Few things are as satisfying as roasting your own coffee beans, grinding them, and then brewing one of the best cups of coffee you’re ever going to enjoy. Unfortunately, not a lot of people realize that they can roast their own coffee beans at home and instead opt to buy commercially roasted beans. While there’s nothing wrong with commercially roasted products, they often have trouble competing with the aroma and flavor produced by home coffee bean roasting.
Of course, before you can enjoy this simple pleasure, you have to find a home coffee roaster that will get the job done. And I have to say that can sometimes be a tough job to do for most people. Which is why we’ve decided to do all of the hard work and find the top ten home coffee bean roasters currently available. These roasting models may not be as powerful as commercial roasters, but they aren’t as expensive either and should do a fine job.
Best Coffee Roasters Of 2018
10Kaldi Motorized Roaster
Although this product requires a gas burner and is a little more expensive than other comparable roasters, it does have just about everything a person needs for roasting coffee beans. All that the user has to supply is their time and the coffee beans. This product is made from stainless-steel and comes with a high-quality hopper, a probe rod, a chaff holder and a fully-functioning thermometer. At the core of the machine is a durable 2mm thick stainless steel drum. This product has a 7-ounce capacity, uses a gas heating method and requires access to an electrical outlet to operate.
9Beanplus Home Electric Roaster
This electric-powered roaster makes it quite easy for the home user to roast their own beans. It has a 150-gram capacity, and the roasting process can be viewed through its glass domed lid. This lid locks securely into place during operation to ensure that no accidents happen during the roasting process. It has a silent revolving blade that keeps the beans moving and is pretty quiet. Underneath the unit is a bean husk bin that collects the husks as the beans roast. And since it has 9-different roasting levels, users have a wide-range of options when it comes to roasting their own beans.
8Wotefusi Mini Coffee Roasting Machine
This unit has everything, except for the coffee beans and the heat source, needed to roast. It has a 140mm barrel that’s made from food-grade stainless steel and is powered by a low decibel motor with a speed of about twenty-five revolutions per minute. This allows the device to quietly roast beans. This product also comes with a 270 by 220mm cooling tray, and the whole unit is small so it can be used just about anywhere. It’s powered by a simple on/off switch and has a durable power cord that plugs into a standard electrical outlet. All in all, it’s an inexpensive home roasting set that just about anyone can use.
7Nesco CR-1010-PR Roaster
This 800-watt roaster can roast up to a 1/3-pound of coffee beans, which is enough to make up to 36-cups of delicious coffee. And it can roast a batch of beans in approximately 20-minutes. Another key attribute of this roaster is that it has a patented catalytic converter which cuts down on the smoke and odor produced while coffee beans are being roasted. This unit uses warm air and an agitator to keep the beans moving so that they achieve not only an even roast but also a uniform color. With this product, the user can finally roast their beans the way they want to without a whole lot of hassle or fuss.
6Boca Boca Bean Roaster
This coffee roasting machine is practically plug-n-play. All the user has to do is set it up and plug it in, and they too can start enjoying freshly roasted coffee. This machine has a nice look to it and is crafted with a wood exterior. While it doesn’t produce a whole lot of smoke during lighter roasts, it does create a bit of smoke when its used for dark roasts, so the user needs to properly ventilate it. It has a pyrex roasting chamber that allows the user to watch as it roasts coffee and it has a power control switch and a timer switch. Overall, it’s a machine designed to complete home roasting without a whole lot of problems.
5Behmor 5400 1600-Plus Drum Roaster
This machine gives the user all of the options they need to create their own custom roasted bean profile. It doesn’t matter if the user wants a light roast or a dark roast coffee, this machine is able to deliver. Up to a pound of beans can be roasted at one time and this machine has five different roast profile settings for the user to choose from. This machine also has a lighted interior that allows the roaster to watch the entire roasting process. And since this machine also has a removable drum and chaff tray, cleanup is simple and quick. All of which makes this unit quite desirable to the home coffee roaster.
4Fresh Roast SR340 Roaster
This basic roaster is designed to be used by beginning roasters and has features that make it quick and easy to use. It has a control panel that allows the user to select fan speed, set a timer and adjust the machine from heat to cool when the roasting has been completed. It also has an LCD display and can roast up to 5-ounces of green beans in approximately 4 to 8-minutes, all depending on the darkness level desired by the user. This machine has a glass roasting chamber that allows the user to keep eyes on their beans during the roasting process.
3Fresh Roast SR500 Automatic Roaster
This Fresh Roast bean roaster is an intermediate roaster between the Fresh Roast 340 and the 700 models. This means that while it’s not the most advanced roaster by this company, it’s not a basic one designed for beginning roasters either. It has some pretty nifty features which allow roasters to roast their coffee beans in the manner they want. It can roast about 4-ounces of beans and is an electric air roaster that’s quiet yet effective. Other features which can be found on this device include controls for a timer, fan speed and to adjust the temperature from cool to low, medium and high.
2Fresh Roast SR700 Home Roaster
Although this coffee roaster has a design that’s a bit reminiscent of home popcorn makers, it’s actually a fourth generation coffee bean roaster that has some pretty interesting features built into it. It has front controls that the user can set to adjust fan speed, mode and timer functions. But that isn’t what makes this roaster kind of an interesting machine. It can be connected to a personal computer running Windows 7 or Windows 8, and that computer can be used to control the functions of this device. It’s an easy-to-use and technologically advanced machine that also does a pretty good job at its main purpose: roasting coffee beans.
1Nuvo Eco Ceramic Bean Roaster
Sometimes the best bean roaster is the one with the simplest design, and this roaster proves that point so well. It’s made out of ceramic, a material which transfers the thermal energy of a heat source dynamically. And since it has a roasting chamber that’s raised with a waffle design, it equally distributes this heat over the beans. When the beans crack, the open hole at the end of the handle allows the sound to be transmitted easily. And speaking of the handle, this roaster has a cowhide leather grip that makes it easy to hold and use while it’s being heated. All of which comes together quite nicely in this simple but well-designed manual coffee roaster.
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Do You Need a Coffee Roaster?
One of the most frequently asked questions is whether a coffee roasting machine is even necessary in the first place. After all, the average consumer has access to roasted coffee beans from all over the world. Of course, while these roasted beans are fresher than the pre-ground coffees in the store, they still aren’t as fresh as they could be. And that’s where home coffee roasters come in handy. They allow the coffee connoisseur to get the freshest coffee humanly possible.
Can’t a Nut Roaster or Popcorn Popper Be Used?
Another common misconception is that any old popcorn popper or nut roaster can be used to roast coffee beans. While there are people out there who use these devices to roast their beans, the results aren’t always consistent. These machines are just not designed to deal with the intricacies involved with roasting beans. If you want the best results, you need to buy a roaster. And with prices becoming more and more reasonable over the past few years, there really isn’t an excuse not to buy one.
What to Look For in a Roaster
Now that we’ve determined that you do need a coffee bean roaster, it’s time to take a closer look at some of the features you should keep an eye out for. By taking the following features in mind when you’re shopping for a roaster, you’ll make sure that you buy the right one for you.
- Indoor or Outdoor – The first thing to consider is whether you want an indoor or outdoor model. And it’s important to figure that out before you buy one. That’s because many outdoor models produce a lot of smoke and as a result, can’t be used indoors. On the other side of the equation are indoor models which are often unsafe to use outdoors. So be sure you know where you’re going to be using the roaster before you buy it.
- Electric or Gas – Roasters have different methods of roasting the coffee beans. Some models are electric and plug into an outlet. Other models are placed on a gas burner, while still, other models have to be hooked up to a propane tank. So, it’s important that you know exactly how the device works before buying it and trying to set it up.
- Noise Levels – Noise levels are another thing to consider, especially if you’re an inexperienced roaster. That’s because you want to be able to listen to the first crack of the coffee beans as they are being roasted, which can be hard to do with some roasters. As a general rule, air roasters are usually quieter than drum models, but there are exceptions.
- Volume – The capacity of the roaster is also important. In the beginning, you may not want to spend a lot of money on a high-capacity roaster while you are learning to roast. On the other hand, you don’t want to buy a roaster and then have to upgrade to a bigger one once you’ve outgrown it. You also don’t want to try to push the capacity limits of the roaster you do end up purchasing.
- Cooling Tray – Cooling trays are extremely convenient and allow the beans to cool quickly. Whether a model has a cooling tray or not may influence the end cost of the roaster, so it’s important to decide whether or not you need a model that has one.
- The Roasting Chamber – Some of the best models have roasting chambers which are easily visible, and this is an important feature for beginning roasters who like to visually inspect the beans as they’re being roasted.
- Cost – The final thing the consumer should think about before purchasing a roaster is how much the unit costs. Some models can cost in excess of two hundred dollars, or even more in some instances. And that’s just for home models. Commercial models can run in the thousands of dollars. Fortunately, there are also some very good models under a hundred bucks as well. In fact, we’ve found several great models in that price range.
Coffee Roasting Tips
You’ve discovered the perfect coffee roaster, have purchased it and now have both the roaster and some coffee beans waiting to be roasted. Now you’re probably thinking what next? Here are a few tips to consider when you’re roasting coffee beans.
- Roast Consistently – It’s important to move the beans at a consistent pace. Not too slow and not too quickly.
- Don’t Max Out the Roaster – Make sure that you stay under the maximum capacity of the roaster. In fact, you may want to consider only using about 90% capacity of the roaster.
- Wait Before Grinding – You also don’t want to grind freshly roasted coffee beans. The roasted beans need time to develop their flavor, so allow them to rest for at least 24-hours before grinding it.
- Store Properly – Make sure that you store your beans in an airtight container and in a dark place. Don’t store them in the refrigerator or the freezer.
- Buy a Good Grinder – Make sure you purchase a high-quality grinder to grind your freshly roasted beans.
- Grind on Demand – You should always make sure that you only grind the beans when you are ready to immediately brew them to ensure maximum freshness.
As you can see, buying and using a coffee grinder doesn’t have to require a lot of money or a lot of time. Just about anyone who wants to roast their own coffee beans can try it at home. And I highly recommend the experience to anyone who wants to try it. It’s not only a lot of fun to roast your own Java beans but is also very satisfying, too. Most people also get a great sense of satisfaction from making their own homemade coffee.
Roasting your own coffee beans can be a rewarding experience that allows the user to craft the best tasting coffee they can create. Hand selecting your own beans, roasting them, grinding them and developing your own personal coffee blends can also exercise your creativity and help you create something that’s far superior to anything you can buy in the store.