Re-roasting coffee beans: can it be done?

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Recently I bought some dark roasted coffee, but it turned out the roast wasn't dark enpough for my taste.  While sipping the insipid brew, I asked myself, "Why can't I take these beans and roast them some more?"  Now I'm asking you, the coffee mavens.  Can this be done?  And how might be the best way to do it?  Thanks!
 
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    Hi Schmoozer /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif


   I'm sure the coffee experts will be along soon to give you a definitive answer.  But I would ask myself if this is necessary.  Because I don't have the time to dedicate to learn the art of roasting coffee beans I'll always be a newbie.  But I've found that you develop flavors in coffee through several different means...and many times a certain bean may dictate what the best method of roast, grind and brewing method.  

    Instead of re-roasting a certain bean I would move to beans/roasts that are a bit darker (or full bodied).  If you have a bean that's a bit on the lighter side you can try different sized grinds and different brewing methods.  Pay attention to the lighter fruit or spice flavors that may be in the coffee.  Who knows...you may not like this particular brew for a morning cup of Joe, but it could be perfect for a lighter cup in the late evening.

  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif  
  dan
 
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Joined Jan 10, 2010
    Hi Schmoozer /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif


   I'm sure the coffee experts will be along soon to give you a definitive answer.  But I would ask myself if this is necessary.  Because I don't have the time to dedicate to learn the art of roasting coffee beans I'll always be a newbie.  But I've found that you develop flavors in coffee through several different means...and many times a certain bean may dictate what the best method of roast, grind and brewing method.  

    Instead of re-roasting a certain bean I would move to beans/roasts that are a bit darker (or full bodied).  If you have a bean that's a bit on the lighter side you can try different sized grinds and different brewing methods.  Pay attention to the lighter fruit or spice flavors that may be in the coffee.  Who knows...you may not like this particular brew for a morning cup of Joe, but it could be perfect for a lighter cup in the late evening.

  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif  
  dan
 
I bought beans that were not as deepkly roasted as those I usually buy thinking they might be acceptable.  Usually I either use beans roasted at home or a darker roast.

Why would I want to re-roast beans?  Usually I wouldn't as I'd have the preferred beans available.  This time I tried a different roast, just to see if I'd like it.
 
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Can this be done?
Not successfully.

Once coffee beans have cooked and cooled, they can't be cooked more.  Roasting temperature profiles and sequences make a big difference in how the coffee ultimately tastes.  Sorry. 

It's actually not all that hard to do a reasonable job of roasing coffee using something as inexpensive as a Whirley Pop -- as long as you have a great hood over your stove.  Decent home roasting equipment isn't very inexpensive, and considering that green beans are about half the price of roasted, soon pays for itself.  The question is whether you're willing to deal with the additional PITA quotient.

BDL
 
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I've read at COFFEEGEEK.COM that it's a method practised regularly by the Swiss and it gives the coffee a different character.
 
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It's actually not all that hard to do a reasonable job of roasing coffee using something as inexpensive as a Whirley Pop -- as long as you have a great hood over your stove.  Decent home roasting equipment isn't very inexpensive, and considering that green beans are about half the price of roasted, soon pays for itself.  The question is whether you're willing to deal with the additional PITA quotient.

BDL
 
Yes, I know - I often enjoy home-roasted beans, the beans having been purchased thru http://www.sweetmarias.com/
 
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No, you cannot roast beans a second time and expect the oils to be their best.  If oil is on the surface of the bean, i would assume a scorching effect.  Never done it though; so I'm just assuming.

What I would do is put the beans away for a week; this should make the coffee a little bit stronger.  I would also use a french press then too- much better flavor intensity. 

Might be a good experiment; i'd ask the folks at coffeegeek.

john

*might try a moka pot too : )
 
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In spite of several previous opinion, I believe you can reroast coffee beans.

However, if the flavor is insipid, I suspect the beans are not good quality. I would blend them with a dark roast and see if better flavor develops.

George (author of What Recipes Don't Tell You)
 

nicko

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 I personal would not re-roast beans. Believe it or not, coffee beans once roasted age just like a wine. This is particularly noticeable if you are using high quality beans packaged properly. If you have spent the cash on high quality beans that have been handled well then re-roasting would remove the artisan quality of the beans.
 
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Originally Posted by gerdosh  

In spite of several previous opinion, I believe you can reroast coffee beans.
So George, what are you recommending?  That he take the beans to third crack?

There are a lot of things which can be done, but should not be done.  Re-roasting coffee beans is one of them.

BDL
 
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Yep, coffee does change over time- gets a little bolder.  However you only have a two week window on freshness.  Some would say that coffee peaks at 10 or so days.  I've roasted coffee that was still excellent up to 20 or so days.  Not all coffee roasts make this possible.  When coffee starts staling, it gets blander; so don't wait til then to do anything.

However, if you do re-roast looking for that 3rd crack...you'd better have good fire insurance : )

john

btw, if I didn't roast the coffee right, the replacement is free.  maybe you could ask if the person had a bad roast.  i'd rather have you as a happy camper and lose a few bucks.
 
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You may be right, BDL, but I am speaking from personal experience. I did re-roast coffee beans before to give it a darker shade and found the resulting brew perfectly good. Te re-roasting, admittedly, was for a short time and not on high heat.
 
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Oh, I dunno George.  I don't want you to think you can't win for losing, but your experiences are certainly valid, more so since your palate is proven. 

When you're into somethng the way "coffee guys" are, hang out with other like-minded souls, spend time in the banzai forums (home barrista not coffee geek is for the serious nuts), and so on -- growing sophistication sometimes means losing a sense of the possible along with one's naivite. 

Obviously something happened when you reheated your beans.  I'm not sure whether or not they actually re-roasted, just had the oils redistributed, or what.  It would certainly be interesting to know how they tasted two or three days down the line after they had a chance to stabilize. 

That you tried and liked the results was well worth reporting.  Whether it's worth repeating is something else.

BDL
 
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I roast my coffee beans using a Whirlypop popcorn popper on the stovetop.  Roasting takes less than 15 minutes for 1/2 pound of green beans.
 
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JPRoaster: ...anywhere from light to slightly oily - all inside of the house with both front and back doors and windows open. Thank heaven for scented candles costing $40 and Glaaaaday air freshener!
 
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I don't often roast my own but whenever I do, I take the beans outside and roast on a portable propane stove. Once I roasted inside and the carpets, curtains, all fabric absorbed the smell for days.
 

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