Nothing compares to home-roasted coffee. The warm scent of your favorite morning brew wafting through your own home is a convenient luxury. But, the challenge of picking the “right” roaster and ramping up your barista skills (or whatever techniques you’ve picked up from watching the swift Starbucks employee) may seem daunting. But fear not – although roasting your coffee is not an innate skill, it is a far cry from rocket science. , this article is here to guide you through all the ins and outs of coffee roasting prowess.
What Are the Best Home Coffee Roasters?
This is the first and most important question since the roaster you choose will make the difference between a stale blend and a sumptuous brew. It will also have either a negative or positive effect on your home brewing experience, as different models need different levels of attention and effort. Last but not least, the costs vary, and depending on the model, you may need to buy extra equipment.
With all of these considerations, you may feel like you’re in a minefield of options. Luckily, we’ve done the work and gathered together five of the best home coffee roasters that will make all your homemade coffee dreams come true – without breaking the bank or your back.
Kaldi Wide Home Coffee Roaster
This Korean-made 300g coffee roaster features a thermometer, hopper, probe rod, and chaff holder. It also comes with a flame arrest mesh plate and a complementary volt adapter. Its heating source is gas, and with the hopper, it weighs 5.8 kg. This machine is known among the home coffee roasting community for its effectiveness and durability.
Pros & Cons:
The gas burner facilitates quick and easy heat control, but it may be limiting and dangerous if not handled. The product comes with a pair of gloves, but their size may be a bit snug. The machine allows brews of more than 320g, and the taste control is superb. But, it can be messy and requires more active attention than other models. Batteries are not provided nor required, but a separate gas burner is needed to use this roaster.
Nesco CR-04-13 Black Coffee Bean Roaster
This compact device features illuminated buttons that control the intensity of the roast, a sophisticated cool-down function, a chaff collector with a safety handle, a heat-repellent lid knob, and a convenient glass viewing window. This product is fantastic for small, flavor-personalized batches. It is also a great option for first-time coffee brewers as it is simple and clean to use.
Pros & Cons:
This convenient countertop device can roast up to a quarter pound of raw coffee beans in 20 minutes. Thus, it is perfect for small, quick brews but does not allow for larger batches. It features a convenient glass window, allowing you to watch the roasting process and create the right intensity to suit your taste. This roaster is ideal for those who want fresh coffee daily.
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Jiawanshun Electric Household Coffee Roaster Machine
This designed roaster features a heat-resistant transparent cover, a flexible function for adjusting the temperature, and comfortable handrails for painless maneuverability. It is shaped in the form of a crockpot rather than a kettle, unlike many other models. It brews for a maximum of 10 minutes before an automatic cool-down period of 20 minutes.
Pros & Cons
Due to the oil in the coffee beans, the machine will give off smoke. (However, this is the case with most coffee roasters.) Also, to prevent water from touching the motor, the device must be cleaned only with a wet towel. But, cleaning is easy since the surface is made of a smooth, non-stick material. This roaster is known for its durability and dependability.
Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster
This Korean roaster features a sturdy ceramic base with a laced handle grip made from authentic cowhide. The shape of this device is the most unconventional of all roasters with its small, shallow body and wide, round opening. Its waffle-shaped interior facilitates an even temperature for equal roasting. The minimalist, no-fuss device can roast 30-70g of beans at one time, but 30g is recommended.
Pros & Cons:
This model allows for more control than other designs, creates a uniform roast, and prevents overheating. It is also small and clean to use. But, it requires a separate heating source (a gas-burning stove is recommended) and direct attention through shaking and swirling to ensure an even roast. Also, the handle is short and can turn hot despite its built-in covering. It provides small batches and can be messy since the body does not contain all of the chaff.
FreshRoast SR500 Automatic Coffee Bean Roaster
This sleek electric roaster features superb visibility, easy maneuverability, clean chaff management, strong durability, and a built-in cooling cycle. It can handle 90g, yielding approximately 78g of rich roasted coffee. It also comes with three temperature settings that can be adjusted at any time during the brewing process, and the fan speed control can be managed through 10-percent increments.
Pros & Cons:
The default timer setting for this roaster is six minutes, not enough time for a darker roast, so this must be adjusted before each brew. Also, the fan-built to circulate the coffee beans is weakened by the density of the water and coffee beans, so the process may require more active attention than anticipated. But, this product does a good job of providing an even, consistent roast – given that it is watched and monitored.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you have an idea of effective coffee roasting devices, you may be wondering how to take the next step and produce the perfect home-roasted cup. The following questions target the popular concerns so that you can soon be on your way to homemade coffee bliss.
How Does a Coffee Roaster Work?
This is a loaded question since there are many different methods for roasting coffee beans. However, the most common types are drums and hot air machines. Drum roasters feature a drum-shaped pouch that is positioned on its side. The coffee beans are dropped into this pouch, which spins in a circle and heated from underneath by an open flame, gas, or electricity. Hot-air roasters, also known simply as air roasters, heat the coffee beans through a mesh screen, transferring the heat throughout the roasting process.
How Do I Roast Coffee Beans in a Roaster?
Raw coffee, known as green coffee, requires several steps to become the steaming cup in your hands. Scientifically speaking, roasting forces moisture particles out of the bean (the substance of the coffee in your cup), which causes the bean to dry and expand. Throughout this process, some of the natural sugars in the bean are converted into carbon dioxide, and the others are caramelized, producing the rich flavors that give the coffee its signature flair. Upon the completion of the 10-15 minute process, the bean will turn a brown hue and be over double the size of its green counterpart. After this point, the beans will begin to lose their flavor and aroma. The beans will last a week before they are unusable.
Depending on the home roaster you purchase, this process will vary in the effort. For example, as some of the product reviews above illustrate, the active attention required – such as stirring or manually circulating the beans – will be different for each model.
It is also good to be aware of the different stages of coffee roasting so that you can achieve the intensity you want. The coffee bean goes through about ten steps, which can be demarcated by examining the appearance of the bean. These levels, from raw to burnt, are green, yellow, steam, first crack (Cinnamon Roast), City Roast, City Plus Roast, Full City Roast, second crack (Full City Plus Roast), a dark roast (French Roast), and burn. These stages can be further simplified into the more common designations of Light, Medium, Medium-Dark, and Dark Roast.
Once again, the monitoring required to achieve a certain roast depends on the model. Electric brands may need less attention, as many of them feature controls that regulate the temperature, circulation, and cooling. On the other hand, devices that rely on a stove or other external heating source may require more manual oversight.
Can I Make My Own Coffee Roaster?
, homemade coffee roasters are all the rage in this DIY age. The most basic method of roasting coffee is simply stirring the beans in a pan over the stove. However, the agitation required to produce a consistent brew makes for some strenuous work. It is almost impossible to mimic the stirring mechanics of conventional roasting machines, as the agitation must be constant and consistent.
Many people use a hot air popcorn popper to roast coffee beans, but even this is not as simple as it looks. For one, the thermostat in many popcorn machines must be removed since it creates a temperature far too cool for roasting coffee. Additional steps may be required, depending on the popcorn machine you are using and the consistency or intensity you are trying to achieve.
Ultimately, while homemade coffee roasters may seem less expensive and more simplistic than commercial models, this is not the case. Purchasing a roaster and making your own both come with their challenges, but in general, commercial roasters are typically the safer option.
Which Home Coffee Roaster Should I Buy?
There is not a single, direct answer to this question since the “best” coffee roaster depends on your preferences regarding time, energy, expense, and taste. The eight home roasters reviewed above are all solid and reputable options, but as you can see, they vary in style, features, cost, and external equipment needs. Having a clear sense of what you are looking for in a coffee roaster is paramount as you navigate this large and complex market. The following guide will help you know what to look for as you begin your search for the perfect home coffee roaster.
There are many important factors to consider before purchasing a home coffee roaster. First, you will want to decide how much coffee you plan to make in each batch and consider the capacity measurements of each model. For example, if you are planning to make a personalized cup every morning, the compact Nesco roaster (Review #2) is a great option. However, if you would like to make larger amounts to accommodate multiple people, something like the crockpot-style Jiawanshun roaster (Review #3) would be ideal.
Second, it is important to consider what additional equipment, if any, is required for the roaster. This information is available on the product description, but it may involve more research, such as reading customer reviews, to make sure you are aware of what is and isn’t included. For example, many brands rely on a stove, and some require specific gas heating. Also, cleaning the machine may require special brushes to reach the roaster’s intricate nooks and crevices.
Third, you will want to consider if the roaster has a cooling feature. Without this, the beans will continue to roast – even after they are removed. A cooling mechanism will ensure that the beans reach a stable internal temperature when the roasting process is complete. Many electric models provide this option, as opposed to the stove roasters.
Fourth, before you make your final purchase decision, it is important to create a well-ventilated space in your home for the roaster. Since most machines produce smoke – an inevitable byproduct of the roasting process – ventilation is necessary to avoid triggering the smoke alarm.
Hopefully, this article has helped you to narrow your options as you search for a home coffee roaster. These complex machines are not one-size-fits-all, but the many options available make coffee roasting at home a personalized endeavor. This process may seem like a lot of work, but it will be worth it when you find yourself saving money on your morning mug – and getting to enjoy it from the comfort of your home.
Featured image from Wayne Shih on Pixabay