So you’ve decided to buy a small coffee roaster. You might be on your way to starting a small coffee business or just looking to get that perfect cup of coffee at home. Whatever your reason, ensuring that you choose a roaster that meets all of your needs can be a tough process.
Coffee roasters come in different shapes, sizes, price ranges, brands, and features. Considering all of the options will ensure you find the roaster that suits your needs and. This guide will help you make a purchase decision and land you at the roaster that is well suited to your needs.
Our Top Pick:
Best Overall: Fresh Roast SR540
An incredible roaster offering a combination of control, capacity and size. With a solid build, three control settings and a price tag under $200, this roaster is sure to meet the needs of most!
What to Consider:
If you’re looking for a home coffee roaster then you probably value control as an important factor in choosing the perfect roaster. While larger, factory-scale coffee roasters will offer a wide range of control settings (think airflow pressure and velocity among others) home roasters usually only offer very basic settings to get you started: temperature and time.
Type of Roaster
There are many different types of coffee roasters, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Generally, there are five types of coffee roasters. These are drum roasters, packed bed roasters, hot air roasters, centrifugal roasters, and tangential roasters. However, the most common are drum and hot-air roasters due to their reliability and consistency. These are also the most common for small home roasting units.
Drum Roasters: Drum roasters typically have a metal chamber within them where the beans are placed. This chamber is heated while simultaneously spinning the beans around in the chamber. The beans come into contact with this heated chamber and are roasted. These types of units come in all shapes and sizes and are usually preferred for dark roasts, leading to more body and caramelization.
Hot Air Roasters: Hot air roasters work by blowing hot air into a chamber where the beans are placed. The hot air blows into this chamber causing the beans to spin, leading to an even roast. These units tend to roast the beans much faster than drum roasters and allow the beans to retain more of the out more the aromatic properties than drum roasters.
Anyone on the market for a coffee roaster will quickly realize that there is a wide range of prices when choosing the right roaster. Cheaper units like the Jiawanshun Coffee Roaster that carries out your most basic roasting needs to large industrial-style roasters, like the KALDI WIDE Size Home Coffee Roaster that can set you back over $650. In the end, the budget you’ve set aside for the roaster will usually determine its size, capacity, control, and quality of the unit.
The roaster capacity of the typical home roaster can range from tiny 70g roasters to the larger roasters which can roast up to 750g at a time. Depending on how much coffee you drink or how much you’re looking to roast at a time, choosing the right size is essential. An ideal option for very small roasts might be the Nuvo Ceramic Coffee Roaster and if you’re looking for something larger to use for large batches, the Coffee Roaster Machine by MIFXIN might be better suited for your needs.
This can be just as important as the roasting of your beans. If coffee beans do not cool down fast enough, they may continue to roast even after the unit has been turned off. Therefore, finding a unit that also has a cooling feature can be the difference between a perfect roast and a burnt roast.
Our Top Roasters:
This roaster brings together the perfect combination of control, capacity, and size. Allowing you to adjust the temperature, fan speed, and roast time makes it a simple yet flexible device. Its live reading of the chamber temperature ensures that the beans are roasted rather than ‘baked’ as with other roasters. While it only roasts up to 120g at a time, the consistency produced by this roaster makes it a great choice both for beginners and seasoned roasters.
The body and build of this roaster is all glass and metal giving it a very sturdy feel and ensuring that it lasts for a long time!
This simple handheld roaster is ideal for those that are early in their roasting journey. If you want to see what it’s like to roast coffee without breaking the bank, this might be the roaster for you. All you have to do it put up to 70g of green beans into the roaster and heat the bottom the way you would a pan. The aromas and sounds will reach right out of the roaster and into your kitchen!
The major drawback of this roaster is that it roasts very small quantities at a time. This can be a problem for those that are looking to roast single batches less frequently but is great for people who would like to taste different roast levels.
What sets this roaster apart from almost every other home roaster on the market is its incredibly durable build. Made out of an all-metal body and with a maximum capacity of 300g this roaster is ideal for those looking to make a long term purchase. This machine is powered using a gas burner giving you more control to prevent the beans from ‘baking’ like other roasters might.
The main drawback to this roaster is its hefty price tag of $650 – a major investment to make if you’re not already very familiar with your needs and wants in a roaster. So if you’re looking for something slightly cheaper, check out the KALDI Mini Size Home Coffee Roaster. This unit is of a similar quality and build, but with a smaller roasting capacity at a price of $380.
What makes this roaster great is that it is a great first roaster for almost anyone. It’s easy to install, easy to use and has a moderate capacity of up to 500g. While this roaster is an all-round great roaster for most people’s needs, the main drawback is that it only has one control setting which is temperature. For those looking for a particular type of roast, this unit does not offer a high level of customizability.
This roaster is like an expanded version of the JIAWANSHUN Household Coffee Roaster – easy to use, quick to install and with a price tag of less than $150. However, what sets this roaster apart is its incredibly large capacity of 750g which is more than 2lbs!
If you’re looking for a large capacity roaster that is easy to use and can get you started from day one, this is the perfect roaster for you.
For some, finding a high capacity or very customizable roaster might not be the objective. Instead, they might simply be looking for a simple small and cheap unit to start testing out different coffee roasts.
This roaster is so small and so cheap that it’s almost disposable! If you’re unsure about roasting coffee and just want to see what it’s like, this is a great option. You can use it a couple of times, and then upgrade to something more substantial.
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