Home 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 favorite roasterie.

  • Green coffee beans cost less than beans that are already roasted.
  • Green coffee beans stay fresh for a long time, 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 experiment with your own custom blends and roast levels.

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.

• Type of 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 flavor. 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.

• Capacity

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 have a capacity of 2.5 to 5 ounces of green coffee beans. Most drum roasters will hold up to 10 ounces of green coffee beans per roast.

What to Look for in a Home Coffee Roaster

Fresh-roasted coffee is best when used within four to five days after roasting. 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.

Top 5 Best Home Coffee Roasters in 2017 Review

Name
Image
Type
Check Best Price

#1 The FreshRoast SR500
FreshRoast SR500 Automatic Coffee Bean Roaster

Automatic


#2 The Behmor 1600 Plus
Behmor 1600 Plus Customizable Drum Coffee Roaster

Automatic


#3 The Gene Café
Gene Café CBR-101 Home Coffee Roaster

Automatic


#4 The Nuvo Eco
Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster

Manual


#5 The Whirley-Pop
Wabash Valley Farms Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper

Manual

Guide to the Best Home Coffee Roasters:

#1 FreshRoast SR500 Automatic Coffee Bean Roaster

• Overview

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.

FreshRoast SR500 Automatic Coffee Bean Roaster

Cleaning the machine is relatively easy. You simply dump the chaff from the collector and use a brush to remove the residue.

• Energy Usage

The FreshRoast draws 1,500 watts of electricity.

• Capacity

This roaster will hold up to 4 ounces of green coffee beans, which will yield approximately 3.5 ounces of roasted coffee.

• Roasting Time

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.

via Charlie Nyman

• Pros and Cons

Pros
Cons

Buy The FreshRoast at Amazon Now!



#2 Behmor 1600 Plus Customizable Drum Coffee Roaster

• Overview

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 for easy cleanup.

Behmor 1600 Plus Customizable Drum Coffee Roaster

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.

• Energy Usage

The Behmor does draw a lot of electricity at 1,630 watts.

• Capacity

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

Roasting time is between 12 and 24 minutes depending on your desired level. There is also a mandatory two-minute cool down period.

via Sweet Maria’s Coffee

• Pros and Cons

Pros
Cons

Buy The Behmor 1600 at Amazon Now!



#3 Gene Café CBR-101 Home Coffee Roaster

• Overview

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, for maximum control over the final product.

Gene Café CBR-101 Home Coffee Roaster

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.

• Energy Usage

The Gene Café pulls 1,300 watts of electricity.

• Capacity

The drum will hold up to 8 ounces of beans per roast.

• Roasting Time

Roasting time is between 12 and 15 minutes but can vary based on your personal tastes, the type of bean, and environmental conditions.

via The Captain’s Coffee

• Pros and Cons

Pros
Cons

Buy The Gene Café at Amazon Now!



Guide to the Best Low-Tech Home Coffee Roasters

#1 Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster

• Overview

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 YouTube video demonstrates how to roast coffee with the Nuvo Eco roaster by moving it side to side over the heat source.

via Евгений Жданов

• Energy Usage

This roaster does not require electricity and can be used over your home stove or even a camp fire.

• Capacity

This roaster will only hold about 3 tablespoons of beans at a time.

• Roasting Time

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.

Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster

• Pros and Cons

Pros
Cons

Buy The Nuvo Eco at Amazon Now!



#2 Wabash Valley Farms Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper

• Overview

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.

Wabash Valley Farms Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper

• Energy Usage

The Whirley-Pop is an old-fashioned style roaster that does not require any electricity. You only need a source of heat and elbow grease to turn the crank.

• Capacity

You should only roast one-half to three-quarters of a cup of beans at a time to avoid damaging the gear teeth.

• Roasting Time

Over medium-low heat, the Whirley-Pop will take about six to nine minutes to reach the second crack.

via Home Roast Coffee

• Pros and Cons

Pros
Cons

Buy The Whirley-Pop at Amazon Now!



The Bottom Line – The Best of The Best:

The Best Of The Best

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 roasterie.

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.

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