Are you fed up with sub-standard coffee in the morning? Or in the afternoon for that matter? Would you like to be able to make a coffeeshop-quality drink at home?
Perhaps you find that pre-roasted coffee beans lose their flavor too quickly.
There are many factors that go towards creating that perfect cup of coffee. The quality of the bean is important, of course, but the quality of the roast can make great coffee turn out bitter and nasty.
As soon as the coffee is ground, it starts to degrade, so shop-bought roasted and ground coffee can be disappointing. If freshness is your thing, you need a great home coffee roaster.
Unroasted coffee beans are quite widely available these days, so there’s no time like the present to start your own private coffee empire!
We think that these are the best home coffee roasters
1. FreshRoast SR500 Automatic Coffee Bean Roaster
The FreshRoast SR500 is one of the quietest air roasters on the market. You load the glass chamber with unroasted beans, providing excellent visibility of the roasting process.
You can see the development of the color as it roasts, making this one of the best DIY coffee roasters available.
The SR500 includes a digital timer display, a fan speed switch and a temperature slider. These features combine to help you get your roast exactly the way you want it.
There are 3 temperature settings – high, medium and low – as well as a setting for cooling the beans after roasting, to prevent the residual heat from over-cooking.
You can roast up to 4oz of coffee beans in 10 minutes. This will yield around 3.5oz of ground coffee, which should be enough for around 20 cups.
You may need to stir the beans manually while roasting to ensure an even roast. Alternatively, you could set the fan speed to “high” to help the heat distribute more evenly. This makes the roaster a little noisier, and heat is increased with greater airflow. There’s a certain balance to be found, here, because you don’t want to risk over-roasting the beans.
This small unit won’t take up much of your valuable counter-top space. The electric heating element runs at 1500W and allows you to change the temperature and roasting time without interrupting the roasting cycle which is a really handy feature.
It handles a dark roast really well, and the included chaff basket collects the residue left over from the roast. The glass roasting chamber, chaff basket and top cap are all dishwasher safe.
- Great small batch coffee roaster
- Variable heat control
- Variable fan control
- Can roast beans for up to 20 cups of coffee at a time
- Small unit – will not take up much surface space in your kitchen
- Temperature and time can be altered mid-roast
- Dishwasher safe parts
- You may need to stir the beans during the roasting process.
2. Nesco Coffee Bean Roaster
The Nesco CR-1010-PRR can roast up to a third of a pound of coffee in around 25 minutes. This should be enough for around 3 dozen cups of coffee, so this home coffee roaster is capable of fairly large quantities.
This premium machine includes patented catalytic technology which reduces the smoke pollution that can fill up your kitchen. The preset digital controller makes it simple to get an even roast with a uniform color.
This machine combines accurate temperature control, a warm air fan blower and a corkscrew-style agitator to ensure that the roast is even throughout the entire batch.
The cooler setting ensures that the roasting process stops exactly at the right point.
This machine is stylish, quiet and really simple to use.
- Good for larger quantities of coffee
- Can roast up to 1/3lb of coffee in around 25 mins
- Catalytic technology prevents smelly smoke and odors
- Digital controller allows you to choose from roasting presets
- Easy to get a light or dark roast
- There are reports that this machine may not last more than a couple of years, but creates perfect coffee whilst functional.
3. Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster
The Nuvo Eco Ceramic bean roaster isn’t a machine, but it is perfect for small batch coffee roasting. Whilst the other products featured in this article are automatic roasters, this is a manual pan container that you place over heat.
The body is made from high quality ceramic, capable of enduring the high temperatures required to roast your beans, with a cowhide hand grip that won’t heat up, keeping your hands safe.
The product resembles a small pan with a handle. The pan is 5 inches in diameter and can take up to 2.5oz of coffee at a time, so this is really only useful for small batches of beans.
The internal pan has a waffle-shaped bottom that prevents the beans from sticking when heated, allowing you to achieve an even roast. You shake the pan in a figure 8 or an elliptical motion to make sure that every bean gets heated evenly.
This is a great little roaster to take on camping holidays, as it’s small size makes it really portable.
- Great small batch coffee roaster
- Small enough to take camping
- Can be used on a hot plate or over a gas flame
- Cowhide handle stops burnt hands. An additional cloth is recommended when handling the hot roaster
- The small bean capacity is fine for a couple of cups of coffee, but no good if you want to roast larger batches. You can’t see the beans as they roast, which means that it’s difficult to gauge when they’re done.
4. Behmore 1600 Plus Customizable Drum Coffee Roaster
This is a big batch machine, capable of roasting up to a pound of coffee in one go. The unit resembles a counter-top oven with a rotisserie drum. The circular, wire-mesh drum turns the beans, whilst the quartz heating element cooks them, ensuring a perfectly even roast.
There are 5 customizable roasting profile settings. You can also control the roasting process manually if you prefer.
The built-in smoke suppressor will keep your house smoke-free whilst the machine is in operation.
The quartz heating element is thermostatically controlled, and the roasting drum has a variable speed, so this unit could truly be the ultimate in bespoke roasting – providing a unique roast every time.
The cooling cycle is efficient and the chaff is collected in a tray, making this an easy clean machine.
The oven cavity lights up while the roaster is in operation, providing great visual control over the overall process.
- Large roasting drum
- Suitable for up to 1 pound of beans at a time
- 5 customizable roast settings
- Variable speed drum makes for a perfectly even roast
- Smoke-suppressor prevents too much pollution in the kitchen
- This is a large, expensive unit. It will take up more space on the counter-top than the other products featured in this article. It won’t be energy efficient to use for really small batches.
5. LEOPTION Coffee Beans Home coffee roaster machine
The Eleoption coffee roaster is a circular pan unit with a broad bottom, facilitating even roasting for large batches.
The thermostatically controlled heating plate provides a constant temperature and the rotating stirring wand turns constantly, keeping the beans on the move so that they don’t burn on the non-stick heating surface.
The heat-resistant lid is transparent, providing valuable visibility on the progress of the roast.
This is a large unit, resembling a crock-pot. The diameter of the circular roaster is 12.5 inches, whilst being 5 inches tall.
The temperature is accurately controlled with a dial switch at the front of the machine. There’s no timer, however, so this is only really suitable for the coffee fanatic who favors the hands-on approach.
- Large diameter heating plate allows for greater capacity roasting
- Rotating stirring wand keeps the beans on the move during the roasting process
- Non-stick pan
- Transparent, heat-resistant lid
- Dial temperature control
- No timer means that this roaster is only suitable for those who want to manually control their roast. Great for real connoisseurs but maybe not suitable if you favor the “plug in and go” approach.
What to consider when buying Home Coffee Roasters
A decent coffee roaster should be programmable, so that you can achieve your optimum roast every time.
Pre-roasted and ground coffee degrades quickly, even in a sealed bag. Green, un-roasted coffee beans, on the other hand, last in the cupboard for a year if they’re stored in a dry, cloth bag.
Image: cafe deluxe
It may take some time to learn how to use your machine to achieve your perfect roast.
Fast isn’t always better. There are some things that should never be fast-tracked – roasting coffee beans is certainly one of them.
How much coffee do you want to roast at a time? Remember that once your coffee is roasted, it will start to degrade more quickly, and once it has been ground, that degradation is even quicker. There are some great grind and brew coffee makers, which grind only the beans required for one cup at a time.
A coffee roaster can produce a lot of smoke. Some units have air filters to prevent smoke pollution in the kitchen. You can easily trigger a smoke alarm with indoor coffee roasting, so make sure that you only use your machine in a well ventilated room.
The longer you roast your beans, the darker they become. The darker the roast, the more bitter the result. Natural sugars are burnt away as you heat the beans, so lighter roasts produce a more floral and fruity drink.
The best home coffee roaster
All of these home coffee roasters offer a great roasting experience. If you want to roast your coffee beans during a camping holiday, we’d recommend the Nuvo Eco Ceramic roaster.
For general home use, however, the Behmore 1600 Plus Customizable Drum Coffee Roaster is literally impossible to beat. The large capacity, rotating drum ensures a really even roast and the internal light allows you to keep an eye on the color of the roast, so you can get your beans exactly how you want them.
It might not be the perfect machine if you want a small batch, but it’s worth doing a roast for a couple of days at a time, so larger batches are better for energy efficiency in the long run.