Home coffee roasting is a growing trend among coffee enthusiasts. Not only can home roasting be a fun hobby, but it also offers a number of advantages over purchasing coffee from your favourite roastery.
- Green coffee beans cost less than beans that are already roasted.
- Green coffee beans have long shelf life and stay fresh a lot longer than roast coffee beans, so you can purchase them in larger quantities.
- The lower cost allows you to explore a wide range of coffees that you might not normally be able to afford.
- You can create your perfect blend by choosing how dark the roast is and where the beans are from.
What to Look for in a Home Coffee Roaster
Whether you are new to coffee roasting or are looking to upgrade your current roaster, there are a few important factors to keep in mind when trying to find the best home coffee roaster
Most home coffee roasters are either a drum or fluid-air bed design. Drum roasters use a rotating chamber along with ambient and contact heat to roast and agitate the beans. With fluid-air roasters, a fan floats the beans on a bed of forced air.
Fluid-air bed machines roast coffee at a higher temperature than drum machines. This produces coffee with a brighter and more complex flavour. Beans that are drum roasted tend to produce a slightly sweet coffee that has more depth and body. As a general rule, drum roasters produce a more consistent dark roast than fluid-air machines, so they are typically preferred when roasting espresso.
The size of the fan in a fluid-air bed roaster limits the amount of beans that you can roast at any given time. Most fluid-air bed machines can hold between 2.5 and 5 ounces beans, whereas, most drum roasters have a larger capacity and will hold up to 10 ounces of beans per roast.
Always remember that roasted coffee beans taste at their freshest and thus best up to 5 days after roasting. Anything beyond that and they start to lose some of their subtle aromas. Depending on your preferred coffee strength, 2.5 ounces of beans will yield up to two 10-cup pots of coffee after roasting. By keeping this ratio in mind, you can extrapolate the appropriate roaster capacity for your needs.
Ease of Operation
Home coffee roasting machines run the gamut from hand-operated and low-tech to highly sophisticated with automated temperature, roast level, and cooling options. The simplest options require you to monitor the roasting process much more closely; however, they are significantly less confusing and intimidating for the novice roaster.
Our Top Recommendations
Best Home Coffee Roaster
Although there are many methods of roasting coffee beans, nothing beats the sophistication and performance of a machine dedicated to the job. Ask any seasoned home barista, and they will tell you that if you are serious about great tasting coffee, you need a home coffee roasting machine. So without further ramble, have a read through our reviews of the best roasters available and feel free to ask any questions in the comments section.
1. Gene Café CBR-101 Home Coffee Roaster
The Gene Café measures 19 inches by 10 inches by 9 inches. This machine uses an off-axis drum to produce a consistent roast. The roasting chamber is made from tempered glass, which allows you to see the roast level easily. Two simple dials enable you to adjust the time and temperature during the roasting process, which gives you complete control of your roast coffee beans.
The Gene Café also incorporates a number of safety features, including overheat sensors, automatic shutoff, and a safety cover to prevent burns. Like most high-capacity roasters, this machine can produce a fair amount of smoke, especially at darker roast levels, so adequate ventilation is required. The machine comes with a large chaff collector that can be dumped or vacuumed out easily.
- Gene Café CBR-101 coffee roaster for home
- Maximum capacity of the roast drum: 300 g
- Superior quality from Gene Café: modern design, best materials and the highest quality workmanship
How does Gene Cafe CBR-101 work?
Gene Cafe CBR-101 is specially created not only to produce great-tasting coffee but also to provide excellent user experience. Check out below the steps on how to roast coffee beans using this machine.
- Step 1: Remove the roaster’s chamber that is sitting inside the roaster.
- Step 2: After removing the chamber, set it on its stand. The stand is specially designed to hold the chamber so that it is in a stable position at all times.
- Step 3: Pour some coffee beans inside the roaster’s chamber. Avoid using more than 250g coffee beans as that amount is already beyond the maximum level the roaster can handle. Make sure that the beans do not include any foreign matter.
- Step 4: Once the beans are already inside, the chamber’s lid should be closed correctly. If not, the roaster might start malfunctioning or might need a repair sooner than you expect.
- Step 5: After the chamber’s lid is closed, you may now put the roaster’s chamber back into its original place. The chamber must be placed properly inside the roaster. If not, this might affect the performance of the roaster or might cause damage to the roaster.
- Step 6: After which, it is also necessary to close the roaster’s cover for protection purposes.
- Step 7: It is now time to put the roaster’s chaff container into its own section.
- Step 8: The roaster is now ready to work. Select the time. This gives a signal that the unit has been already activated. You will need to check out your user’s manual for more detailed info on the time settings.
- Step 9: Select the temperature. This gives a signal that the roasting has just begun. Again, it is necessary to read the user’s manual to get info on the temperature settings.
- Step 10: After the time you selected is completed, the roaster will start cooling the contents inside the chamber.
- Step 11: Wait until the cooling is done. Cooling is done once you get to hear a distinct tone.
- Step 12: Detach the chamber from the unit. Use oven mittens when you do that.
- Step 13: Remove the beans from the coffee roaster and put them in a colander to cool.
- Step 14: Place the colander in an airy space or near a window as this can help speed up the cooling.
The Gene Café pulls 1,300 watts of electricity.
The drum will hold up to 8 ounces of beans per roast.
Roasting time is between 12 and 15 minutes but can vary based on your personal tastes, the type of bean, and environmental conditions.
- The off-axis rotating drum provides for a very even roast throughout the entire batch of beans.
- 12-month warranty.
- Design makes it possible for the user to view all the beans clearly.
- Suitable for home and commercial businesses.
- Capable of roasting a maximum of 250g coffee beans each time.
Easy to us.
- Fast maximum roasting time.
- Freedom when it comes to adjusting the temperature and time.
- Reliable chaff collection feature that works well.
- Easy to setup.
- This machine has a relatively long cooling cycle. The cycle lasts until the beans reach 140°F, which can take up to 10 minutes.
- Although the Gene Café is relatively quiet, it does make enough noise that it can be difficult to hear the delicate second crack of the beans.
- Bigger than other home roasters, so it takes up more space.
- Not equipped with the smoke suppression technology.
- Requires monitoring of the roasting procedure, from start to finish.
2. Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster
This small ceramic roaster measures 10 inches by 6.5 inches by 3 inches. The inside of the roaster has a waffle texture to help create an even roast.
The creative design allows you to fill the roaster through a small hole in the center but keeps the beans from escaping. The handle is covered in cowhide to protect your hands from the heat and can be used to pour the roasted beans into your cooling vessel.
This roaster does not require electricity and can be used over your home stove or even a camp fire.
This roaster will only hold about 3 tablespoons of beans at a time.
- Material: Body- Ceramic, Grip-Genuine cowhide
- Eco Ceramic Roaster: 100% ceramic, Size: 243mm(Total length)x132mm(Diameter)x33mm(Inlet), Weight: 340g, Color: Brown, Capacity: 30~70g
- Waffle-shaped internal structure: equal roasting
Roasting time varies based on your particular heat source and the level of roast that you are trying to achieve but is generally between 7 and 15 minutes.
This YouTube video demonstrates how to roast coffee with the Nuvo Eco roaster by moving it side to side over the heat source.
The Nuvo Eco roaster is small and portable enough to be used while camping. The ceramic conducts and holds heat well for efficient roasting. This roaster is inexpensive, which makes it an excellent choice for anyone wanting to explore home coffee roasting without a major financial investment.
The small size of this roaster means that it is definitely not for the frequent coffee drinker. The handle is rather short and can get quite hot, so you should wear heat-resistant gloves while roasting to avoid burns. You must move the roaster over the heat source throughout the roasting process to keep the beans from burning. This may mean a few inconsistent batches until you get the hang of the technique.
3. Ikawa Home Roaster
Gone are the days when you had to spend more time learning how to roast coffee just to be able to drink coffee. With the newest coffee roasting technology the IKAWA is equipped with, roasting coffee even for first-timers is no longer an ambition, its a reality. Using the smartphone app, you can now experiment with pre-programmed roasts to ensure you get the perfect roast whenever you fancy. What’s more, your coffee not only tastes great but it perfectly fits your tastes and preferences due to the numerous options the IKAWA provides.
Roasting with the use of IKAWA roaster is a piece of cake. Here’s a simple procedure that you can easily follow when using the IKAWA digital roaster.
How Does IKAWA Coffee Roaster Work?
Roasting with the use of IKAWA roaster is a piece of cake. Follow these simple steps and you will be roasting coffee like a professional in no time!
- Step 1: Using your smarphone app, you are free to pick any recipe from the roast recipes that come with IKAWA roaster. The recipe you choose will actually depend on the green beans that you use at the moment. You may use the ones provided by IKAWA or the green beans you bought separately from a local shop nearby or online.
- Whether you like a lighter roast coffee or a darker roast coffee, the roaster can precisely work on those and more. Also, whether you crave for espresso or filter, the roaster can also correctly deliver the result you want and more! You can either depend on the smartphone app for the standard recipes or make your own personal creations by altering the air flow, temperature and the roasting time. What’s more, you are also allowed to experience other users’ recipes and share yours with them as well via the sharing app.
- Step 2: After selecting a recipe, pour the green beans into the Doser. Make sure you do not exceed the 60-gram limit each time. Take note that the 60g beans can produce about 50g coffee.
- Step 3: Allow the roaster to start working. The roasting can last up to 3 minutes or up to 10 minutes. The roasting time depends on the recipe that you choose.
- Step 4: Observe how the colour of the beans changes from the original green colour, the colour of the beans gradually changes to a pale shade to yellow to tan or orange to a lighter shade of brown to a darker shade of brown.
- Step 5: As soon as you hear the initial crack, the beans can already produce a lighter roast coffee during this time. So, you either stop roasting or continue until you hear the next crack.
- Step 6: If you wish to continue roasting, expect the second crack. This is the last crack, and it signals the end of roasting. The color of the beans has now turned to a darker shade of brown. You cannot roast much further after this because you will only get burnt beans.
- Step 7: Remove the container that contains the chaff, and place a clean container to gather all the roasted beans. This procedure takes away the heat from the roasted beans as fast as possible.
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- Minimum roasting time is only 3 minutes.
- Glass lid provides easy viewing while the beans are being roasted.
- Takes up very little space as it has a compact design.
- Comes with various roast recipes.
- Produces consistent results for every kind of roast recipe you prepare.
- User-friendly features make it possible to prepare coffee even with very minimal roasting know-how.
- Compatible with other beans apart from the ones supplied by IKAWA.
- Heat is concentrated in a particular section responsible for the roasting so that the case does not burn your skin even when you touch it.
- Offers smokeless operation.
- Runs on 120v,100v or 230v.
- Built in container that collects the chaff.
- Separate container that gathers the roasted beans.
- Ability to roast beans very efficiently.
- Users can share recipes with each other.
- The app runs on both Android or iOS.
- It is an expensive roaster.
- Produces small amounts of coffee (approximately 50g coffee or about 1.8oz coffee) each time.
- Not an ideal option for home businesses.
4. Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper
While the Whirley-Pop is technically a popcorn popper, it also makes a first-class coffee roaster. The pan is constructed of aluminum, and the clip-on lid has a wooden handle that you crank to stir the beans. You do have to rely on your senses of sight, smell, and hearing to know when your coffee has reached the appropriate level.
The Whirley-Pop is an old-fashioned style roaster that does not require any electricity. You only need a source of heat and a bit of effort to turn the handle crank.
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- QUICK CLEAN UP – Clean up is a snap with the stovetop popcorn popper, simply wipe with a paper towel once the pot has cooled down and store. Hand wash and dry as needed.
You should only roast one-half to three-quarters of a cup of beans at a time to avoid damaging the gear teeth.
Over medium-low heat, the Whirley-Pop will take about six to nine minutes to reach the second crack.
The Whirley-Pop is probably the least expensive way to try your hand at roasting coffee. It is portable and will allow you to roast coffee even without electricity. The simple construction of the Whirley-Pop makes cleanup a breeze.
Adding too much coffee to the Whirley-Pop can damage or break the gears. You do need to take the roasted beans outside to remove the chaff to avoid making a mess in your kitchen. Since the evenness of the roast depends on how well you stir the beans, it may take you a few attempts to perfect your technique. It is important to note that the 25-year manufacturer’s warranty does not cover roasting coffee.
5. Fresh Roast SR540 Automatic Coffee Bean Roaster
This air roaster is extremely quiet and compact at 6 inches by 6 inches by 13 inches. The roasting chamber is clear, which allows you to keep tabs on the roasting process. You can easily adjust your roast level by changing the temperature, fan speed, or the roasting time without interrupting the roast cycle. This level of control combined with a user-friendly operation make this roaster well-suited for both novice and experienced home roasters.
Cleaning the machine is relatively easy. You simply dump the chaff from the collector and use a brush to remove the residue.
The FreshRoast draws 1,500 watts of electricity.
This roaster will hold up to 4 ounces of green coffee beans, which will yield approximately 3.5 ounces of roasted coffee.
The default roasting time is six minutes, but you may want to adjust this up if you prefer a darker roast. The cool-down cycle runs approximately three minutes.
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The FreshRoast allows for on-the-fly adjustments of temperature and fan speed so that you can achieve virtually any level of roast. The controls are intuitive, so the learning curve is minimal.
The fan does not always do a good job of agitating the beans, especially at the beginning of the roasting cycle. You may have to do some manual stirring in order to achieve an even roast.
The beans are cooled in the roasting chamber, so you need to anticipate some carry-over roasting. This means that you may need to manually stop the roasting cycle before the beans reach the desired roast level to ensure that they do not end up too dark.
This machine does not have a smoke suppression feature, so you need to make sure that you have plenty of ventilation when roasting.
6. Behmor 1600 Plus Customizable Drum Coffee Roaster
The Behmor 1600 measures 9 inches by 9 inches by 15.2 inches. It features quartz heating elements that are thermostatically controlled along with a variable speed drum. You can choose from five different roast profile settings or manually override these settings for your own custom roast. A removable chaff tray makes cleaning the roaster extremely easy.
The lighted interior allows to you monitor the color of your beans. The Behmor 1600 also has innovative smoke suppression technology, which makes it suitable for indoor use; however, you may still notice some smoking as you approach a dark roast.
How does Behmor 5400 1600 Plus work?
Roasting is not a difficult task at all when you use Behmor 5400 1600 Plus due to its user-friendly features and functions. Below is a basic guide that you can use while roasting coffee beans using this roaster.
- Step 1: Set aside the unit’s chaff tray and roasting drum.
- Step 2: For starters, drop ¼ lb coffee beans into the drum.
- Step 3: Preheat the coffee roaster. Preheating should not exceed the 1:45-minute limit. If you preheat further than the limit, this can hinder the roasting process.
- Step 4: After preheating, hit the OFF button. After which, put the chaff tray and the drum inside the roaster. Be sure to use a pair of oven mittens while placing the tray and the drum to prevent your skin from getting directly in contact with the hot roaster.
- Step 5: Choose the profile you like. You have 5 options to choose from. Your user’s manual have all the specifications for each profile, so it is necessary that you check out your user’s manual before roasting any coffee beans. In addition, the roasting duration will depend on the amount of beans and profile that you pick.
- Step 6: Watch out for the initial crack. The initial crack shows that the green beans have turned into light brown beans. Actually, you may end the roasting process during this time, which depends on your preference and the type of beans you use. However, if you prefer to roast further, wait another minute or a minute and a half more before you hear the second crack. Again, the interval between the initial crack and the next crack will vary according to the type of beans or amount of beans that you use.
- Step 7: Prepare for the next crack. The next crack signals that the roasting process has reached its maximum point, and it is at this stage that your beans have been roasted further. When you finally hear the next crack, hit the COOL button at once. From the moment you hear the next crack, you should be able to hit the COOL button within ten seconds.
- Step 8: Allow time for cooling. Cooling time will take about 2 minutes.
- Step 9: Once the cooling time is completed, it is safe to stop using the roaster. Also, you are now ready to clean the roaster before you put it away.
The Behmor does draw a lot of electricity at 1,630 watts.
The Behmor 1600 will roast up to a pound of green coffee beans, which is the largest capacity of any home roasting machine.
Roasting time is between 12 and 24 minutes depending on your desired level. There is also a mandatory two-minute cool down period.
- The large capacity of the Behmor 1600 is a definite plus if you go through a lot of coffee.
- While the variable settings may take a few attempts to master, they do give you a great deal of control over the final product.
- The fact that the machine is virtually smokeless at most roast levels makes it suited for individuals with small kitchens without extensive ventilation.
- Bigger roasting chamber mean roasting a larger quantity of beans (a maximum requirement of 1lb coffee beans each time).
- Chaff tray to prevent the chaff from spreading anywhere.
- Quiet operation so the initial crack is quite audible.
- Easy to use and not difficult to clean either.
- Intelligent cooling system.
- The Behmor 1600 does not allow you to make changes whilst you are roasting your beans.
- If you do not reach your desired roast level by the time the cool down cycle begins, you will need to start the process over.
- The manufacturer does not recommend this machine for French, Vienna, or Italian roasts.
- It does not provide a wide view of the inside section of the machine, so you cannot clearly see all the coffee beans inside.
- It is bigger than other coffee roasters
- Not capable of producing very dark roasted coffee beans.
- Does not work with high chaff raw beans.
Getting your preferred roast consistently with the Behmor 1600 may require some experimentation. You may need to adjust the roasting time based on the unique qualities of various beans. It is also important to keep in mind that the machine may switch to the cooling cycle before the beans reach your selected roast level to account for carry-over roasting.
Should you buy a drum roaster or an air roaster? Are expensive roasters better than cheap ones? Which coffee roasters are the easiest to use? How do you roast coffee beans? These are all good questions, read on to find the answers.
Drum Roasters vs. Air Roasters
They work differently. The coffee beans in drum roasters are roasted through indirect heat, while the coffee beans in air roasters are roasted through direct heat.
A drum roaster can actually handle more quantities than the air roaster type. Drum roasters have chambers that are specially designed to have more room for bigger quantities of beans. On the other hand, air roasters only offer a limited space that can usually accommodate contents that are only good for up to two persons. So, if you are not a heavy coffee drinker, a standard air roaster is ideal for you. However, if you often prepare coffee not only for yourself but also for the other members of the family, a regular drum roaster will be great.
Drum roasters do not work fast, so you will have to wait long before you can see the results. The drum roasters can finish the roasting process between fourteen to twenty minutes. Thus, if you are always in a hurry, you will only be disappointed when you use this equipment. On the contrary, air roasters are ideal for busy people since they can finish roasting only between eight to twelve minutes.
Speaking of drum roasters, they cost more than air roasters. Although their price is higher, you can expect the drum roasters to last longer as their durability is more reliable compared to that of the air roasters. Besides, their size is not only bigger but they can also be used for commercial purposes.
Speaking of air roasters, they make an affordable option. What’s more, when you are just beginning to learn how to roast coffee beans, air roasters can be the best bet. In addition, air roasters are more suitable for personal use.
How to Roast Coffee Beans
For coffee lovers, there is indeed nothing more convenient than roasting your own coffee beans in your own kitchen. The best part is that you can fix your own coffee the way you exactly like it. What’s more, you can drink as much as you like without breaking your budget as home coffee roasting is an affordable option.
Sourcing your coffee beans
Before roasting the beans for your homemade coffee, you should know something more about the coffee beans, such as where to buy green coffee beans, what type of beans to buy and other related ideas. You can actually get green coffee beans from many places. You can buy green coffee beans locally from the nearest local shops that you can find in your area.
If you are considering how to roast coffee commercially, you can get from wholesalers as they can certainly provide you with whatever amount of coffee beans you wish to buy since they sell raw coffee beans wholesale. However, if you are only buying for your personal use or for the family, there are coffee beans sold at supermarkets or retail outlets. Finally, you can also buy green coffee beans online. It’s really good since online shops sell different varieties of coffee beans such as the best coffee beans 2015. They also sell various amounts of coffee beans such as bulk coffee.
Furthermore, you definitely want your coffee to have a great taste, so you want to get the best coffee beans in the world. To get the best beans, make sure that the beans have great flavours like the Arabica beans, must be fresh, organic and smooth to your taste buds.
Now that you know where you can get coffee beans and the basic characteristics of the best coffee beans to buy, you will be more prepared to learn coffee roasting in the easiest way possible. Below are simple coffee roasting 101 steps that you can follow anytime, anywhere.
- Step 1: Prepare your space
- Step 2: Ready everything you need for roasting
- Step 3: Start using the pan
- Step 4: Start roasting the coffee beans
- Step 5: Watch as the coffee bean colour transforms
- Step 6: Observe the 1st crack
- Step 7: Expect to hear the 2nd crack
- Step 8: Transfer the coffee beans
- Step 9: Allow some hours for degassing
Step 1: Prepare your space
You must remember that smoke is inevitable when roasting coffee beans. That is why it is a good idea to open every window at home and use the fan while roasting. Roasting in open spaces like at your back porch is quite an ideal spot if you especially do not want the smoke inside your home.
Step 2: Ready everything you need for roasting
Learning how to roast coffee beans at home is easy provided you have all the things you need. Check if you already have the following:
- Spatula (pick the wooden kind)
- Colander (choose the metal type)
- Oven gloves
- Stove Burner
- Green coffee beans
Step 3: Start using the pan
The pan should be preheated first and foremost before you roast the beans. If you ask exactly at what temperature to roast coffee, the temperature is actually based on the stove you use; however, the preheating can be approximately 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 4: Start roasting the coffee beans
Once the pan gets hot, it is the best time to pour some coffee beans into it. Use the spatula to stir the coffee beans. The stirring must be done gently. Stir in such a way that the coffee beans are evenly roasted.
See to it that you buy green coffee beans for roasting which you can consume only for about a week to ensure freshness. Unless you are using the coffee beans for a lot of people, you are not supposed to buy bulk green coffee beans as you might not be able to consume them all in a short time or you might not like the taste of the coffee beans after roasting.
Step 5: Watch as the coffee bean color transforms
It is important to note the difference in coffee roasts colors during the roasting process. The green beans change color, from the original shade of green to the new shade of yellow to various shades of brown. You will know that the process is done when you see a darker shade of brown. This can be observed between eight to ten minutes.
Step 6: Observe the 1st crack
If you really want to learn the technique on how to roast coffee well, watch out for the initial crack. You should wait patiently to hear the initial crack as this is your key to making sure your coffee beans are roasted well since this will give you a signal that the color of the beans has already changed into a lighter shade of brown, which means that the roasting process is almost done. In fact, at this time, the coffee beans are acceptable for cooling if you prefer that way.
Step 7: Expect to hear the 2nd crack
If you are not satisfied with the lighter shade of brown, you may wait for a few more minutes until you get to hear the 2nd crack since it signals the end of the roasting process. At this stage, you can expect to see the color of the coffee beans has become a darker shade of brown, which is ripe for cooling. As soon as you hear the 2nd crack, don’t wait too long; instead, remove the pan from the burner right after a few seconds. This is one of the important coffee roasting tips that you should take note of.
Step 8: Transfer the coffee beans
As soon as you remove the pan from the burner, the coffee beans will start to cool. You should transfer the coffee beans to a colander. It is easy to separate the chaff from the beans when you use a colander. Place the colander in an open space so that cooling does not take that long.
Step 9: Allow some hours for degassing
The duration time for degassing varies, from several hours to a couple of days. After which, you may already try your first homemade coffee!
Indeed, it will certainly be as easy as pie to learn how to roast coffee as long as you have all the supplies for roasting and follow the steps mentioned above. What’s even more interesting is that you can definitely prepare your own coffee whenever you crave for it now that you know how to roast green coffee beans.
A Word of Warning About Home Roasting
Coffee roasting requires high temperatures, which can be dangerous. It is important to use proper safety precautions and to never leave your roaster unattended.
• You should always follow the safety instructions for your machine
• Use appropriate safety gear to avoid burns
• Only use your roaster in a well-ventilated area
If you are just starting to explore home roasting, I would suggest the Nuvo Eco or Whirley-Pop roasters. While they do not give you the precision roast of a more expensive roaster, they will allow you to produce decent home-roasted coffee with minimal expense. If you find that you are serious about your roasting hobby, you can consider spending money to upgrade to a high-tech roaster.
For the avid home coffee roaster, I would recommend the Gene Café. It is the most expensive roaster on this list, but its unique drum rotation and precision dial controls produce results equal to what you might find in a commercial roastery.