Do you feel it? Fall is finally in the air! With the change in temperature comes a few other changes as well. For some it’s the switch from burgers and brats to soups and stews. For others it’s the change from shorts and tank tops to jeans and flannel shirts. Still others are making the change from iced coffee to hot coffee.

At Mighty Flame Propane Cylinder Exchange we love sharing grilling tips, tricks, recipes, and ideas, and in today’s post we’d like to share something that’s a little bit out of the ordinary. During the fall our focus turns from more traditional grilling recipes to things that are slightly out of the ordinary and today’s post is no exception. If you’re one of the people we mentioned above who are gearing up to enjoy some hot coffee, then today’s post is for you. Keep reading to learn more!

Have You Ever Tried Roasting Your Own Coffee Beans?

Coffee drinkers are a passionate group of people. Whether you love or hate the seasonally-available pumpkin spice latte, there are still likely to be plenty of things that you have a strong opinion about. Does coffee need cream and sugar? Is light roast or dark roast better? Should you buy coffee at a coffee shop or brew it at home?

Needless to say, there are plenty of things to consider for the average coffee drinker. No matter where you fall on the coffee lover’s spectrum, the good news is that if you have a grill–and there’s a good chance that you do if you’re reading this post–then you can take your coffee-enjoying experience to the next level. We’re speaking, of course, about roasting your own coffee beans all from the comfort of your backyard (or wherever you keep your grill).

The Art of the Process

There’s no two ways about it–there’s an art to roasting coffee. But if you have an adventurous spirit then you just might find that there’s nothing more enjoyable than the smell of roasted coffee beans. Other than the first sip of coffee that you roasted and brewed yourself that is.

As you might know, you’ll want to take advantage of green coffee beans if you’d like to do some roasting of your own. These beans are available online for you to purchase, but our suggestion is to head to your favorite local coffee shop and see if they can point you in the right direction. Some coffee shops will even keep green coffee beans on hand for you to purchase right then and there. Either way, they’re the key ingredient to roasting your own coffee and as we mentioned above, it’s the type of situation where you’ll find that practice makes perfect.

Now we’re not saying that you can’t get great results your first time around. As a matter of fact, the opposite is probably true! It’s just that the more you do it, the better you’ll get and the more you’ll be able to accommodate your methods to suit your specific preferences.

How to Get Started

An article from the Art of Manliness on this very subject sums it all up quite nicely:

“Many things in life are much better when done by hand in small quantities. Roasting coffee at home one or two pounds at a time produces just about the best coffee you’ll ever have. Most chains (Starbucks, notoriously) will actually over-roast so that every cup of coffee tastes the same, day in and day out. They take all the unique character out of the coffee. Roasting at home will give you a variety of flavors that you never even knew existed in coffee.”

We couldn’t agree more. After all, this is the reason that many people prefer to make burgers or brats or steaks on the grill. They’re done by hand in small quantities and your specific grilling methods ensure that they take on a unique character that makes them that much more delicious.

First Steps

The actual process of roasting coffee beans on your grill isn’t all that hard. There are a number of different methods out there for doing this that involve different gadgets, but our advice is to remember that it’s always better to keep it simple. Our preferred method allows you to work with things you already have and it produces amazing results. All you need is a pizza pan and your grill.

The gist of it is that you’ll want to spread your green coffee beans out in a single layer on the pan, put it in a 500 degree grill, and cook the coffee beans until they’re done. How can you tell when they’re finished, you ask? Generally speaking, it will take about 10-15 minutes depending on your grill. I Need Coffee sums the process up nicely by saying that “coffee produces a first crack and if you roast long enough a second crack” and that “Depending on how you like your coffee, you may decide to end your roast here [and] if you like darker roasts, let it go a little longer, but not too much.”

At the end of the day, as we said above it’s practice that makes perfect. The initial results are sure to please, but the more you try, the better you’ll get. Just be sure to separate the chaff after your coffee beans are done roasting and you’ll be a-okay. We like to do this by using a metal colander and shaking it gently to remove the skin that’s on the beans. Once the chaff is removed, you’re good to go.

Give It a Try For Yourself!

We hope that this beginner’s guide has been helpful to you, but just like the art of grilling a great steak, there’s plenty of room for trial and error and our advice here is the same–read up as much as you can, come up with a plan, and jump in head first. It can be intimidating, but the results are usually delicious (and you’ll learn that you had nothing to worry about in the first place).

We can’t help you with the pizza pan or the colander that you’ll need to roast coffee with your grill, but we can help you to find a propane tank exchange location near you so you can fire up your grill and start trying something new! Of course we’ll also be here to provide you with plenty of grilling tips, tricks, recipes, and ideas to get yourself ready for fall, so keep your eyes on this space in the weeks and months ahead!

Have a question? We’re here to help! Feel free to contact us any time. We look forward to hearing from you.