Not really...but it feels that way. Every time I need to learn to do something, I always check with YouTube. So when I needed to find something to start testing coffee roasts, it was no different. So I searched “homemade coffee roaster” and got a long list of search results. This set-up below was the most popular and closest to what I needed.
All you need is:
A turbo oven (as seen on TV)
A Stir Crazy popcorn popper
An aluminum spacer
A few bolts, nuts and washers from the hardware store.
At the highest level all you have to do is:
Purchase all the equipment
Throw away the bottom part of the Turbo Oven
Throw away the top of the Stir Crazy
Rip the heater and over temp switch out of the inside of the Stir Crazy
Replace the plastic motor shaft from the Stir Crazy with metal hardware you purchased from the hardware store.
Assemble the Stir Crazy, aluminum spacer (I used a modified air conditioning coupling) and Turbo Oven. And there you have it, ready for roasting.
The other things you need are:
Fan for cooling the beans after you’re done ( just your typical fan)
Wooden spoon for moving the beans around while cooling
Scale to weigh out your green beans
Tongs for removing the metal spacer (it gets hot)
Oven mitts for handling the Stir Crazy
Total cost (for me): $60
Now this roaster will not get you a Diedrich level (the Cadillac of roasters) roast but with the right bean it’ll be better than anything you’d buy in the grocery store. Now, you might think, if I roast them, I will have a bias but believe me really good coffee is really fresh good coffee.
If you are interested in experimenting with roasting coffee beans, nuts or anything else, without spending a ton of money, I would recommend giving this a try. Like most things food, nothing beats freshly roasted!