One of my biggest expenses as a coffee lover is high-quality roasted beans. After buying beans that didn’t taste as fresh as they should, I decided to try and roast my own. Roasting your own beans is not as difficult as it sounds, especially if you have the right roaster.
Finding the best home coffee roaster can be its own challenge, but these coffee roaster reviews can help. In this article, I will be reviewing the following coffee roasters:
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Why You Should Roast Coffee Beans
There is no shortage of coffee beans. You might already even have a favorite, but you are probably not getting a premium product even if you pay a premium price for premium-roasted coffee.
Roasted coffee beans are at their absolute best for only about two weeks. Most roasted coffee bags do not mark the roasting date, so there is no way to know how fresh they are. Roasting coffee beans yourself is the only way to guarantee freshness.
How to Roast Coffee Beans
The enormous vats of swirling, browning coffee beans you may have seen in commercials make home coffee roasting seem intimidating. While getting a great cup of coffee isn’t as simple as driving through your local coffee shop, neither is it as complicated as it looks.
Unroasted coffee beans will be nothing like the coffee beans you are used to buying. For starters, the unroasted beans will be green. And forget about the robust, full-body smell you get from coffee beans. If you didn’t know any better, you probably wouldn’t recognize the unroasted beans as coffee at all.
Roasting is a fundamental transformation for a coffee bean to become a great cup of coffee. Most at-home roasting hinges on constant hot air flow to slowly and carefully trigger the change. It’s not unlike the change that occurs with other foods you might roast in an oven. The beans darken, they get lighter, and they even caramelize.
The roast of the coffee bean will determine the flavor profile. The most common levels are light, medium, medium-dark, and dark roast. Medium roasted beans are the most popular, but flavors begin to intensify at medium-dark.
There are a lot of different ways you can start roasting coffee at home. You can roast coffee beans with kitchenware or appliances you already own. Some people roast their coffee beans in the oven on a cookie sheet, in a skillet on the stove, or in an electric popcorn maker.
While many people opt for do-it-yourself roasting methods, it leaves a lot of room for error and can take unnecessary time. If you’re serious about roasting coffee, buying a roasting machine will save time and combat problems like excess smoke, chaff removal, and heat distribution.
Different Types of Coffee Roasting Machines
There are many different options for your coffee bean roaster machine, and they can fit all needs. Three of the most popular categories in at-home coffee roasting machines are air roasters, coffee-roasting drums, and manual coffee roasters.
If you are looking for a hands-off, simple method, you might like to try an air roaster. Air roasters are often electric and very easy to use. The downside is they sometimes have a lack of customization options. They do often come with helpful features like chaff removal or cooling air.
If you are looking to create artisanal roasts, you might prefer the small batch ceramic coffee bean roaster or a coffee-roasting drum. Both give ample opportunity to adjust heat, time, and amounts. Though they are more effort than an electric air roaster, they are perfect for the perfectionist.
There are many great options available, which makes figuring out the best home coffee roaster is difficult. What is most important is establishing what kind of coffee roaster you are. Are you busy and just looking to create a good, cheap cup of coffee at home? Or are you more interested in developing the perfect method for a unique, incredible cup of coffee?
Premium roasters, like the HotTop coffee roaster, are often upwards of a thousand dollars, but it is not the amount of money you spend that makes the difference. There are many home coffee roaster reviews, but here we’ve sifted through them all and found the best.
1. Electric Automatic Hot Air Coffee Roaster – Our Top Pick
The search for the best home coffee roaster continues with the first fully automatic hot air coffee roaster. If well-roasted coffee beans are less a hobby and more of a necessity, this electric coffee roaster machine might fit the bill.
The Electric Coffee Roaster Machine is one of the simplest coffee roasters on the market. It has an intuitive display and is fully automatic. Just put the beans in, press start, and go. Like many home coffee roasting machines, this one circulates hot air to roast coffee beans.
But unlike a lot of other home coffee roasting machines, this one is also capable of blasting cool air, cutting down on time spent waiting for the beans to be cool enough to take out of the machine and store or use.
This machine has a fairly small roasting capacity of 80 grams, but it’s one of the fastest home coffee roasters. It only takes about ten minutes from start to finish, and that time includes chaff removal. This roaster is quick, and it handles all the details so you can move right on with your day.
- Incredibly fast
- Easy to clean
- Doesn’t create a lot of smoke
- Hands off – not ideal for someone looking to perfect a specific flavor
- Relatively expensive compared to other coffee roasters on the list
- Small roasting capacity
My first small batch coffee roaster recommendation is a significant first upgrade from do-it-yourself roasting methods. If you’ve been roasting beans in an air popper or on the stove, this is an intuitive leap forward. This coffee roaster is best for those looking to roast medium-sized batches of 120 grams each. The Fresh Roast SR540 is compact and easy to clean.
This coffee bean roaster machine comes with nine levels of heat and fat settings, to give you a lot of room to experiment with roasts. The temperature and fan speeds are adjustable with a simple twist of the knob. The digital display has a real-time temperature gauge, so you’ll always be able to adjust the temperature if it’s not what you expected. Also included is a chaff collector, which will save you time and a lot of heartaches.
Many pieces are removable, which makes for easy cleaning. The removable components like the chaff basket and lid are replaceable. It is easy to find replacement parts for the Fresh Roast SR540 on multiple websites, and most ship worldwide. One of the more affordable roasters on the list, it is perfect for a first foray into air roasted coffee.
- Simple and intuitive design, with a straightforward display for first-time coffee roasters
- Easy to take apart for thorough cleaning
- Affordable and removable are replaceable
- Nine levels of heat and fan settings, the settings aren’t varied enough to create a lot of difference from one level to the next
- Makes a lot of smoke
- Too small for large households
This manual coffee roaster is the ultimate accessory for the meticulous coffee aficionado. If you want a lot of control over your roast, this is a great option. The Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster gives a full roasting experience.
This small roaster is best suited for someone with a strong understanding of the roasting process or a willingness to learn about it. It functions more like an oven than the more common air roasting method. To use, you hold the device by the leather handle and heat it over the stove.
Roasting coffee beans with a ceramic roaster requires patience, and this coffee roaster isn’t suitable for an induction cooktop. This method will require a lot of trial and error since there isn’t even a thermometer, but the process is short once you know what you are doing. The capacity of this roaster is only 70 grams, making it the ultimate small-batch coffee roaster.
- Lots of consumer control
- Results in a very even roast
- Glove not included, but recommended
- Does not come with instructions for use or care
- Not suitable for roasting large batches of coffee beans
My first two recommendations probably left the high volume coffee drinkers wanting more. If you found yourself thinking the other two were maybe lacking in size, you might find what you’re looking for in the 750g Non-Stick Bean Roaster by TuTu Home.
This coffee roaster looks and functions less like an air popper and more like a crock-pot combined with a food processor. It has a similar appearance to a crock-pot but includes rotating blades to prevent coffee beans from getting trapped on the bottom and burning.
This roaster is capable of roasting a large number of coffee beans, but 750 grams of beans at once is a bit of a stretch. In practice, you will get the best results if you roast about 500-600 grams at a time. However, that still leaves you with a lot more roasted beans than most other home roasters. Because of its volume capabilities, it might be the best coffee roaster machine for a small business.
There aren’t many other affordable options that will roast this much coffee so easily. This roaster has simple instructions. However, if you’re curious about how it’s going, the lid is transparent so you can keep an eye on the darkening beans.
- Hands off machine, dump the beans in and plug it in
- Allows for a large number of coffee beans to be roasted at a time
- Multifunctional, can also be used to roast other types of beans or nuts
- Smaller in practice than advertised
- Takes up to 40 minutes to roast coffee beans
- No timer included
This coffee roaster probably looks a little more like the industrial coffee roasters you may have seen before. The Kaldi Mini Size Home Coffee Roaster is unique in that it requires an additional gas-burning stove to function correctly. You’ll need a well-ventilated, ideally outdoors space with an electrical outlet to get full use out of the product. Don’t let that scare you, though; this coffee-roasting machine is the key to creating specific flavor profiles at home.
Any other coffee roasting drum forces you to don an oven mitt and keep the barrel moving by hand, but this home coffee roaster does it for you. Because the coffee roaster’s rotating aspect is electric, the heat is evenly distributed and well contained. The whole thing is made with stainless steel and will last you a long time.
The learning curve can be a bit steep since little adjustments to heat and speed result in significant changes, but it is the perfect tool to experiment with for the dedicated hobby roaster.
- Well-made and built to last
- Once started, it’s easy to continue roasting and get a lot of volume roasting done
- Perfect for creating a variety of specific flavor profiles
- Requires accessories not included in the original price
- Steep learning curve
- Best used outdoors and or in a well-ventilated space
Choosing the Best Home Coffee Roaster
There are a lot of great products out there, and the best home coffee roaster comes down to the time you want to dedicate to roasting coffee beans, the level of attention to detail you want to put in, and the kind of coffee beans you want when all is said and done.
The quickest and easiest way to get home-roasted coffee beans is the last one on our list, the Electric Automatic Hot Air Coffee Roaster. If you have any doubts, this is the machine to choose. The other roasters on the list are great options, but most of them require a deeper understanding of the coffee roasting process, leaving a lot of room for error.
The Electric Coffee Roaster Machine is intuitive and beginner-friendly. Roasting your own coffee beans is taking the next step in affordable, delicious home-brewed coffee.