Is Roasting Your Own Coffee Worth It? Here’s the Truth

Last Updated on May 22, 2023

Roasting your own coffee is generally worth it. However, it really depends on how much you enjoy the roasting process, how much money you can save with roasted coffee at home, and how particular you are with your roasted coffee beans.

It’s important to take a closer look at all of these factors when deciding whether roasting your own coffee at home is worth it.

Man roasting green coffee beans in a pan
During roasting, the green coffee beans are transformed.

How Much Money Can You Save?

Generally, a single pound of coffee beans from your local coffee roaster will cost you an average of $20, perhaps a bit more or less, depending on the quality of beans you purchase. On the other hand, if you are willing to go with unroasted coffee beans, a single pound will cost between $5 and $10.

If you’re a coffee lover who wants to save money without sacrificing the quality of fresh coffee, you may want to try roasting raw coffee beans at home.

How Much Money Do Green Coffee Beans Cost?

If you want to try roasting your coffee at home, you must buy green coffee beans. The cheapest green beans are about $5 per pound. It does not get much more affordable than that. High-quality coffee beans cost between $6 and $8. Even the really good stuff is seldom more than $9 per pound unroasted.

These coffee beans are significantly cheaper because you are going through the roasting process at home. Even though you will have to spend some money roasting your coffee beans yourself, it is still significantly less than what you would pay at the grocery store or coffee shop.

It’s a lot easier than you might think, and we have a separate article explaining all the basics for roasting your own coffee at home.

Six plates of coffee beans showing the stages of roasting your own coffee beans
The different stages of coffee roasting, as indicated by the colors of the beans

The Top Reasons To Roast Your Coffee Beans at Home

In addition to saving money, there are several other reasons you should consider roasting coffee beans at home:

1. You Get To Choose From a Variety of Beans

If you choose to roast at home, you have countless coffee beans to try. While the options at your local roaster might be a bit limited, you can buy raw coffee beans online grown in almost any country in the world. As you get more practice, you’ll get to know the unique characteristics of each region, like wine. I like to order half a dozen bags per shipment, each from a different region. Then I can choose whatever I’m in the mood for and roast away.

2. You Get To Learn Something New

This one is pretty straightforward. Even though you might make a few mistakes along the way, you will learn from them, get better at the roasting process, and produce better cups of coffee. There is a tremendous amount of satisfaction that comes from learning how to roast your own coffee beans. You might even want to share your new coffee knowledge with your family members and friends.

Man enjoying cup of coffee after roasting his own coffee

3. Your Cup of Coffee Tastes Fresher

As soon as the roasting process is done, coffee beans begin to lose their oils and flavors. Much of the delicious coffee bean flavor comes from those oils, so it is best to use your coffee beans shortly after they are roasted. If you purchase pre-roasted coffee beans from the grocery store, you won’t know how long they’ve been sitting there and your cup of coffee will not be as fresh as it could be.

4. Raw Coffee Beans Have a Longer Shelf Life

You might be able to save even more money by purchasing your raw coffee beans in bulk. Raw coffee beans have a significantly longer shelf life than coffee beans that have already been roasted.

Roasted coffee beans have an average shelf life of approximately one month, as long as you protect them from the elements. In contrast, green coffee beans can last for up to 12 months as long as you preserve them accordingly. Therefore, you can purchase green coffee beans in bulk, roast them in smaller amounts, and ensure your coffee beans last as long as possible.

5. You Control the Roast Level

Because you dictate the roasting process, you also control the roasting level. This gives you even more control over the flavor of your coffee. For example, if you want to maximize the caffeine level of the coffee beans, you should lightly roast your coffee beans. If you want a deep, dark, strong flavor experience, you may want to roast them longer.

6. You Can Teach Your Family Members and Friends a New Skill

Some of the best relationships are formed over a cup of coffee, and you can strengthen those relationships even more if you roast your own coffee beans at home. This might even be a skill that you want to pass down to your children.

How To Preserve Your Roasted Coffee Beans

Here are some tips for properly storing your coffee beans after they’ve been roasted:

  • Place your roasted coffee beans in an airtight container. If you expose them to oxygen, they will expire faster.
  • Do not expose your coffee beans to light. Exposing your coffee beans to natural light could cause them to spoil more quickly.
  • Keep your roasted beans in a cool, dry location. Moisture and heat could cause mold and mildew to grow.

Ideally, once your coffee beans have been roasted, you should use them immediately. If you need to store them, place them in a dark, dry, cool location. Make sure they are in an airtight container. They should last up to a month.

Consider Roasting Your Own Coffee Beans

By roasting your own coffee beans, you can save money, control the flavor of your coffee, and generally have an authentic coffee experience. You can also enjoy the freshest cup of coffee because your coffee beans will not get a chance to start losing their oils or flavors. It may take a bit of practice to get the perfect roast, but you might just fall in love with the process during your coffee roasting journey!

Whenever you’re ready to get started, we have a list of some great home coffee roasters for various experience levels.