I made my second attempt to roast green coffee beans today. I have nothing but a cast-iron skillet, so I'm trying to pan-roast over propane, which is.... hard. In my first attempt, I pulled the beans too soon, maybe halfway through first crack, because the heat was too high. Beans were either scorched or far under-roasted, which lead to a delicious cup full of charcoal and grass flavors. I kept the heat lower this time. I ran into a little bit of scorching right at the end, and first crack came around 17 minutes in which is a longer roast than (I read) is ideal. Still, I managed to get a relatively nice City color, and I'm looking forward to being able to finish 3/4 of a cup before giving up in disgust, a significant improvement over my first batch's choked-down 1/2 cup.
Tip: Oven thermometers not only measure heat, but retain heat as well. Do not pick up with bare fingers, or you well get the ouch.
Tip: Dogs like coffee. Coffee isn't great for dogs. Try not to let roasting beans fly out of the pan, because dog with eat them beans.
Tip: You should probably just buy your beans in small batches from a local roaster if you care about things like taste.