At some point in your coffee journey, you may ask yourself if you should buy a coffee bean roaster, and immediately after this you may wonder how much is a coffee bean roaster? Whether you need a home coffee roaster or not is something only you can decide but here’s what you need to know before you take the plunge into roasting coffee yourself.
Is a Coffee Bean Roaster Worth It?
If you ask any coffee connoisseur if it’s worth it to roast your own beans, you’ll most likely hear a resounding yes. Roasting begins the process of degradation and the longer you can delay this, the longer your coffee will stay fresh. Additionally, you can roast the beans to your liking and buy your fresh coffee in larger batches.
Roasting coffee at home is definitely an investment in terms of time, money, and energy but if value having the freshest cup of coffee, then it’s something worth looking into.
How To Pick the Best Home Coffee Roasting Equipment
The budget is often the biggest limiting factor for anyone looking to buy a home coffee roaster. Based on your price range, then you can look at special features, capacity, design, etc. Being on a budget doesn’t mean you should be too cheap though, sometimes it’s worth it to spend on a few features to ensure that your roasting adventures go well.
As mentioned, there are primarily two types of roasters: drum and air roasters. The major difference depends on how heat is applied to the coffee beans, either indirectly or directly. Direct heat from air roasters can be tricky to manage but the process is cleaner while drum heaters are easier to use but you have less control over the roasting profile.
Do you plan on roasting small batches of coffee every few days or roasting one big batch for the week? Getting the right capacity and size is important so that you don’t end up with too little or too much coffee. Observe your coffee intake and decide how much time you can dedicate to roasting and grinding your coffee. If you’re up to the task of roasting every few days, then a smaller home roaster will work for you. Otherwise, opt for a larger roaster. Lastly, don’t forget to account for space. After all, there’s no point in buying a large home roaster if you can’t fit it into your kitchen space.
If you’ve never roasted coffee beans at home, then you would want a home roaster that’s easy to use. As you gain more experience with home roasting, you can move on to more complex machines. It’s all about your comfort levels and experience with roasting, so don’t be afraid to start with something basic and slowly move on to the complicated machines. Some of the more complex home roasters are programmable and offer a lot of customisations which can be intimidating for beginners.
Best Home Coffee Roasting Machines
Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster
If you want to try out an authentic fire-roasting experience, then the Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster is for you. The minimal yet practical design makes it a great fit in any kitchen. The Nuvo Eco is as hands-on as it gets: simply place the ceramic roaster over an open stovetop flame, pour in 70g of green coffee beans, keep shaking the roaster over the heat till you hear the first crack, and that’s it!
To promote even roasting, the Nuvo Eco has a waffle-shaped internal chamber and the cowhide handle will protect your hands while roasting and provide a firm grip. It’s easy to use since there are no mechanical or electric parts but it also means that you have less control over the final roast unless you practice regularly.
Fresh Roast SR540
The Fresh Roast SR540 is a great option for beginners who want a more controlled roasting experience. This home roaster is compact, quiet, and budget-friendly. It comes with 9 temperature and fan settings, as well as settings to adjust the roast time.
As an air roaster, the Fresh Roast SR540 uses convective heat and fans to agitate the beans. The roasting chamber itself is rather small, and is better suited for smaller batches of coffee. Each roasting session can accommodate 120g of coffee.
Kaldi Home Coffee Roaster
If you want a high-quality roaster for your home, the Kaldi Home Coffee Roaster is a good bet. This is one of the most advanced home roasting machines on the market and the price tag matches its reputation. While it’s expensive, it’s worth the investment if you want to truly experiment and perfect your roasting techniques.
The Kaldi Home Roaster has a strong and durable body and comes equipped with a thermometer, a bean hopper, a probe wand, and a compartment to collect the leftover chaff. It can roast 300g of coffee beans at once which makes it convenient for roasting weekly batches and it can be used over a gas stove or plugged into an electric socket. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have smoke suppression technology so it can smoke up your kitchen.
Hario Retro Coffee Roaster
The Hario Retro Coffee Roaster is perfect for those who value the aesthetics of roasting coffee and don’t mind putting a bit of manual effort into roasting coffee beans at home. This glass roaster roasts coffee beans over an open alcohol flame. This Japanese roaster only holds 50g of coffee. This pushes you to consider the art of small-batch roasting at home and brings in a sense of artistry and craftsmanship.
The design is eye-catching and definitely something that will spark conversations around coffee and roasting at home.
Jiawanshun Home Coffee Roaster
This electric coffee roaster is ideal for roasting large batches of coffee since it holds about a pound of coffee. It has a non-stick interior which makes it easy to maintain and clean. The Jiawanshun Home Coffee Roaster has a temperature range of 100 to 240 degrees Celsius and has an automatic temperature regulator to ensure you get an even roast. As an added bonus, you can even use it to roast nuts and make popcorn.
Tips and Tricks for Roasting Coffee at Home
Finally, here are a few handy roasting hacks to make your home roasting experience better
- Remember that green coffee beans will lose moisture while roasting, in turn losing volume. This means that 1 pound of green coffee may turn out to be half a pound of roasted coffee. Make your estimates carefully while buying green coffee from your local cafés or roasters.
- Beginners would do better with trying light roasts, so wait only for the first crack.
- Buy the freshest beans and make sure to store your roasted coffee in an airtight container, placed in a cool and dry place.
Home roasting is a great way to get more involved with your coffee and learn some new skills along the way. Try it for yourself with one of the home coffee roasters in this article and let us know how it goes!