Some of us prefer our coffee fancy so we love our single-serve coffee makers. Others prefer their coffee as dark and sharp as rocket fuel or diesel. How you take your coffee plays a major role in the type of coffee maker you buy. If you prefer gourmet grounds, the stakes are higher.
For that type of connoisseur, a home coffee roaster is more valuable than Gollum’s Precious. So if you’re the type that doesn’t turn back to Smeagol until you’ve had your coffee fix, this article is for you! First, let’s look at seven popular brands of coffee roasters.
The Best Home Coffee Roaster on the Market 2020
1. Fresh Roast SR 540 Home Coffee Roaster (Our Top Pick)
They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And I suppose the proof of the roasting is in the tasting. So while fancy features and bundled offers are great, the best way to assess quality is to test it. Put multiple home coffee roasters side by side and see the result. In this case, there wasn’t much difference, but the experiment highlights the roasting advantages of the SR540.
In terms of color and flavor, the SR540 makes it easier to achieve your preferred results. The see-through cylinder lets you monitor your coffee beans as they roast so you can take them out at just the right time. The roasting chamber has a convenient handle that lets you load, hold, and move your beans without hurting yourself. The device has 9 heat levels for finer control.
It shows you the temperature in real-time so you can calibrate as needed throughout the roasting period. And it roasts average-sized batches of 4 ounces (120g) – that’s about four scoops. The SR40 has fan settings too so you can degas your coffee beans inside the same cylinder. A small digital screen, a rotary knob lets you cycle through your coffee roaster’s functionalities.
The on/off switch is manual, and you can use the second button to select ‘run’ for heat and roasting or ‘cool’ for degassing. This home coffee roaster measures 14.1 inches by 8.5 inches by 8.3 inches so it’s on the smaller side. It weighs less than 6 pounds so you can easily put it away. But since it only does 4 scoops, you may need to grind fresh beans several times a week.
The SR40 is a handy device, but a single batch won’t do. You’ll have to grind multiples and store them for a week. And while the chaff collector is replaceable, it’s not compatible with the SR500.
- The SR540 has advanced temperature settings.
- It’s covered by a 1-year warranty.
- It has a mesh screen for better air circulation.
- The warranty is only valid if you buy it within US borders.
2. Kaldi Wide
Many people think this is the best coffee roaster. It comes packed with tins of features and accessories. First off, it has a larger roasting capacity of up to 300g. It’s a gorgeous machine that unexpectedly combines the modern touch of a shimmering stainless steel funnel with the rustic grains of two wooden handles. These handles are both stylish and ergonomic.
This home coffee roaster has a perforated cylinder that holds your coffee beans. It uses convection to evenly push hot air through your coffee beans. They call it a flame arrest system and it’s designed to reduce wastage while ensuring a thorough burn. The flame arrest is a mesh plate that conducts heat from the metal to the beans while letting hot air through.
As a result, your coffee beans roast by combining contact heat and ‘fluid heat’. The double-delivery gives you a far better roasting result. Your Kaldi ships with a thermometer, chaff collector, hopper, and probing rod. It runs on gas though, so you do need to place it on a gas burner. And be careful, the metal parts could burn you so always use the handles.
The Kaldi Wide has an industrial feel and rugged style. It’s gentle on your power bill because it uses gas. But it’s not linked to a gas line so you’ll have to roast atop the stove.
- It’s a gas roaster so it can achieve higher temperatures.
- The chaff holder promises easy clean-up.
- The probe rod turns your beans for even roasting.
- The Kaldi gets really hot so be careful to avoid contact burns.
3. Behmor 1600 Plus
Some home coffee roasters are standalone devices. This one resembles a microwave so it may puzzle you at first. The housing holds a heating element towards the back and a removable mesh drum. The drum is encased in a chaff collector, so when it spins to roast your beans, the chaff settles in its designated catch-all basket and you can easily brush them off.
It’s quite fascinating to watch beans roasting in this gadget. The heating elements glow bright orange and the drum spins in satisfying swirls. But the farthest you should go on this home coffee roaster is the second crack, so don’t get carries way. Meaning if you prefer French roasts and darker results, you need a home coffee roaster with more advanced features and higher heat.
The Behmor has a generous 1-pound capacity so you can roast larger batches. But it has convenient capacity buttons so you can also set it to roast half a pound or even a quarter pound of coffee beans. This home coffee roaster has a lot of buttons though, and it can be tough figuring them all out. It can roast in both auto and manual mode and has a safety shut-off.
This shut-off feature works on three levels. If the roaster gets too hot – usually about 330F, it will switch itself off. But your coffee roaster will also go off if it accumulates too much smoke or if the timer has 4 and a half minutes left. So if you’ve walked away, be sure to come back when your roast is 5 minutes out. That way, you can press the ‘start’ button to prevent shut-off.
When you roast on this appliance, you can set separate temperatures for the roasting chamber and the exhaust. You can also pre-set the batch size, power level, and duration. You can engage the internal light to watch your coffee while it roasts, or you can use the ‘cool’ button for degassing your coffee beans, so it combines all those steps into a single cycle.
If you want an entry-level ‘coffee cooker’ with complex capabilities, the Behmor 1600 Plus is easily the best home coffee roaster. It has an extra-large roasting basket and a built-in degasser.
- It has a mesh drum and a chaff collector.
- The catalytic converter controls smoke levels.
- The Behmor is quieter than its rivals.
- It’s not advisable to go beyond the second crack with this model, so it’s not ideal for dark roasting.
4. Jiawanshun Home Roaster
Some people use popcorn makers to roast their coffee. But the Jiawanshun is a smarter choice because its casserole-shaped bowl is way easier to clean than a popcorn maker. It’s also easier to keep your coffee beans contained. This home coffee roaster has temperature marking from 100°C to 240°C. The bright red power button is next to the temperature dial for easy access.
The sides of your coffee roasted and grooved to create comfortable ergonomic handholds. Inside the roaster, the coffee tray can accommodate 1.1 pounds of coffee beans per batch. The convenient glass lid and insulated handle also make it easier to maneuver your coffee beans.
The coffee roaster has a non-stick surface that creates an efficient heat sink. And you can use it for more than coffee – it also works for roasting seeds and nuts. The outer surface of your roaster is fully insulated and never heats up as you roast. Its white surface easily shows dirt and from coffee fluids and seed oils. But it just as easily wipes clean, both inside and out.
This 1200W home coffee roaster measures 272 cm in diameter and is 40mm deep. Its external height is 120mm and its outer diameter is 320mm so you can see how thick its insulation is. The router is fitted with a mixing rod that spins to turn your coffee beans. The vented lid of your roaster is clear, tempered glass so you can watch your nuts and kernels as they roast.
The four holes in the lid prevent your roasting chamber from building up too much pressure. But because the roaster only has temperature markings, you may have to roast on sight. It will take practice and experimentation to verify your preferred temperature and duration. So expert a lot of burnt batches (and coffee-tinged popcorn) before you figure it out.
This Jiawanshun electric coffee roaster is right at home among your pots and pans. It’s easy to maintain and sits snug in the cabinet when you’re not using it. It’s low on features though.
- This multipurpose coffee roaster also works on popcorn and nuts.
- The control knob is backlit for low light scenarios.
- It has a calibrated temperature gauge for more precise roasting.
- It has a bit of a learning curve, its controls are not intuitive.
5. Dyvee Gas Coffee Roaster
Visually, this is the best home coffee roaster we’ve seen so far. With its clear quartz glass chamber, stainless steel frame, and rustic wooden handle, you’ll never want to take it off your countertop. The frames are 304-gauge stainless steel while the base is 201-gauge stainless steel.
It has a large cylindrical roasting drum that can hold up to 400g of coffee beans at a time. You shouldn’t full it to capacity though – it roasts better if you load it with 200 to 300g. The bottom of the steel base is hollowed put. It has a large circular hole that lets your gas flames directly touch the glass. The glass itself is scorch resistant so it won’t crack or get sooty.
And while it’s a gas-powered drum roaster, it does require a little electricity. The Dyvee has a built-in motor that spins the glass, ensuring your beans get an even roast. The motor plugs into your power outlet and uses 12V. So while you can place your home coffee roaster on any gas burner or stovetop, it has to be within reach of an electrical socket. Extension cables aren’t advised.
This because amid the spinning and the smoking and the cracking and the popping, your extension cable could create a tripping hazard. The roaster is a good size for the average countertop. It measures 43 cm by 21cm by 21.5cm. And because it’s glass and stainless steel, you can dust it daily and leave sitting pretty on the counter. It doesn’t need much maintenance.
This Dyvee home coffee roaster has both looks and functionality. The power button for the motor lies below the wooden handle, and you should fill the jar halfway for the best results.
- The quartz glass design is beautiful.
- It has a 400g capacity.
- The roaster comes with a funnel and an adaptor.
- You need a gas burner so you have to buy one separately.
6. Nuvo Eco Ceramic Roaster
Yes, it looks like Aladdin’s lamp. And yes, it can make your coffee wishes come true. This seemingly basic ceramic coffee roaster works on any heat source. The spout has an ergonomic shape that sits snug in your hand. And it comes with a leather grip to stop your hand from burning while you roast. It’s easy to use – just hold it over a flame and listen for the cracks.
It’s a Korean-made home coffee roaster. The flattened bottom lets it fit more comfortably on a stovetop. The narrow top hole keeps your beans contained while pushing chaff out of the spout. And the shape of the roaster lets you comfortably rattle your coffee beans as they ‘cook’. It’s all in the wrist. Use oven mitts though – the hot fumes, smoke, and chaff could still scald you.
Inside the roasting chamber, this home coffee roaster has a waffle grid. It naturally spaces out your coffee beans to let hot air circulate freely and roast your beans evenly. And because it’s cozy and lightweight, you can take your roaster anywhere. You’ll need an equally portable grinder though. Plus a reliable heat source and an open area to avoid choking on coffee bean smoke.
The coffee grinder weighs 370g and measures 132mm by 243mm including its spout. Its inlet has an opening diameter of 33mm and the cowhide grip and has pretty laced up detailing at the back. You may get tired of using this coffee roaster though because you have to holds it over the flame and turn it in alternate circles and figure-eight spirals to roast your beans all around.
For an eco-friendly answer to your coffee roasting conundrum, buy this ceramic roasting urn. It tucks into any backpack or suitcase, weighs under 400g, and doesn’t need electricity to run.
- It on any open flame, from gas stoves to bonfires.
- The compact design is ideal for travel.
- Being a manual roaster, it’s gentle on your bills.
- It lacks features like temperature control and visual roasting, which are beloved among contemporary coffee roasters.
7. Nesco Coffee Bean Roaster
If you’re a true coffee lover, your roaster, grinder, and sometimes your coffee maker are essential accessories. If you can find portable versions, you’ll carry them everywhere. The Nesco coffee roaster sits comfortably in that category. It weighs under 4 pounds and measures 10.5 inches by 8 inches by 7.9 inches. And it looks a lot like a coffee urn so it fits right in.
You don’t have to think when you’re roasting on this gadget. It has three backlit buttons that offer all you need to know. Select ‘dark’ or ‘medium’ to select the pre-set duration, temperature, and flavor of your roast. Then you can press ‘cool’ for degassing. The home coffee roaster has three handles – a ‘jug handle’ on the side, a ‘bucket loop’ over the top, and a lid handle.
All the handles are insulated to avoid injury. The lid has see-through sections let you watch the beans and monitor their roasting progress. The beans roast at the bottom and the chaff floats to the top where the chaff collector traps it, ready for disposal. You may think the small capacity is a disadvantage, but you can make it work for you – it lets you experiment with home brews.
You can craft curated recipes and combinations in miniature batches. It takes twenty minutes to roast a batch though, so plan your time carefully. As you roast your coffee beans, both the glass capsule and the chaff collecting lid remains cool to the touch. The roaster has no Teflon or any harmful plastics. It’s made of food-grade materials and easily detaches for cleaning.
If you’re looking for a compact home coffee roaster that can ‘walk around’ with you, Nesco is a good selection. The backlit buttons make the roasting process effortless.
- It simply labeled buttons make the roasting process easier.
- One handle is for the roasting chamber and the other for the chaff collector.
- The non-slip feet keep it from sliding as your beans crack and pop.
- It can only hold a few scoops at a time (about a quarter-pound).
So now that you’ve seen some market favorites, let’s distill things down to the best home coffee roaster. What features should you consider as you shop for domestic coffee roasters?
Size and Style
The point of prepping your on consumables is to have access to clean, fresh, healthy supplies. So although your grounds will still be usable for a week or two, you may prefer your coffee to be two to three days old at most. So pick a coffee roaster whose capacity lets you grind at least that much in one batch. Of course, this batch size will be dictated by how much coffee you take.
If you only use it to refresh yourself in the morning or stay awake while studying, you can make smaller batches. But if you guzzle your caffeine by the liter, you’re going to need a bigger batch. So base your size selection on your coffee habits. You may choose to shell out more for an automatic roaster. But if you’re fine-tuning your roaster by hand, a manual one will do.
You can’t avoid smoke when you’re roasting coffee. And while the aroma can be intensely intoxicating, it will soon make your kitchen unusable. So if you plan to roast indoors, consider buying a roaster with a damper, a fan, or a venting system to help you manage your coffee fumes. But if the cost of low-smoke roasting is too high, roast near a door or window.
This would mean you want a lightweight home coffee roaster. This way, you can easily move it to a spot with better ventilation. The distribution of smoke may depend on the roasting style as well. ‘Fluid roasters’ blow hot air over your tumbling beans and ‘pops them like popcorn’. Drum roasters use a heated, rotating drum or cylindrical vat to roast the beans on contact.
Power and Waste
Within the coffee roasting space, fluid roasters are powered by liquid petroleum or gas. But it’s heated until it evaporates and it’s the heated vapor that roasts your beans. Lots of DIY roasters actually ‘cook’ their beans in a popcorn popper that’s positioned under a range hood for smoke control. But you may opt for an electrical roaster that is slower and uses lower heat levels.
The results will differ, but you’d have to decide whether you’re willing to raise that utility bill – electricity generally costs more than gas in any kitchen appliance. But apart from potential wastage of power, you want a home coffee roaster that effectively manages coffee chaff. Remember to clean the home coffee roaster regularly to get rid of the built-up chaff.
Pop And Percolate!
After thorough research and serious consideration, we recommend the Fresh Roast SR540. Here’s why:
- It works equally well with wet or dry beans.
- The manufacturer offers a 1-year guarantee.
- It can roast 4-oz coffee bean batches.
- With 9 heat and fan levels, it’s easy to control roasting temps.
- Plus, the real-time temperature display lets you adjust as you go.
- It has an intuitive control panel for fast operation.
- The see-through chamber lets you monitor beans as they roast.
- You can preset power, time, and fan speed.
What home coffee roaster are you currently using? Show us a photo in the comments!