The Best 6 Coffee Bean Roasters for At-Home and Small Batch Roasting

17 min read JAN 31, 2023

If you truly consider yourself a Coffee enthusiast, it's time to take your love for the beverage and invest in a home roaster. With a home coffee roaster, you can transform green beans into freshly roasted cups of deliciousness right from the comfort of your kitchen. To make the process of choosing a roaster easier, we've put together a list of the best six coffee bean roasters for at-home and small-batch roasting. 

Why consider Roasting Coffee at Home?

For coffee enthusiasts wanting to take their home barista career to the next level, roasting their beans is the way to go. It's not just about turning green coffee beans brown - so many factors are involved in producing great Coffee. Roasting your own allows you to customize the flavor and texture of the Coffee, as well as create unique blends. Plus, you'll always have access to the freshest brews with every cup.

Rather than using a $2 used popcorn maker from a thrift store, investing in the proper equipment for roasting will produce better results for your beverages. Opting for specialty coffee-roasting machines over budget devices ensures that you get accurate temperature control and efficient airflow, resulting in evenly roasted beans every time. Moreover, these machines provide programmable roast profiles to fine-tune your drinks and achieve consistent results with each batch.

In addition to having more control over quality and taste, roasting your own comes with many other benefits, too: from learning more about Coffee in general to saving money since roasted Coffee costs much less than pre-bagged types. All of which makes it worthwhile for those looking for a truly authentic experience in crafting their brews at home.

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Right Coffee Roaster

Before purchasing the first coffee roaster you find, consider these few essential tips. This is a critical part of your in-home coffee setup, so make sure to read carefully before making your final decision.

Try A Popcorn Maker.

Try A Popcorn Maker

A popcorn popper may seem like a great option for beginner coffee roasters. However, it is better suited for popping kernels than producing a high-quality, consistent cup of Coffee. This is because the air that passes through the beans is not strong enough to move them around and evenly roast them, and it can only process a very small amount at a time. As such, there is a higher risk of uneven roasting, leading to an inconsistent batch of Coffee.

To achieve a more even roast, professional roasters use equipment that rotates the beans frequently while they are heating up. This helps keep the heat distributed more evenly across each individual bean so that when they're finished roasting, all of the beans in the batch will have been heated to an equal temperature. Unfortunately with popcorn poppers, this isn't possible as their design does not allow for much movement within the chamber.

So while popcorn poppers may be suitable for novice roasters on a budget who are just starting out and looking to experiment with different types of coffee beans, those who desire a consistently great cup of Coffee should look into investing in more advanced equipment.

Types Of Coffee Roasters

Types Of Coffee Roasters

Today, let's explore two main types of roasters:

Air roasters: Air roasting is a process that is similar to how popcorn maker works: it uses convection heat to evenly roast the beans. A hot stream of air touches each individual bean as it passes through the roasting chamber.

Drum roasters: On the other hand, drum roasters use conduction heat for roasting, where heat is applied to the exterior of a rotating metal chamber. The beans come into contact with this heated shell and are roasted to perfection. Based on your preference and desired taste, you can choose from different types of roast profiles available.

Size Does Matters

Regarding coffee roasting, various options are available that cater to different needs.

Air roasters are typically better suited for smaller batches due to their limited capacity, while drum roasters can roast larger amounts in one go.

For those who want to experiment with multiple coffees in small batches each week, an air roaster is ideal as it allows them to roast only what they need for immediate consumption. On the other hand, a drum roaster would be more suitable for those who don't mind purchasing larger quantities of beans at once and want the convenience of having Coffee on hand throughout the week.

What Level of Control Would You Like To Have?

Are you looking for the perfect roaster to get the most out of your coffee beans? Whether you're a novice or an experienced roaster, it's important to consider how much control you want over your roast. One key factor that will determine this is the type and capabilities of the roaster itself.

At the lower end of the scale, you'll find basic time and temperature controls which can be adjusted manually for some flexibility. However, for those with a greater interest in getting creative with their roasts, more expensive models may provide vastly greater scope for experimentation. These are often programmable, allowing experienced users to store and save roast profiles for consistent results each time. With these models, all you need to do is set up your profile and press 'go' - they'll take care of the rest without any additional input from you.

For those who want ultimate control over every aspect of their roast, there are even top-of-the-range machines that allow precise manipulation of every variable imaginable. From airflow control to drum speed and bean agitation – these advanced models really let you take full ownership of your roast profile.

The Importance of Cooling

The Importance of Cooling

When the Coffee has reached its desired roast level, the beans must be cooled off quickly to prevent any further roasting. Most roasters use a cooling feature that will blow cool air through the chamber once the roasting process is complete.

However, some of the more expensive models come with an external tray which helps speed up the cooling process by transferring the beans to a cooler environment. This helps to avoid over-roasting, as any heat built up in the chamber will not be transferred onto the beans.

This tray method allows more control over your coffee's roast level and flavor, giving you results closer to your desired outcome. With faster cooling also comes better preservation of aromas and flavors, making for a fuller-bodied cup of Coffee every time.

Cleaning Systems

Coffee roasting is made a lot easier with chaff collection systems, so you don't have to worry about spending hours on end cleaning up. Many coffee roasters even come with smoke suppression systems, reducing the amount of smoke produced during the roasting process. Although completely eliminating smoke isn't possible, these systems allow for indoor safe roasting without being overwhelmed by an abundance of smoke.

Top 6 Home Coffee Roasters Of 2023

Now that you understand the most important features to consider when selecting a coffee roaster, it's time for you to find the perfect one for your needs.

Fresh Roast SR540 – Perfect for Beginners and Part-Time Coffee Roasters

Fresh Roast SR540 – Perfect for Beginners and Part-Time Coffee Roasters

The Fresh Roast SR 500 540 is the perfect choice for anyone looking to start roasting their coffee beans. This updated sr500 model has some great improvements compared to the previous version and allows you to roast green beans to perfection quickly and easily. It's small, compact, and extremely quiet, making it ideal for home use.

Along with its 9 temperature settings and fan adjustment dial, The Fresh Roast SR 500 540 also features buttons that allow the user to change the roast time for even more flexibility in their roast profiles. Convective heat is used to move the beans around inside the roaster during the roast, as no other elements are turning them.

The size of this machine's roasting chamber is a little on the smaller side when compared to others – it can only fit 4 oz (or 120 grams) of beans at a time meaning that multiple batches may need to be roasted each week if you wish to have enough Coffee for your daily needs.

Although this machine only takes 6-9 minutes per batch, it's still best practice to maintain high-quality results while roasting with The Fresh Roast SR 500 540. Overall, it's an excellent entry-level roaster that will get you started in the world of home coffee roasting.

Jiawanshun Home Coffee Roaster – Best Electric Roaster

Jiawanshun Home Coffee Roaster – Best Electric Roaster

The Jiawanshun Electric Coffee Roaster is a great choice for finding a good home coffee roaster. It offers an impressive range of features that make it ideal for all types of coffee drinkers. Not only is it affordable and easy to use, but it also has a large capacity of almost one pound, allowing you to make plenty of your favorite Coffee.

Additionally, its adjustable temperature dial allows users to access a full range of roasts, ranging from light blonde all the way up to Italian roast. The rotating arm ensures that the beans are tumbled evenly throughout the entire roasting process, so you can get consistent results every time.

The design of this electric coffee roaster is quite compact and modern-looking; it's easy to move around and store in just about any kitchen space. Plus, its heatproof glass cover helps you watch the entire process as you roast your beans, and due to the non-stick interior coating, cleaning is a breeze. Unfortunately, due to its larger capacity size, the roasting process may take up to 20 minutes for dark or Italian roast - but that extra wait is worth it for such an even result.

Overall, if you're looking for an affordable and convenient home coffee roaster with plenty of features and room for experimentation with different kinds of beans then this electric model from Jiawanshun is definitely worth considering. With its adjustable temperature controls, rotating arm system, and large capacity size, it will deliver consistently delicious results no matter what type of roast you choose.

DYVEE Gas Burner – Best Gas Roaster

DYVEE Gas Burner – Best Gas Roaster

The Dyvee roaster is a great choice for roasting coffee beans at home. It features a quartz drum that is both durable and transparent, allowing the user to closely observe each second of the roasting process.

The roaster is designed with a stainless steel frame and a wooden handle which remains cool to the touch throughout the operation.

The 300-gram capacity allows users to roast up to 11 ounces at one time; however, it should be noted that this roaster does not have temperature feedback. Without temperature feedback, users must pay close attention as they adjust the burner for their desired roast level.

Additionally, this model may take up to an hour for a dark roast, making it well-suited for those who are patient and willing to learn how to perfect their coffee creations at home.

For those with gas stoves, this roaster is practically a no-brainer due to its ability to evenly heat up the beans as it rotates in the drum. However, even those without gas stoves can enjoy this unique roasting experience by simply investing in a hot plate that can safely accommodate the quartz drum. Just be sure not to drop it, as unlike metal drums, it can break easily if mishandled.

Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Bean Roaster – Most Economical Choice

The Nuvo Eco Ceramic makes it easy to roast coffee beans without having to rely on complicated technology. It is an uncomplicated ceramic vessel that can be used on a stovetop, gas or electric range, campfire, or camp stove.

To use the Nuvo Eco, simply place green beans up to 70g (just under 3 oz) in the top and shake them over the heat source until you hear the crack. Once roasted, empty the beans through the hollow handle with a hot pad or oven glove. Even roasting requires constant attention, so it is best to shake in a figure-eight pattern for optimal results.

Roasting times will vary depending on how hot your heat source is and what kind of roast you are attempting to achieve. Generally speaking, expect anywhere from three to ten minutes per batch of roasted coffee beans. Unfortunately, this ceramic roaster won't work with induction cooktops but it is great for camping due to its versatility; use it on any other type of heat source.

With its waffle-shaped internal chamber and simple design, the Nuvo Eco Ceramic is an excellent choice for those seeking a hands-on approach to coffee roasting. No timers or temperature settings are required as this product relies solely on manual labor - making it perfect for those wanting full control over their coffee experience.

This product is perfect for small batches of roasts - about 1/3 cup per session - so you can use as much or as little coffee as you need at one time.

Kaldi Home Coffee Roaster – Best Air Roaster

Kaldi Home Coffee Roaster – Best Air Roaster

The Kaldi home coffee roaster is ideal for passionate home barista who wants to take their roasting game to the next level. It is a no-frills, high-performing machine that allows its user to exercise unparalleled control over their roasting process. Every detail can be tweaked, ensuring every roast is perfect and exactly to your taste.

Its innovative air-roasting technology sets this appliance apart from other models on the market. This makes it possible to achieve an even roast with far less waste, making each batch more efficient, economical, and delicious. Additionally, it comes with various useful accessories that make things like sampling and cooling beans easier than ever.

Unfortunately, buying this machine does come at a cost - literally. It's one of the pricier options out there, so it's not best suited for those just getting into home roasting - or people working with a tight budget in general.

Additionally, some may be disappointed to learn that Kaldi lacks built-in smoke suppression technology, so you'll need to set up shop in a well-ventilated area if you want to take advantage of all of its features without stinking up your house.

Nevertheless, when used correctly and with practice, Kaldi will consistently yield incredible-tasting coffee beans time after time. As such, it's easy to see why it has become increasingly popular among experienced home coffee enthusiasts everywhere. If you're serious about taking your brewing skills up a notch, then investing in a Kaldi might just be the way to go.

Behmor 2000AB Home Coffee Roaster

Behmor 2000AB Home Coffee Roaster

This Roaster is a great choice for those looking to get into the art of roasting coffee beans. It allows users to roast up to 1 pound of beans with its 5 pre-programmed roast settings and manual time, temperature, and drum speed settings. The automatic cool-down function ensures that the roast process finishes efficiently and reliably. The machine's smoke-suppression feature also means it can be used indoors with minimal odors.

Users can also take advantage of the Upgrade kits available for this device which allow them to improve their control panel without replacing their entire machine. This is great for those who already own an older model, as it offers more features than you might find elsewhere, such as an unattended safety shutoff alert that will start beeping to remind you to continue the roast cycle.

Overall, this machine provides an accessible way for anyone, from beginners to more advanced coffee enthusiasts, to create delicious roasts at home - from light and fruity profiles to darker, more full-bodied notes.

However, one potential downside is that the controls can be quite confusing, so it's important to read over the instructions before starting out. It's not intended for dark roasts, so if this is what you're after, then you may need a different machine designed specifically for this purpose.

The Verdict

Getting started with the art of home coffee roasting is easier than ever with the Fresh Roast SR540. This updated version of the SR500 is perfect for beginners looking to enjoy freshly roasted beans on a budget. With its simple and easy-to-use design, you'll be able to roast small batches of your favorite varieties in no time.

We highly recommend the Kaldi Home Drum Roaster if you're looking for something a bit more advanced. This top-of-the-line device allows you to take your coffee roasting experience to a whole new level, giving you precise control over temperature, speed, and fan settings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

What are the varying levels of roast for coffee beans?

Coffee roasting is broken down into four levels based on the amount of heat applied and the length of the roasted beans. Light roasts have a light brown color, with no oil on the surface, and a mild flavor that is high in acidity. Medium roasts are slightly darker in color, with some oil on the surface and an even balance between acidity and bitterness. Medium-dark roasts have an even darker color and more pronounced oil on the surface, as well as further increased bitterness when compared to medium-roast Coffee. Finally, dark roasts have an almost black or very dark brown color, oily surfaces, and a deeply roasted flavor that is dominated by bitterness.

How much time is needed for degassing coffee beans?

For optimal flavor, coffee beans must be allowed to degas for a minimum of 12 hours. Professional baristas often indicate that the necessary duration to degas may differ based on the origin and roasting time of the bean. As a general rule, darker-roasted beans typically need less time than lighter varieties to release their flavorful gases.

When can I Drink Coffee after roasting it?

Coffee can be enjoyed up to 24 hours after roasting, yet a freshly roasted batch requires at least one day before it fully develops its flavor and body. For espresso drinks, this process is even longer. It can often take 5 days for the taste of your beverage to reach its fullest potential.

How long will roasted coffee beans be fresh?

Roasted coffee beans are at their freshest and most flavorful for up to 10 days. However, we recommend roasting a new batch each week once the first one starts losing its flavor. To ensure that your current batch is preserved properly throughout the week, store them in an airtight container that is kept away from direct sunlight. For optimal taste preservation, refrain from refrigerating your roasted beans.

Are Shiny Coffee Beans Better in taste and quality?

Absolutely not, shining coffee beans are not indicative of being better quality. Their oily finish merely reveals an advanced roast level. The glossier the bean, the more profound the darkness of its roast profile. In terms of flavor and taste, this translates to a reduced acidic and fruity content but significantly increased bitterness intensity in comparison to those with lighter roasts.

Does home roasting result in better-quality Coffee?

Home roasting is a great way to ensure the highest possible quality of your roasted beans. Without taking control of the process yourself, you're less likely to know where and when the beans were roasted for each batch - leaving room for inconsistencies in flavor. By roasting at home, you can easily master the art of creating a consistently delicious cup of joe every single time.

Do I need extra equipment to roast Coffee at home?

No special equipment is required as most standard kitchen appliances – like ovens and stovetop pans – can accommodate small batches of green coffee beans. However, if you're looking to roast larger batches or require more precision and control, you may want to invest in a dedicated home roaster. These machines are designed to provide an even roast and consistent results at each process level.

What type of coffee beans should I use?

The best type of coffee beans depends on your taste preference. Generally speaking, Arabica beans have higher quality, while Robusta beans tend to be lower quality but less expensive. That being said, it is important to remember that bean origin and other factors like variety and processing methods can greatly influence your brew's flavor profile and overall taste.

Can I reuse roasted coffee grounds?

No matter how much of a coffee enthusiast you are, it is never recommended to use the same batch of roasted coffee grounds for more than one cup. The flavor and properties that made your previous cup so enjoyable will be lost over time. Even if stored correctly in an airtight container, used grounds will quickly become stale and lose their flavor as oxygen interacts with oils present in the beans. Therefore, always opt for fresh-roasted batches when possible.

What is the difference between light and dark roast coffee?

Light and dark roasts differ greatly in taste profile – while light-roasted coffees have a brighter acidity with fruity notes, darker varieties tend to have intense bitterness balanced out by a richer body. Regarding caffeine content, dark roasts are usually less caffeinated than light ones as they have more compounds burned off during the roasting process. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference.

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Dark roast


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