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If you love coffee and you really enjoy all the delicious flavor notes captured in those magical beans then there are a few tricks you can use to extract all of these. If you’ve noticed that your morning cup of java just doesn‘t pack as much punch as you’d like then you may want to consider trying freshly roasted coffee beans.
You can buy beans roasted and ready to go but, as with most consumables, the fresher it is the better. Home roasting your coffee beans isn’t as complex as it sounds and can make a vast difference to the resulting taste of your cup of joe.
An at-home coffee roaster is an easy-to-use device that will turn green coffee beans into that wonderful golden brown-black hue that indicates a full flavor development. These devices vary a lot in price as well as how they function so there’s no one right way to roast your coffee.
To help you out here is a range of home coffee roasters that each fit a different set of requirements. Whether you want the whole system automated or you’d rather have full control to fine-tune every aspect of the process, there’s a model here to suit you.
Have a browse and if you like the looks of any of these products then click the ‘Price and Reviews‘ button to check current prices on Amazon. Now, to kick off the review today we will start with our top choice, an electric coffee bean roaster by Juxami.
Top Five Best Home Coffee Roasters
- 1. Top Choice – Coffee Roaster Machine
- 2. Runner Up – Hario Hand Operated Non-Electric Home Coffee Bean Roaster
- 3. Budget Option – Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster
- 4. Best Stovetop Option – Kaldi Home Coffee Roaster
- 5. Premium Choice – JIAWANSHUN Electric Coffee Roaster Machine
1. Top Choice – Coffee Roaster Machine
Capacity: 300-500g of Coffee
Features: Non-Stick Roasting Tray
The top pick today is the perfect choice for fresh roast coffee anytime you desire it. It’s designed optimally for an automated roasting process but it gives you enough control over the settings so you can tailor your own coffee beans.
It ensures a beautiful even roast due to the built-in stirrer, which works to keep the beans moving throughout the cooking stage. The pan is built with a non-stick coating and this helps aid the constant rolling of the coffee beans so they are exposed to even heat levels.
An easy dial control allows you to set the temperature between 0-240C for full control over the roasting procedure. A glass lid allows you to watch the beans as they roast so you can monitor for that characteristic first crack.
This roaster works well for home use. It’s not as uniform as a traditional drum roaster but it does a decent job, has a large capacity, and is very easy to use.
2. Runner Up – Hario Hand Operated Non-Electric Home Coffee Bean Roaster
Type: Alcohol Burner
Features: Heat Source Built-In
The second choice today is a roasting machine for coffee enthusiasts who love a hands-on experience. This roaster works using an alcohol burner to gently heat the beans and you twist the handle to turn the roasting drum so there’s no danger of the beans burning.
The drum is glass-walled so you can easily see the beans as they darken but the issue here is that the glass will blacken quickly with exposure to the burner. It’s not a major issue and it simply means that the glass needs to be cleaned between uses which doesn‘t take long to do.
It’s a small capacity roaster that takes a bit of patience to work. If it were any larger than this then it would take an impractical amount of time to use. 50g grams of coffee beans is enough to brew almost a liter of fresh coffee in a french press or drip machine. This makes it a good choice for roasting coffee at home when you only need a small batch.
3. Budget Option – Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster
Features: Rear Hole to Blow Away the Chaff
If you like to keep things very simple and straightforward then this ceramic roasting chamber by Nuvo is perfect. It has a waffle emboss on the base of the interior chamber which helps aerate and evenly roast the coffee beans.
There’s a hole in the center of the main chamber that allows you to monitor the roasting process and blow away any chaff. It also allows you to easily hear the beans popping as they heat enough to crack.
It has a cowhide heatproof handle that gives you something comfortable to grip. It is important to keep the device in motion as you roast the coffee beans by moving it in an elliptical or figure-eight pattern.
Some smoke is normal so this device is best used near an extractor fan, open window, or just outdoors. The roasting time is typically just over 10 minutes but be sure you remove it from the heat just before it’s finished as the residual warmth will finish the roasting.
This option works well on electric hobs and gas open flame and is a fun and interactive way to roast coffee beans especially if you’re on a tight budget.
4. Best Stovetop Option – Kaldi Home Coffee Roaster
Type: Stovetop Gas Burner
Features: Easy Check Thermometer
A stovetop coffee roasting machine gives you flexibility with how you use the device as well as precise temperature control. This option is well designed for large batches of beans roasted on a gas burner.
It can be a bit of a learning curve to get used to this option but the thermometer helps you to monitor the roasting temperature with ease. The chaff holder makes it easy to separate this from the beans keeping the whole roasting process simple and straightforward.
The housing is made from durable, food-grade stainless steel which helps effectively conduct heat and evenly roast the beans. This option is sturdy, durable, and has a substantial feel which makes it a really good option to roast your coffee beans over a gas hob.
5. Premium Choice – JIAWANSHUN Electric Coffee Roaster Machine
Features: 45-Degree Roasting Chamber
Our premium choice today is this purpose-built electric coffee roaster by Jiawanshun. It can hold up to 800g of green coffee beans ready for roasting and the clear lid to the roasting chamber allows you to closely monitor the beans.
The device sits at a 45-degree angle to keep the beans moving and the temperature and roast time is easy to adjust. It heats the beans and automatically stirs them so produces an even roast.
This device is very efficient and easy to use and takes all the guesswork out of roasting coffee. It’s high-quality enough that restaurants and cafes often choose this device for small-batch roasting. It’s a premium choice for at-home coffee roasting and makes really well-rounded and delicious coffee beans.
How To Roast Coffee Beans – A Buying Guide
It’s important to consider the temperature range used to get those beans baking. Different methods require slightly different temperatures so there is an element of trial and error here. Usually between 170-260C is the accepted temperature range for most coffee roasters.
Agitation is the next consideration. Coffee beans must be kept in motion as they roast otherwise they end up exposed to uneven heat which can burn or undercook areas in the batch or even on individual beans.
The final key consideration is a chaff collector. The chaff is the dried husk of the coffee bean and it is very flaky and messy. If your coffee roaster doesn‘t have a built-in chaff collector then make sure you remove the chaff over the sink or outside to reduce the mess.
To achieve a light roast coffee the beans will need to be exposed to the heat for around 3-5 minutes. You should hear an audible crack sound (the first crack) when they are ready. Light roast coffee is perfect to use with pour-over and drip coffee makers.
If you continue to heat and agitate the coffee after the first crack it will turn a deeper brown in color. Coffee removed before the second crack is called a medium roast. This type of coffee works well in a lot of brew methods from Aeropress to French press and pour over to percolators. It’s a great middle-ground between the light and dark roast flavor profiles.
Coffee that has been exposed to the heat long enough to pass the second audible cracking sound is termed dark roast coffee. These beans are rich in single-note flavors and oily to the touch. They work very well for brewing espresso or cold brew coffee.
When your beans have finished roasting it’s important to start the cooling phase so that they don‘t continue to cook even after the heat source has been removed. It’s best to add the beans to a metal colander or sieve and shake them to remove the chaff as well as to cool them down. You can also add the beans to any similar heat-proof container to cool bearing in mind that glass and metal work best as these materials don’t absorb odors.
DIY Coffee Roaster
The truth is, you don’t actually need a high-quality coffee roaster to roast your own coffee beans at home. You can simply roast them on the stovetop using a saucepan, taking care to stir and move them appropriately. Another option is to lay them out on an oven tray and bake them in the oven.
You can always use an electric Popcorn Maker to roast your beans for you as these work in a very similar manner to coffee roasters. Be wary though, popcorn makers are not designed for this purpose and any damage sustained from roasting coffee could invalidate the warranty.
Don’t Forget the Grinder
Once you’ve roasted your fresh coffee beans the next, essential piece of kit is a good quality coffee grinder. To get the best flavor out of your beans you need an even, consistent grind and this is only possible with a good quality burr grinder. Check out our article on burr coffee grinders to find out more.
Are coffee roasters worth it?
You don’t need a custom-built coffee roaster in order to roast your own beans at home but it does make the process a lot easier. Coffee roasters have systems that ensure the beans can be agitated frequently and generally have specific temperature settings designed for optimally roasting coffee. They are worth it for the ease of use and good quality roast they produce.
How do I choose a home coffee roaster?
To choose a coffee roaster for your home you need to consider the options available and how you wish to use the device. If you’re very unsure of the whole process then it may be best to choose an electric one that does all the work for you. If you like an authentic, old-school approach then a stovetop model is ideal. The final thing you need to do is to check price tags to ensure your chosen device fits into your budget.
Is roasting your own coffee cheaper?
If you source green coffee beans in bulk then it can work out way cheaper than buying pre-roasted coffee beans. It can actually cut your coffee costs down to a quarter of the price expected for the same volume of commercially roasted beans.
What makes a good coffee roaster?
A good coffee roaster gives you the ability to finely tune the temperature settings as well as giving you the option of a cooling down phase. You may be able to adjust the fan speed to help with this step. Some will automate the agitation process or give you control over this step and finally, some options have a chaff collector or holder built-in.
More Home Coffee Roasters Reviews
6. Best Air Roaster – Fresh Roast SR540
Brand: Fresh Roast
Features: Chaff Collection Basket
Drum roasters work well but they do tend to smoke a lot as the chaff is released from the coffee beans. A hot air roaster works a bit differently in that it uses a vacuum space as a chaff holder. This works for smoke suppression as well as preventing that burnt taste from entering the beans so you get to showcase the essential taste element of the coffee beans in their pure form.
The exterior of this coffee roaster is made from strong, ABS plastic and the roasting chamber is clear so you can easily monitor the beans as they cook. It has a timer as well as heating and cooling functions to quickly stop the cooking process as soon as the beans have finished.
These types of roasters are the best for a flavorful light roast or if you prefer darker roast coffee without any hint of a smokey burnt flavor. The air roaster cooks the beans from the inside out so gives a full, robust flavor that’s very well developed.
7. Large Capacity Option – Electric Coffee Roaster Machine
Features: Adjustable Temperature and Timer
This option is the best home coffee roaster machine for larger batches of coffee beans. It can hold up to 800g of green coffee beans although the practical working capacity is 500g. Similar to a popcorn popper, it has an automated stirrer and the roasting chamber has a non-stick coating to ensure smooth and easy movement of the beans and so an even roast.
It has two easy-to-use dials for temperature and timing adjustment and the transparent lid allows you to closely monitor the roast level as it’s happening. The lid also has small ventilation holes to allow you to also monitor the aroma. It’s an electric pot with an internal heating element that runs off 800W so no external heat source is required to use this option.
This option is the best coffee roaster to easily roast large volumes of coffee anywhere that has a power outlet. It‘s great for beginners wanting to try at-home roasting or for budding baristas to get better at larger batch coffee bean roasting.
8. Best for Hands-On Coffee Roasting – Cafemasy Coffee Roasting Tool Set
Features: 360 Degree Rotation Design
One of the most simple designs is this Cafemasy coffee roasting basket that works well on a gas or electric stovetop. The mesh basket allows the conduction of heat throughout to gently roast the beans.
A lot of input is needed for this method from temperature control to adjusting and constantly moving the basket to ensure an even roast. The mesh design of the basket allows you to easily monitor the roast profile. The downside is that it can be quite smokey as the chaff burns off and the material doesn‘t create an insulated roasting chamber so you have to be very attentive to the temperature during the whole roasting procedure.
This design makes it easy to implement the cooling cycle when the roasting stage is complete. It’s a good option for those who enjoy a hands-on approach to making a cup of coffee.
So that’s it for at-home coffee roasters. These devices cover a wide range of roasting processes as well as a range of budgets. I hope this review has proved helpful in matching you with an option that best suits your needs and I wish you a fresh-tasting, full-bodied cup of java every day!
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