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Monitoring Roasting Progress

I’ve roasted thousands of pounds of coffee over the past few years, but it wasn’t until recently that I started monitoring roasting progress. This is a big deal, because if you don’t know how roasts are going then you’ll often end up with unevenly roasted batches. This can result in an underdeveloped cup or even a flat-out bad roast (and nobody wants that!). So what can we do about this? I’ve come up with three simple ways to monitor roasting progress:

Monitor weight

Weight loss is a good indicator of progress in the roasting process. Weight loss is affected by moisture content, temperature, and time. As the beans heat up they lose water through vaporization and this can be used to predict when the end of roasting will occur by measuring weight loss over time.

The relationship between weight loss and bean density has been studied extensively; however, there is no consensus over which model best describes this relationship or whether one exists at all! It’s possible that factors like the type of grinder used (burr vs blade) or roast level make it impossible for us mortals to accurately predict when our coffee will reach its final color without using expensive lab equipment like chromatographs which measure volatile compounds released during roasting such as CO2

Monitor color

The color of your beans is a good indicator of roasting progress. As they roast, their color will change from green to yellowish-brown to dark brown. This can happen quickly or slowly depending on how much heat you’re applying and how dense the bean is. It’s important to keep an eye on this process because it affects taste as well as aroma.

Check temperature and time

While you’re checking the temperature and time, it’s also important to check the beans themselves. Use a thermometer to measure their internal temperature and make sure they’re at least 30 degrees higher than when you started roasting them.

  • Check the weight of your batch: If it hasn’t reached 5% moisture by now (this is around 400 degrees Fahrenheit), keep roasting until it does!
  • Check for color: You want evenly roasted beans in different shades of brown – not black! If some are still too pale, continue roasting those ones separately so they don’t burn while others finish off on their own time schedule.

These are some of the ways you can monitor roasting progress.

There are a few ways you can monitor roasting progress:

  • Weight. The weight of your beans will tell you how much moisture is being lost. When they’re fresh, their weight will be higher than when they’re roasted and dried. As the bean loses moisture, its weight decreases as well. This can be helpful for determining when it’s time to stop roasting if you don’t have a thermometer or color chart handy–just keep an eye on how much lighter your beans get!
  • Color chart. Most people choose to use these charts because they provide more information than just “done” or “not done.” Additionally, different types of coffee beans roast at different rates–so one brand may take longer than another brand even if both are using the same method (air-roast vs drum).


Monitoring roasting progress can be a tricky business, but there are plenty of ways to do it. The most important thing is to keep an eye on the time and temperature so that you don’t end up with burnt or underdone meat. I hope this article has given you some ideas for how to keep track of your next roast!