How to Begin Roasting Great Coffee on the Bullet R1 V2 (2023)

How to Begin Roasting Great Coffee on the Bullet R1 V2 (1)

Please note: Before you begin to roast coffee on the Bullet R1 V2 you MUST read the manual. This article assumes you’ve already read it and have a grasp of Bullet-specific safety precautions and vocabulary. So if you haven’t already, then please head over to, where you’ll find links to the manual as well as to other Bullet R1 roasting resources such as this one. Also note that the recommended settings given in this article are only for V2 Bullets. V1 and V1.5 Bullets employ different parts and so behave differently. Contact Aillio for more information.

The roasting process is incredibly complex, involving thousands of chemical reactions occurring simultaneously, and even slightly different approaches to roasting the same bean can result in big flavor differences in the cup. This is exactly what makes the craft of coffee roasting so interesting. It’s also why we’ve built the Bullet in a way that allows users to exercise a great deal of control over their roast.

But by giving users so much control, we also introduce more variables. If you’ve never roasted coffee before, then, roasting on the Bullet R1 may feel a bit overwhelming at first. There are many, many little decisions to make, and each one will impact your roast. But don’t worry. With a little foreknowledge, you can begin roasting excellent coffee from day one.

How Much Coffee Should You Roast?

In the beginning, we urge you to pick a specific batch size, (350 or 500g are pretty good ones for learning), and stick to it for your first ten roasts. Batch size is perhaps the easiest variable to control, and by sticking to the same batch size early on, it will be easier for you to learn how Preheat, Power and Fan settings interact to impact the roast.

What Preheat Temperature Should You Set?

Before you roast coffee, you must preheat the drum. The Bullet R1 allows you to set a specific preheat temperature before every roast — a necessary feature if consistency is important to you. Think of coffee roasting as being like following a recipe for a holiday ham — you wouldn’t expect that ham to come out the same if you change the preheat temperature, would you?

Learning how to manipulate this variable is crucial to gaining control over your roasts. Simply put: how high you set your preheat temperature will likely depend on how much coffee you plan to roast, as well as how dark you intend to roast it, in any given amount of time. If your preheat temperature is too low for your batch size, you may struggle to finish the roast quickly enough, leading to less flavor in the cup. If it is set too high, your roast may spiral out of control, resulting in undesirable flavors.

General Recommendations:

For 350g you can try setting the Bullet to about 220ºC. When roasting 500g, that can rise to about 250ºC. For 750g, try 280ºC. 1000g roasts should probably begin at the max settings, 310ºC.

These recommendations are only starting points. There are many different paths up the same mountain. You can find a more detailed table of suggested preheat settings, including Fahrenheit temps, down below. But don’t feel afraid to try roasting outside the recommended ranges.

Which Power Setting (From 1 to 9) Should You Use?

The Bullet R1 is a powerful machine, and you can roast a lot of coffee very quickly on it. But getting to the finish line as quickly as possible is rarely the goal — if it was, there would only be one power level on the Bullet, the highest. Instead, there are nine. This is because roasting different beans in different batch sizes at different power levels for different durations will inevitably lead to different flavors. Making wise power adjustments during the roast is crucial for bringing out particular flavor notes and getting the best from your coffee.

There are many strategies for manipulating power during the course of the roast, but there are two general concepts most roasters keep in mind at all times.

1. Smaller batch sizes will require less energy and therefore less power than bigger batches.

2. Setting a higher or lower preheat temperature will also affect how much energy you need to add while roasting. The lower the preheat temperature, the higher the power settings will be.

General Recommendation:

For charges of 350g or less, you may want to begin as low P5. For a quicker roast — particularly with a lower preheat, you can experiment with as high as P7. For a 500g batch, P6 or P7 may be more appropriate. 750g could begin with P8. 1000g should probably always begin with P9.

Commonly users will begin with a high power setting (P8, for instance) and then begin slowly dropping the power as the roast continues (see below, under the “Roast Recipe” section for a specific example of this strategy).

That said, there are no hard and set rules here. As you become more familiar with roasting coffee on the Bullet R1, your power settings will likely become more fluid. You will learn how to react to changes in real-time, or even to anticipate them before they occur.

Which Fan Speed (From 1 to 9) Should You Use?

The effects of fan speed on roasting are complex. At lower (1–3) settings, boosting the fan speed during a roast may actually increase convection heating and quicken the roast. But as the fan settings move higher and higher (4–9), the air flow within the drum increases signifcantly, allowing the user to put the brakes on a roast that is moving too quickly.

General Recommendation: Oftentimes, users will begin with a lower fan setting (1–3) and gradually raise it over the course of the roast, though it is rarely necessary to use the fan at full power. Again, see below for a specific example of this strategy.

Which Drum Speed (From 1 to 9) Should You Use?

Perhaps no variable in roasting is as poorly understood as that of drum speed. The fluid dynamics of beans tumbling in a drum is more complicated than you would imagine, and its impact on heat distribution even more-so. Although there are some competing theories among roasters, most agree that too low a drum speed increases the probability of a roast defect known as “scorching”, as too much conductive heat too quickly may burn the outside of the beans. Conversely, due to centripetal force pinning the beans to the side of the drum, too high a drum speed may also yield the same result: scorching. In the Bullet R1, however, the drum speed will never reach such a high setting. So as long as you select a drum speed above 6 or 7, you should be safe.

General Recommendation: Set a drum speed of at least 6 or 7 when beginning. In our office, we tend to use a default of D9, the very highest setting, and only experiment with lower drum speeds on small batches of 350g or less.

How Dark Should You Roast?

You probably already have a preference for the darkness of your coffee roasts. There are several ways to quantify roast darkness, with color and end temperature being the most obvious ways.

But there are two key events during the roasting process that roasters tend to use as markers for communicating the darkness of a roast to each other. Both of these events produce cracking sounds similar to the sound of popcorn popping. “First crack” occurs when moisture within the coffee bean that has turned to steam builds up enough pressure to escape, causing it to rapidly expand before bursting. “Second crack” occurs as the coffee bean structure itself begins to collapse, and it is again marked by a cracking or popping sound, oftentimes louder than the first crack.

You should begin preparing to hear first crack after the Infrared Bean Temperature Sensor exceeds 190ºC. Listen carefully, as some beans are difficult to hear crack. In most roasts, first crack should occur between 200ºC and 210ºC. Second crack tends to occur about 20ºC higher.

A very light roast will end just as first crack begins, while any roast taken beyond second crack will be considered dark. Of course the darkness of a roast has a huge impact on the flavor in the cup, with darker roasts (for better or worse) tasting more generically ‘roasty’. Those traditional roasty flavors, although favored by many, tend to come at the expense of some of the more unique flavors found in lighter roasts.

For this reason, most specialty coffee roasts will end somewhere before second crack, with many roasters preferring light roasts for filter brews and medium roasts for espresso drinks. Darker roasts are more common in commercial coffee, though they are not unheard of in specialty. It’s all a matter of preference, and you should never let anyone tell you what’s right or what’s wrong. Trust your taste buds.

How Long Should My Roasts Last?

The speed at which you roast your coffee also has a dramatic impact on its flavor. The majority of specialty coffee roasts last between 7 and 12 minutes long. While there may be exceptions — particularly if roasting large batches very dark — in general it’s a good idea to keep your roasts within these time constraints. If you roast coffee too quickly, some of the flavors may never have a chance to develop. If you roast coffee too slowly, you run the risk of dulling those same flavors.

Putting It All Together…

The table below should look familiar, as it is taken from the manual. It summarizes some of the preheat and power suggestions above. Again, please keep in mind that you are encouraged to experiment with settings outside the recommended ranges. In the end, it’s what the coffee tastes like in the cup that matters most.

How to Begin Roasting Great Coffee on the Bullet R1 V2 (2)

A Beginner’s Roast Recipe

A roast recipe is a set of guidelines for finishing a roast in a particular way. A good one will take into account all of the information provided here — and more.

With that in mind, we offer you a recommendation for a Beginner’s Roast Recipe. As with any roast, you should expect to tweak it according to the bean you are roasting and your own tastes, using the concepts described above.

Also please keep in mind that these settings for those roasting on V2 Bullets, which have both the IBTS installed and the new V2 induction board, which has more power. The fan settings are also for those who have calibrated their fans.

Roast Level: Light (For Filter Coffee)

Weight: 350 grams

Preheat: 220ºC

Charge Settings: Power 7, Fan 2, Drum 9

Infrared Bean Temp@120ºC: Power 6, Fan 3

Infrared Bean Temp@165ºC: Power 5

Infrared Bean Temp@190ºC: Power 4

Infrared Bean Temp@200ºC: Fan 4

<First Crack Begins@202–206ºC >

45–90 seconds after First Crack: End the Roast

Making Adjustments

To learn faster, it is a good idea to only change one variable at a time. In other words, if after performing the Beginner’s Roast above you feel that you reached first crack too quickly, then you should either experiment with lower power settings during the roast, or a lower preheat temperature. The reverse is also true: If you want to reach first crack quicker, you should either use higher power settings during the roast, or raise the preheat temperature.

Roast Profiling

We’ve given you some general guidelines to get started roasting coffee, but we haven’t discussed the possibilities unlocked by roast profiling. We strongly urge you to take advantage of them.

RoasTime, the Bullet R1’s roast profiling software, allows you to both monitor and control your roasts by plotting bean temperature over time. While it is not necessary to use RoasTime to roast great coffee, there is a lot of value in the data it generates, particularly if you’re interested in obtaining consistent results. With a little practice, your ability to visualize roasts as profile curves will become a valuable tool.

RoasTime is a work in progress. New features and improvements, based off user feedback, are being added on regular basis. If you’re serious about roasting coffee, you will benefit greatly from the software. You should begin using it from day 1.

Read more at: How To Use RoasTime 2.

Going Further

Connecting with other Bullet users is perhaps the best way to get the most out of your Bullet R1 experience. The more information we share with each other, the better our coffee will become. The Roast.World platform provides a space to do just that. You can view, comment on, download, and automatically playback the RoasTime roast profiles of other users, and even find suppliers for particular green beans. The built-in Roasts Analyzer will also allow you to compare your roasts, or the roasts of others, to each other.

Like RoasTime itself, Roast.World is a work in progress, with a great deal of planned improvements expected to be pushed through in the coming months.

There is also a thriving unofficial Bullet R1 Facebook group, and a separate online forum just for Bullet owners,

In addition, there are many other coffee roasting resources available online, from articles written by professional roasters to forums devoted exclusively to home roasters. There have been a great many books published on the subject, as well.

In your readings, you may discover that different people have different opinions about how to roast, or about what makes a great roast. Ultimately, there is not a great deal of consensus out there. And it may be that what is sometimes taken for granted as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ really ought to be re-examined.

There is still a lot to learn — even among experts. So experiment, and have fun.


What is the best charge temperature for roasting coffee? ›

For our roasting purposes, the charge temperature is 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The green coffee beans are then dropped into the drum and the gas is shut off for 60 seconds, known as the soak, allowing the green beans to absorb the surrounding heat energy.

What should be done before roasting coffee? ›

The coffee bean has a humidity of 8–12%. We need to dry it before the actual roasting starts. Drying stage typically lasts 4–8 minutes with traditional drum roaster (see below for roaster designs).

How long should roasting coffee take? ›

Depending on your oven, it should take 12-15 minutes (max) to roast coffee. If your roasting time exceeds 15 minutes, increase oven temperature by 25°F on your next roast. Coffee that takes more than 15 minutes will taste dull in flavour and is considered “baked” instead of “roasted”.

What is the ideal coffee roast time? ›

The roast time (from small batch roasters) is between 15-30min. and takes place at temperatures between 180 and 250 ° C. The roast profile used by the roasting master determines to a high degree of what flavours and characteristics of the coffee are emphasized at the end.

How long does it take to cook a roast at 325? ›

Cover and cook in a 325°F oven for 2-2 ½ hours, until the meat is very tender. Remove from heat, and allow the meat to sit in the juice for 30 minutes. Take meat and vegetables out to serve, and thicken remaining juice with cornstarch or flour to the desired consistency for gravy.

How long should it take to preheat to 350? ›

As a general rule, it usually takes about 12-15 minutes to preheat an oven to 350ºF, with a five minute increase for every 100 degrees over 350ºF.

How do you set the preheat temperature on a bullet? ›

Preheating the Bullet

Set a Preheat temperature on the Control Panel of your Bullet R1, and either press the PRS button on the Control Panel or press the “Start Preheating” button on RT3. For our recipe, we will be preheating to 220ºC.

Is it better to roast coffee fast or slow? ›

Slow roasting (14 – 20 minute) will result in a greater loss of weight than faster roasting, which can be achieved in as little as 90 seconds. Slow roasting is generally considered to achieve a better tasting coffee, allowing more scope for the complex aromatic compounds to develop to give coffee its flavour.

Which coffee roast is stronger light or dark? ›

Darker roasts typically boast a bolder, richer flavor and aroma than lighter ones. Coffee beans lose caffeine and mass in the roasting process, so darker roasts generally have slightly less caffeine, though the difference is negligible.

How do I know if my coffee is roast level? ›

Dark roasts get their bold, smoky flavor from oil that surfaces on the bean. Light and Medium roasts have little to no oil on the surface of the bean. As a bean roasts, the body gets thicker and heavier up until the “second crack” After the second crack, beans start to thin and taste more like charcoal.

What is the best roasting technique? ›

Start by preheating the oven to 425° F. If you are roasting a large piece of meat, allow it to stand at room temperature for 1 hour and season just before placing in the oven. Allow the outside of the meat to cook at 425° F for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350° F and cook until done.

What are the tips for effective roasting? ›

5 Tips for an Excellent Roast
  1. Pick the right cut of meat. “A huge variety of meats can make a fantastic roast.” ...
  2. Brown the roast first. It's generally a good idea to brown meat on the stovetop before slowly roasting it in the oven at low temperature. ...
  3. Allow plenty of cooking time. ...
  4. Give it a rest. ...
  5. Presentation counts.
Nov 28, 2017

Should you let coffee rest after roasting? ›

We recommend that you rest espresso beans at least 5 days after the roasting date. For pour over and drip we recommend at least 4 days. Believe it or not, some coffee beans peak after 2 to 3 weeks. Darker roasts need to rest longer since there is a higher build up of CO2 .

What happens if you roast coffee too long? ›

*Something to consider: a very dark roasted coffee will have oils on the surface of the beans. This exposure of the coffee oils to air leads to fast oxidation of those oils, which can cause rancid flavors. Another good reason to not wait to brew your favorite dark roast.

Which roast of coffee is the strongest? ›

Some coffee drinkers think dark roasts are stronger and have more caffeine kick than light roasts. The truth, however, is that caffeine content remains pretty much the same during each stage of the roasting process. The difference between roasts is taste, not the amount of caffeine.

What is first crack in coffee roasting? ›

At around 196°C, the beans will emit a cracking sound from within the drum, not unlike the sound of corn kernels popping. This is called “first crack”. At this stage, the beans enter an exothermic reaction, releasing built-up energy, steam, and carbon dioxide (CO2) from their core.

What is the perfect ratio for coffee? ›

A general guideline is called the "Golden Ratio" - one to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. This can be adjusted to suit individual taste preferences. Check the cup lines or indicators on your specific brewer to see how they actually measure.

How long after roasting Should coffee beans be used? ›

For the best flavor, coffee needs a minimum of 12-24 hours rest after roasting before it is brewed.

What temperature makes the best coffee? ›

Is There a Perfect Coffee Brewing Temperature? According to the National Coffee Association, the ideal water temperature for extraction is between 195°F and 205°F, which is a little below the boiling point of water — 212°F.

Do you cook a roast at 325 or 350? ›

The perfect temperature to roast at (after searing) is 325 °F.

What temp is roast most tender? ›

We recommend a temperature of 195-200 °F / 90-93 °C for a tender and juicy roast.

How many minutes per pound do you cook a roast at 325? ›

Reduce the heat to 325°F. If your roast is 4 pounds, roast it for 1 hours 45 minutes more for medium, or 2 hours for medium well done. If your roast is more or less than 4 pounds, roast it for approximately 25 to 30 minutes per pound for a medium roast.

Can you preheat too long? ›

It is possible to preheat for too long? If you preheat the oven for longer than necessary, you will have wasted energy, but your baking results will not be harmed because the oven continues to cycle on and off to maintain the set temperature.

How long does it take to preheat to 400f? ›

Every appliance is different, but it takes an average of 20 minutes for an oven to reach an internal temperature of 400 degrees. Your oven might heat up faster if you have a gas appliance or newer model. Stay close to your oven to see its internal temperature so you can place your food inside as soon as it's preheated.

How long should preheating be done? ›

8-10 minutes of preheating is usually the right amount of time needed for your oven to come up to a temperature of 160-180 degree celsius at which most baking is done. However if you are baking at a temperature higher that say at 200C you might want to increase the preheating time by 4-5 minutes more.

How much does temperature affect a bullet? ›

Rule of thumb if you are using non temperature stable powders, is a 1% change in bullet drop for every 10 degrees… maybe 5 degrees depending on the powder. If you are using temperature stable powders then the effect of temperature is approximately 1% per 20 degrees.

Does dark roast mean stronger coffee? ›

Dark roasts, with their bolder, gustier taste are typically seen as carrying a more substantial caffeine punch than light roasts. However, the stronger-tasting brews aren't actually an indicator of their caffeine content. Light roast coffee has approximately the same caffeine content as dark roast coffee per bean.

What roast of coffee is the smoothest? ›

Medium roasts typically make for the smoothest and most traditional tasting experience. The most preferred roasts in America fall into this range, and we recommend this roast if you are looking for a more conventional-tasting coffee.

Does letting coffee steep longer make it stronger? ›

24 hours: The rule for cold brew is the longer you steep, the stronger your brew. Maxing out the steep time on this coffee will yield a bold, caramel-forward brew. The cherry flavors will still be around, but it'll be a little trickier to find them.

Which coffee roast is most bitter? ›

Dark Roast Coffee Features

Unlike medium-dark roasts that have a bittersweet taste, dark roasts will have a substantial bitterness to their taste. This is also because the flavors from the bean's origin have been lost to the roasting process.

What style of coffee is the strongest? ›

The most concentrated coffee type is a ristretto – this contains relatively the highest level of caffeine. However, a lungo is larger and thus contains more caffeine than a ristretto. Based on concentration levels of caffeine, these would be the strongest coffee types: RISTRETTO.

What color coffee roast has the most caffeine? ›

Let's dispel the most common myth right off the bat: A dark-roasted bean contains more caffeine than a light-roasted bean due to its stronger flavor. Not true. Actually, the caffeine content in both is virtually the same.

What temperature is first crack? ›

The meaning of first crack

At approximately 196 °C (385 °F), the coffee will produce a cracking sound. We refer to this point as the 'first crack', marking the beginnings of a lighter roast. At the first crack, a large amount of the coffee's moisture has been evaporated, and the beans will increase in size.

Which roast is best for black coffee? ›

For the best flavor, light roasts are often recommended for pour-over and drip coffee, while dark roasts are well suited for espresso drinks or those that use milk and cream.

Which is better dark roast or medium roast? ›

Choose the one that suits your taste

If you prefer a more acidic, more subtle coffee that retains the character of the coffee beans, you're better off going with medium roast. If you prefer a less acidic, bolder coffee with the deep, rich taste often associated with traditional coffee, dark roast is your best option.

What equipment do I need to start a coffee roasting business? ›

Roasting machines are expensive toys that will undoubtedly form the centrepiece of any roasting facility. However, you'll also need smaller pieces of equipment like sample roasters, coffee bag sealers, humidity readers, and colour meters.

Is a coffee roasting business profitable? ›

The Verdict: Is Coffee Roasting Profitable? When you look at all the numbers, on average, roasting coffee is profitable and a good avenue for business growth for coffee shops. The major hangup is the starting cost, which tends to be $100,000 or more according to the SCA research.

How to start a raw coffee business? ›

Before making that big purchase, there are many steps you can take to get your coffee roasting venture off to a good start.
  1. Carry Out Market Research on Other Coffee Roasters. ...
  2. Consider Potential Startup Costs. ...
  3. Choose a Niche. ...
  4. Decide on a Business Name. ...
  5. Brand Your Business. ...
  6. Write a Business Plan. ...
  7. Set Up a Business Bank Account.
Dec 9, 2021

How much money do I need to start a coffee business? ›

The average cost to open a single coffee shop with seating is between $80,000-$300,000. The cost of opening a coffee food truck or kiosk is on the lower end (closer to $60,000 for the minimum possible cost), and including both seating and drive-thru coffee is higher and can reach the $300,000+ range.

Is starting a coffee business worth it? ›

Coffee shops are incredibly profitable thanks to their high-profit margin and low cost of stock. With effective cost management, you can ensure your coffee shop will be a success!

How many cups of coffee do you get from a pound of beans? ›

On average, you can make about 30 cups of coffee with one pound of coffee. If you favor espresso, you can make 153 double shots with one pound of ground coffee. Even with these variables, the wider range can be from 5 to 30+ cups of coffee for every pound of coffee (bean or grounds).

How much profit is in coffee roasting? ›

💸 The average profit for a cafe ranges between 2.5% (Chron estimate) and 6.8% (Specialty Coffee Association study), depending on where you're getting your data from. For coffee shops that also roast their own coffee, the SCA study puts them at an 8.79% profit margin—a meaningful increase.

How much does a coffee roaster earn? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $56,000 and as low as $23,000, the majority of Coffee Roaster salaries currently range between $29,500 (25th percentile) to $43,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $47,500 annually across the United States.

Is selling ground coffee profitable? ›

Selling coffee can be very profitable with the right marketing plan and a strong brand. Coffee is a widely available product with a lot of competition, but don't let that scare you away from the industry. Consider the advantages of a high-commodity product like coffee: A high volume of customers.

Do you need FDA approval to sell coffee? ›

FDA Registration - Coffee and Tea

Processors of Coffee and tea, including regular, decaffeinated, and instant types require FDA food facility registration.

How do you become a professional coffee roaster? ›

To pursue a career as a coffee roaster, you need training on how to roast, flavor, and grind coffee beans. You may find an entry-level coffee roaster trainee position with a local coffee company. Alternatively, you can earn your coffee roaster qualifications through a course or certificate program.

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