry does not means they have had any heat previously applied, a distinction and difference from coffee beans I had overlooked.

Like I said, I'll find out tomorrow morning.
 

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I don't know that much about it, other than some people swear by it.

A few years ago I was house sitting my parents house (they had to be out of town) while they were having a major reno done. Somehow I got talking one of the guys about coffee, and he started telling me about the popcorn maker method. It seemed a bit odd to me at first but he swore by it. I looked it up online and apparently a lot of people do it with great results. I had actually forgotten about it until this morning.

From what I can remember, the first initial part of the roast involves the outer skin of the beans flying off (is it called the chaf?) and coming out of the machine, so you might want do the roast in the garage in case it makes a bit of a mess.

Again, I haven't tried it, but people do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, I had a cup of my own re-roasted coffee. Wasn't mind-blowing, but wasn't awful, either. Tasted a little darker. Certainly smelled a lot darker before brewing (I use a French press) than it tasted after brewing, which may have more to do with oils being "chased out" by the reroasting. I take mine with sweetener and cream, so it is "thicker" than many here would take theirs. Conceivably, whatever it altered for my own cuppa might have conceivably ruined for those who like theirs black and untainted. I'll have my second cup later this morning.

As for the corn-popper method, I don't doubt its validity. The question for me is what the price and availability of unroasted beans is. Like I said, I paid $6.99 for a kilo of these things. What do green coffee beans cost?
 

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Well, I had a cup of my own re-roasted coffee. Wasn't mind-blowing, but wasn't awful, either. Tasted a little darker. Certainly smelled a lot darker before brewing (I use a French press) than it tasted after brewing, which may have more to do with oils being "chased out" by the reroasting. I take mine with sweetener and cream, so it is "thicker" than many here would take theirs. Conceivably, whatever it altered for my own cuppa might have conceivably ruined for those who like theirs black and untainted. I'll have my second cup later this morning.
So was it worth it for you?

Actually, I've been cutting down on caffeine and drink mainly matcha.

 

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Worth it? Hmmm, hard to say at this point, even after a second cup an hour ago. A pity my second press got broken, or I'd be able to brew two cups with identical amounts of ground beans, let them steep for identical periods of time, and taste them in alternating fashion. It's certainly not something I'm deeply regretting , but it did involve additional effort, so the optimal taste comparison will dictate whether it is worth the effort.
 

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Don't know about coffee beans, but I bought some dark roasted peanut butter just to see what the difference was. Bit more peanut taste, but not much
 
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