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)
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]

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

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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