A friend brought me home some coffee beans from his back garden in Sri Lanka (I live in Ireland :) ), and I am unsure on what to do next. He said that they dried them, but I will need to toast them on the pan. They look slightly toasted already.

What I would like to know is:

  • How long do I need to toast them for and how to toast?
  • How should I store them (someone mentioned freezer)?
  • How long can I keep them stored as beans until I grind them?

Sri Lankan Coffee beans

Beans on spoon

  • Hi @Mike, this entry is actually contains a few separate questions. Here in stack exchange, for ease of answering, single questions are preferred. See here. Also, many of these questions are answered previously under roasting and storage.
    – MTSan
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 7:00
  • 1
    Plus those beans are not green coffee beans. They have been roasted already for sure and probably in a pan or something like that, because the roast level is very inconsistent from bean to bean. Google green coffee beans to see how they should look like if they weren't roasted.
    – avocado1
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 13:56
  • Hi @avocado1, yes they do look slightly roasted already, what can I do now with them? Can I roast them again to make sure all are covered?
    – Mike
    Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 0:03
  • I'd just try them as they are. It might taste good. Roasting it again I wouldn't do. I'm not a roaster so I don't have much insight in the chemical processes involved there, but it's hard to imagine for me that that would do any good.
    – avocado1
    Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 17:30
  • A friend of mine was into roasting his own beans daily. He would get green ones, then every morning roast them grind them and Brew them. He said the best way he found for roasting was an old school air popcorn popper. It would roast them but not toast or burn them and he could add flavors to them like you would add butter to popcorn. I am not a roaster, but those are definitely roasted and if you have an old air popcorn popper around try that to ensure you the are roasted. Though I am just noticing the date and those beans could be bad (not fresh) by now. Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 3:39

2 Answers 2


Coffee beans do need to be dried and roasted. Unroasted coffee beans will be green or very pale in colour, the beans in the photo have already been roasted and are ready to be used. The next step is to grind them, preferably just before making espresso or coffee.

Ideally beans should be ground within two weeks of roasting. And ground just prior to actual use for best freshness and quality, although beans sold in stores (in vacuum sealed packages are sometimes a year old. Store beans in a tightly sealed container in a cool place to protect against moisture, air and light.

There is some rationale for storing beans in a freezer but it will not work well for most people. It's not normal to roast beans a second time and will almost certainly make for a worse result.

  1. THEY APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN ROASTED - you are ready to go!
  2. Roasted beans should be used within about day 2 to 10 post roast.
  3. Same as answer 2

3 questions ... a good site for green coffee info for beginners: https://www.sweetmarias.com/

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