INeedCoffee‘s James Cameron has a very good intro to how to cool your coffee beans after self-roasting. He says that it is the most overlooked part of home roasting.

The process of roasting your own coffee beans is easy once you have a basic understanding of how it works. Home roasting is catching on rapidly and has been touted as the fastest growing hobby in the United States today. While simple, it does require some knowledge to produce roasts that are truly great. Understanding the entire process is mandatory in order to deliver the ultimate cup of coffee.

The number one problem in producing great coffee roasted at home is the failure to cool the roast quickly after roasting. Coffee is ”roasted” rather than “baked” and for good reason…

I’ve yet to try home roasting. I’m actually rather intimidated by it, since I am becoming rather picky about my coffee. So, that said, I think there is a lot to be learned. Maybe, after I soak up some knowledge on the topic, I’ll be able to dive in.

James says that roasting at high heat quickly will allow convection between the beans and the heat, so the beans never really ‘bake,’ a process which can make them taste rather flat. They need to crack, and this won’t happen in the bake situation. So, the same baking happens if you do not cool your beans properly. By not cooling them quickly, you are effectively allowing them to bake themselves past their peak point. This is why the roasters have those serious fast spin cycles to toss and cool the beans.

James makes a good point with home roasters. How the heck are you supposed to cool your beans in the same chamber they were just roasted in? That’s insane!

So, James takes his knowledge of using sample roasters to come up with an idea for an effective way for everyone to cool their beans. He has instructions for how to build a cooling pan at home really easily over on his site or visit his site for great home roast info.