Don’t you feel refreshed just by the rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee? Don’t your taste buds crave for that cup of coffee, early in the morning or when you are battling your way through office work and recurrent meetings? If so then you can take your love for coffee to the next level and increase the entire experience of coffee twofold. The best way to do that is by roasting your own coffee at home.
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Can you roast coffee beans at home?
With the right equipment and proper knowledge of roasting beans, you can roast coffee anytime at home, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Many minute details have to be looked after to get a perfect roast. In the end, it’s all about applying the right amount of heat to turn the green undrinkable coffee bean into the delicious, aromatic brown beans we know and love.
How much does a home coffee roaster cost?
Home coffee roasters come in all price ranges, starting from as low as 30$ to as expensive as 1000$ and more. It all depends on the type of coffee roaster you select and other underlying factors.
Typically there are 3 types of Coffee roasters.
- Air roaster: This type of roaster uses a convectional way of heating the beans. It pushes hot air directly to the beans through the roasting chamber. Most air roasters come with a plate on which the beans are roasted. The plate consists of holes allowing the compressed air to flow inside. The compressed air then spins the beans ensuring an even roast. Usually these roasters are fast and small in size.
- Drum roaster: it is a conduction type of roaster that comes with a drum in which the beans are placed. The drum rotates to roast the beans. It is heated externally by heating coils or fire flames. These roasters usually give a more consistent roast and are also faster and economical. Air roasters are preferable for roasting small batches, and drum roasters for large batches as they have larger roasting chambers.
- Popcorn roaster: you can also use a popcorn maker to get started. It is one of the most popular options for roasting coffee beans. Not as efficient as a coffee roaster as it is quite inconsistent in producing equal roasts. Basically it blows hot air through the kernels and makes popcorn. This is quite similar to the way coffee beans are roasted.
Best Home Coffee Roasters for 2020
1. Nesco-CR-10-10-PR Coffee Bean Roaster
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Known as Zach & Dani’s roaster previously, this is an air roaster that uses convection heating to roast up to 5 oz (142g) of coffee beans in a single batch. It takes less than 20-30 minutes to roast one batch. The machine is built to roast coffee in an even way, where the beans are evenly roasted and also have uniformity in their color.
The roasting chamber is transparent, giving you the perfect view of your roasted beans. It is advisable to not fill up the roasting chamber beyond the mentioned capacity as the beans expand when they roast.
It comes with an advanced smoke and odor control system. One cool thing about this machine is that it has a “cool down” option, where you can stop the roasting if you think or feel that you have the perfect roast or color.
For light roast it can take 20 minutes and for a dark roast it takes around 27-30 minutes. The unit automatically goes to cool down mode for 5 minutes so if you set roasting for 20 minutes, it will roast for 15 mins and then cool down for 5 minutes. The chaff collector is also efficient. The auger screw system is also great as it stirs the beans in the roast chamber. Cleaning the roaster is also easy. It is quieter than the other roasters. There is also a safety cutoff switch that turns off the appliance.
The drawbacks of this machine is that it has is no temperature setting control, just a time setting option. The cooling system doesn’t work efficiently with darker roasts as it takes much longer to cool them down. It is also not as durable as other professional roasters.
Weighing around 7.64 pounds this roaster is favorable for those who are starting to roast at home.
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2. Behmor 5400 1600 plus Drum Coffee Roaster
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Looking like a small microwave at first glance this semi automatic roaster allows you to roast some 1 lb (454g) coffee beans in one batch. Featuring an amazing built in smoke suppression technology, Behmor comes with 5 different roast cycles. Based on the weight of the coffee beans you are roasting, the time is set. The roaster allows you to increase the time in increments of 15 seconds and decrease in increments of 10 seconds.
The interior is well lit for viewing the roast process. Also, it has an excellent build quality. The roasting drum mesh is tight, preventing any bean from spilling outside. The chaff removal and insertion mechanism is also smooth. It weighs around 22.4 pounds. It also boasts of smoke suppression technology, making it good for indoor roasting. But it has been said to be inefficient. It is one of the quiet roasters.
Because of its auto safety feature you will have to devote ample amount of time with this roaster to continuously monitor the process. It requires the user to press the start button into 75% of the roasting process. If not pressed in 30 seconds the machine aborts the roasting and cool mode starts. In safety terms this feature is great.
Other difficulties faced by its users are that the display is said to be unreadable in daylight. Also, the power cord is only 4 inch long and the instructions warn that the device cannot be used with an extension cord and should be placed 18 inches far from walls or cabinets making it difficult to use on most kitchen counters. It is also not easy to mount the drum inside the roaster. For darker roasts it must be pre-heated.
Overall its one of the most loved roasters because of its large roasting capacity and smooth functioning.
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3. FreshRoast SR500 Automatic Coffee Bean Roaster
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It is one of the most compact and quietest air roasters. You can roast up to 4 oz. (90g-120g) of coffee in a single batch. Weighing around 2 pounds, it is quite easy to clean and control. It has a digital time display. it seems kind of inconvenient but The maximum time which you can set is 9.9 minutes and to increase time you have to add 6 seconds by pressing the button at any point during the roast. This same method can be used to subtract the time. The cool mode is for 3 minutes.
The fan is the greatest shortcoming of this roaster as it has been found to be weak to circulate the heavy green beans at the start of the process. You will have to stir them manually until they are moved properly by the fan. Users say that you will need to operate the fan at maximum speed to have a proper roast. Also the roast chamber is very small.
It has a chaff collecting unit above the roasting chamber, but to stir the beans you will have to remove the chaff collector, which can cause the chaff to fly outside and make a mess. The collector is also said to become hot while roasting. It even takes at least 2 cooling cycles for the chaff collection to cool so that you can remove it and the beans. Also there is no smoke reduction system.
It is highly recommended for beginners by many users.
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4. FreshRoast SR 540
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Affordable, compact and quiet easy to use. This roaster can roast up to 4 oz/ 120 g of beans in one batch. The roasting process takes at least 10 minutes. There are 3 basic controls: fan speed; heat level and time and each can be set anywhere from 1-9. There is a control knob to control all these functions. It offers you real time temperature display.
The major setback is the chaff collector, as it doesn’t collect all the chaff. So you will have to manually use a fan to blow off the remaining chaff. Even though it has a large roasting chamber, the amount of beans it can roast in a single batch is much less or same as its predecessors. There is also no smoke reduction system. Users have complained about its durability. It uses standard 120v power. It weighs around 4.75 pounds.
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5. FreshRoast SR700 Home Coffee Roaster
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The SR700 comes with a computer interface allowing you to operate it from your pc. It allows you to save your modifications. Software is compatible with all 32 and 64-bit Windows XP, Vista 7 and 8 operation systems. It weighs around 5.65 pounds. It doesn’t come with a cooling system and is also not easy to clean this machine.
6. Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster
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It is one of the cheapest and most elegant open flame coffee roasters you will ever find. It is a manual roaster that roasts up to 2.5 oz (70g) of beans in one batch.
It is built in 100% ceramic with cowhide strap, and weighs around 340g. The ceramic is quite effective for popping. And the cowhide grants protection from heat. The outlet is very convenient for removing the beans as well as seeing the color and hearing the crack sound. The internal structure is waffle shaped to roast the beans equally.
The only thing this roaster lacks is a chaff tray, making cleaning not that easy. You also need to have a thermometer with you to ensure you have the correct temperature.
You have to remember not to roast too close to the fire with this roaster, and also not to immerse it in cold water immediately after heating. Also don’t forget to keep on shaking and swaying it regularly to get an even roast.
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7. Bocaboca 250 roaster
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It’s a unique roaster, as it utilizes infrared radiation as its heat source. It can roast up to 200 g of beans in a single batch.
It allows you to see the entire process. Cleaning is pretty simple as it is made of glass, and it is also lot easier to dismantle. The glass is heat resistant.
It comes with a timer, power and temperature controls dial. There is a fixed thermometer that displays the temperature. It features a high performance fan that cools rapidly. It is also noiseless and uses 110v power. It weighs a whopping 6 kg.
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8. Eleoption coffee beans home coffee roaster
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This is great for roasting large batches of coffee beans at home. Although it boasts of being able to roast up to 3 pounds of coffee beans in a single batch but it is said to be unable to handle that much amount. So, it is better to roast 1 pound or less for better results.
It comes with a transparent lid that gives you a proper view of your roasting process. It also has a thermostat which constantly monitors the roast and adjusts the temperature accordingly.
The cleaning is made easy as the roasting chamber is non-stick. It can also be used to roast other things like peanuts, popcorn etc. it runs on 220v power and you will need a 1200- 1500w setup transformer for use in the US. The roaster weighs around 5.51 pounds.
Some review states that it is a very quiet roaster allowing you to hear the first and second crack of the beans. It can roast 550g in 25 minutes. The stirrer has also found to be not that efficient.
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9. Wabash valley farms whirley pop stovetop popcorn popper
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This is one of the best popcorn poppers out there that can also be used for roasting beans. It doesn’t come with temperature control settings or smoke suppression technology.
Typically it can roast approximately ¾ pound/1 cup of coffee. As it is a popcorn maker, you will have to stir the beans constantly manually for an even roast. Cleaning is also made easy, as it comes with a removable lid. But there is no chaff tray.
One of the best things about this is that it comes with 25 years of warranty, considering how very cheap it is. It weighs around 2 pounds. You can get it in stainless steel as well as aluminum,
It is highly recommended to be used outside as there is no smoke control tech.
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10. Beanplus Coffee Roaster Home Bean Electric Roasters Machine
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It is one of the expensive roasters with a capacity to roast up to 100-150 g of beans in single batch. It features 9 different roast settings along with a smoke dampening technology making it safe to roast indoors. The smoke control system boasts of removing up to 80-n90 % of emitted smoke.
Controlling this roaster is quite simple. The glass lid allows you to view your roasting. It comes with a neat cleanup option making it very easy to clean and also doesn’t make much noise
The safety measures make it one of the best options for a home roaster. Opening or removing the lid during roasting will stop the machine automatically.
Considering at how big it is, it does not roast large batches of beans which is why is one of its biggest setbacks. It also does not let you save profiles.
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11. Gene Cafe Roaster CBR-101
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It is one of the most expensive drum roasters. It roasts up to 8 oz/ 250 g in a single batch and also gives uniformity to the roast due to its unique movements in the roasting chamber. The roasting chamber is off axis. It is quite simple to use but it has limited features and also no smoke reduction system. The average roast time is about 15 minutes. At the end of 15 minutes it automatically goes into cooling mode. The roasting can be stopped before that too by just pressing the button
The roast chamber is fully viewable. You can adjust the time and temperature at any given time during the roast taking maximum control over the roast. It also gives you control over the airflow. It features a display that shows you the roast time, temperature and airflow speed.
Unlike Behmor it does not come with pre-programmed profiles nor does it let you save any of your own profiles. The roaster is pretty quiet. It has a Small footprint weighing around 10 pounds.
Cleaning this roaster is also simple and easy. The cooling process takes too long. The average time for cooling is 10 minutes, as it cools until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. You can do a dark, full French roast and even darker roast with this.
The chaff collection is also effective and so is the smoke solution. The temperature is controlled by electronic thermostat. The manufactures advises to clean the chaff collector once after every 3-5 roasts. The chaff collector is removable. It uses standard 120v power.
One drawback is that it has many plastic parts in its built, which is not ideal for coffee roasting. It is also difficult to hear the bean cracking sound and it is pretty difficult to insert the roasting chamber.
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12. Kaldi Home Coffee Roaster – Best Air Roaster
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The Kaldi home coffee roaster is one of the expensive electric coffee roasters but it’s not suitable for beginners. It can roast up to 300 g of beans in one batch. That is equal to some 20 cups of ground coffee. It takes some 10-15 minutes to roast one batch depending on the profile. It gives you amazing control over the roasting process. Although it is designed for serious roasting, it doesn’t come with smoke suppression technology.
It comes with great accessories like a wide hopper to pour in the green beans; a thermometer to indicate the exact internal temperature; a probe red to inspect the beans during the roasting process without stopping the roast.
Its innovative air roasting technology guarantees an even heat distribution inside the roasting drum resulting in even roasts and great quality. The drum is perforated with precision holes to let out the hot air. It is built by stainless steel and is highly durable.
However you will need a gas burner for this roaster which doesn’t come with the roaster, so you will have to buy one separately. It weighs around 9.26 pounds.
Cleaning this roaster is difficult.
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13. JIAWANSHUN Electric Coffee Roaster
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This electric roaster can roast up to 300-500g, although the manufacturer says that it could handle around 800g, it is best to roast small batches to have better roast quality. It comes with a transparent lid that helps you view the roasting process. The chassis is also non-stick making cleaning pretty easy.
It allows you to adjust the temperature from 0-240 according to your preferences. The temperature measurements are in Celsius. It becomes a little hot while roasting so you need to maintain enough distance.
It can also be used to roast other nuts like peanut, chestnut, dry fruit, popcorn etc. It is said to be durable and comfortable as well. As it is made from stainless steel it weighs around 3000g/6 pounds.
It doesn’t have a cooling system or fan, so it is highly advisable to use in a ventilated area. On maximum heat it takes about 20 minutes to have fully roasted beans. It takes about 30 minutes for moderate baking without cooling
Cleaning is not that good and the stirring is also said to be not great, as beans get stuck under the raised spinner arm. To clean the chaff you will have to take the beans out of the roaster and blow it away manually. Remember not to wash it with water as it might enter the motor and cause a malfunction. Cleaning it with a wet towel would be ideal.
It uses 110v power and comes with a European standard plug so you will need a convertor. Electric machines are precise than manual roasting. But they are expensive and not that durable when compared to stovetop roasters.
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14. Nuvo Classic Design Eco-Friendly Coffee Bean Handy Roaster
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This stovetop roaster can roast up to 50-70g of coffee beans in a single batch. It is also said to be able to handle some 100g. It takes some 6-10 minutes to roast. It’s easy to operate as it is lightweight and ideal for camping and outdoor roasting.
It is built from ceramic and coated with aluminum alloy. This makes it quite sturdy. It has a leather finish and beach tree wood for the handle. It has a lid on the top to ensure beans don’t spill and also to allow you to view your roast process. It supports dual roasting as it can roast using direct and heated air. The lid can efficiently trap the heat. It weighs around 270g.
You need to be careful with the opening of this machine and make sure it doesn’t fall off while roasting, spilling all the beans, as it is held by just one screw. And the screw can be tightened by hand. So you should refrain from shaking the roaster vigorously. The roasting is not as precise as the electric roaster.
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15. MIFXIN Coffee Roaster for Home Use
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This electric roaster gives you 26 ounces up to 750g of coffee beans. The roasting takes some 30 plus minutes. It can also be used to roast other food items such as nuts. It is very easy to clean this machine as it comes with a non-stick chassis.
It has automatic temperature control. You can adjust the temperature from 0 -240 degrees roast. The Built is sturdy and it comes with a transparent glass lid to see the process. It weighs around 6 pounds.
With this roaster you will need to constantly watch the beans to get a proper roast. It is recommended for use in a ventilated area as it emits smoke and there is no smoke suppression tech and also no cooling fan. It uses 110v of power.
The one drawback is that it doesn’t come with a timer.
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16. Univegrow Handy Home Coffee Bean Roaster
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This roaster can handle some 200-250g in a single batch. The roast time is long. It allows you to control the temperature.
It packs a roller, a handle, a rectangular bracket to hold the roaster and an alcohol lamp. The drum is made out of mesh, allowing you to observe the process.
The roaster is made from stainless steel, making it really durable. It is also heat resistant. You will have to manually stir the beans with the handle and remember to wear heat resistant gloves. It weighs around 1 kg.
The mesh has found to be a big setback as the beans sometimes fall through the mesh. So it is not ideal for roasting coffee beans but good for other beans.
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Home coffee roaster buying guide
How much coffee do you need in a week? Accordingly, you can select which roaster has that capacity to roast.
You also need to be more careful about the cooling process after the beans have been roasted, because the beans continue to roast themselves even after they are removed as their internal temperatures are high resulting in an uneven roast. A cooling mechanism eases this process of cooling the beans after they are taken out from the machine.
Roasting involves large amounts of smoke, the darker the roast the greater the smoke. So if you are a dark coffee lover then you must look for a machine that allows you to roast dark but also at the same time helps you suppress the large amount of emitted smoke.
Cleaning the roaster is also very important; most roasters have a chaff collection system for easy cleaning.
Manual or automatic
Fully automatic are more expensive than manual ones. But it is easier to roast with fully automatic ones than the manual ones as it requires less attention and manual work.
It is largely believed that expensive roasters let you be in more control of your machine as well as your roasts than the less expensive. Expensive machines allow you to save your preferences making coffee roasting a better and easier experience for you.
So ask yourself the ultimate question before you get a roaster “How Much Control Do I Really Want”?
Here is a list of some of the best rated coffee roasters out in the market.
Is roasting your own coffee worth it
Definitely yes, it has its fair share of benefits. Basically you learn more about coffee, while enjoying the entire process and experience.
Another huge benefit is that you can get your desired blend, flavor and level of roasted coffee, be it light, medium or dark roast. The Roast level can determine how citrusy it is (lightly roasted), how balanced and earthy it is (medium roast), or how sweet and caramelized or smoky it is (dark roast).
You can also control the caffeine level by roasting at home. Lighter roasts have high caffeine and as you roast more, the caffeine level starts decreasing, developing great flavors
There is also an economical benefit for roasting coffee at home as it saves allot of money. Usually unroasted beans come for some 5-7 $ a pound. And when you roast it you get some 12 oz that is a ¾ of a pound. Meanwhile, speciality –grade beans from a big roaster cost around some 17$. So you save 10$ per bag. To put it into perspective 2 pounds of good green beans will cost the same as 9oz of roasted beans from your local coffee dealer.
Above all you can have access to fresh coffee anytime at your home as Coffee is said to have a short shelf life, approximately 2 weeks. And there is a vast difference between fresh and old
So now the question is “what is stopping you from taking your coffee experience to the next level”?