Beans Don't Burr in the Grinder
December 4, 2012 8:07 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to roast an already roasted coffee a little bit darker in the oven on a baking sheet?

I bought some REALLY light roast coffee that binds up in my burr grinder.

The slightly darker roast I used before this one ground just fine, and I've never had issues with my burr grinder locking up on a bean (except when I've gotten water into the grinder by accident).

These beans can barely be ground at just under the mid-way setting. I'm under-extracting my espresso shots and it sucks!

So, given that, is it possible to roast the beans a smidge darker using my oven so that they grind better?
posted by roboton666 to Food & Drink (8 answers total)
Best answer: Yes, you can roast them darker. I wouldn't use an oven, though - it's good for roasting certain stuff, but for beans, I'd use a slope-sided non-Teflon skillet - I think you're gonna get the best results by being able to carefully control the heat AND being able to stir them pretty frequently.
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:17 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

or a popcorn air popper, which costs like $20. be warned: it will make your house smell like burning coffee.

the more important question is: why? did you buy 50 lbs of these beans you had never tried before? just throw them out or give them to a friend/enemy.
posted by cupcake1337 at 8:18 PM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Cupcake: I've literally no money until Friday and just enough beans to last until then. Yes, I have a burr grinder with an espresso maker and no money. It's a tad ridiculous, yes.
posted by roboton666 at 8:25 PM on December 4, 2012

I just did this today with some underroasted coffee and a popcorn popper. I put it outside so it doesn't stink up the house, I would try to freecycle one if you're in a city.
posted by glip at 8:26 PM on December 4, 2012

Best answer: You can probably darken it up, but the end product won't be the same as it would be if the coffee was roasted in one go (ask me how I know this!). In my experience, an interrupted (or even just stalled) roast can have a thin, flat, woody/baked flavor, even when brought up to your target roast temperature.

Sweet Maria's (a company that sells green coffee to home roasters) offers an explanation:
Once caramelization begins (340-400 degrees) a roast that looses heat will taste "baked", perhaps due to the disruption on long-chain polymerization. The melting point of sucrose is 370 f and corresponds to this window of temperatures when caramelization begins.
I bet they'll grind more easily after you roast them, at any rate.
posted by pullayup at 8:47 PM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Coffee roasting generates a lot of pungent smoke. Definitely want to be outside. You can do it with a hot plate and a frying pan (cast iron is best), in case you don't want to invest in a popcorn popper.

With a popcorn popper, you need to stir incessantly or you risk blocking the airflow to the fan which can cause the motor to fatally overheat.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:49 PM on December 4, 2012

A naive question (I don't have a burr grinder) but couldn't you grind them in multiple passes? First at a coarse setting which you know works then put the ground coffee through again at a finer setting
posted by epo at 2:25 AM on December 5, 2012

You can do it in a skillet ... better outside on the BBQ, 'cause the smell can be objectionable
posted by jannw at 3:28 AM on December 5, 2012

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