Set up your workspace. Gather all your equipment, as well as your beans. The number of beans you’ll need will depend on the size of your skillet. Pour some green beans into the skillet, making sure you have no more than a few layers of beans. This is important for an even roast.
Make sure your workspace is well ventilated, as there will be plenty of smoke. Place your skillet onto the stove and turn it on. You want to reach around 340-350F before you can proceed. Play around with the stove temperature until you reach this temperature. The best way to measure temperature is to use a laser thermometer.
Now our skillet is at the right temperature, we can add the beans. Once you’ve added the beans, your skillet will drop in temperature. You can play around with the heat to get it back up to around 340-350F. OPTIONAL: At this stage, you can start a timer on your smartphone or just clock watch. Then, once you’ve finished, you can mark down how long to roast your coffee beans for next time.
Once your beans are in the skillet, you must begin whisking. Make sure to work quickly, although try not to lose any beans. By using a whisk, we can rotate our beans in layers, as opposed to just moving them around the pan. Whatever you do, just don’t stop whisking.
As you whisk, you’ll notice the coffee will begin to change color and there will be a lot of smoke. Continue roasting your coffee, agitating it with the whisk constantly. Eventually, you will begin to hear your beans cracking. This is the first crack, and you’ve achieved a light roast. You do not want to take it much further than this. While we could theoretically take it all the way past second crack, you’ll likely burn a lot of your beans before you get the majority of them to a dark roast.
Once you are happy with the consistency and color of your beans, remove the skillet from the heat and spoon your beans into a bowl.
Remember when we talked about the chaff? Well, it’s time to remove it! There are lots of ways to do this, and you may wish to do your own research to find the best method for you. However, I would always recommend doing it outdoors on a nice day. My method is to pass the freshly roasted beans between a bowl and a sieve. If you drop the beans from a height, it will allow the chaff to float away in the wind, as it’s much lighter than the beans. Once you’ve removed the chaff, your beans are ready to grind and brew, or store in an airtight container!