Best Home Coffee Roasters in 2022 — Buyer’s Guide, Reviews, and ComparisonsFreshly roasted coffee is the best for brewing delicious java, and you can’t get any fresher than roasting coffee in your own kitchen. The best home coffee roasters allow you to roast coffee beans to your own personal preference. Whether you’re just experimenting or trying to save money, there’s a roaster for you — large, small, even handheld, and for most budgets too. Some feature a rotating drum for an even roast, while others rely on hot air to lift the beans.
- Roasting capacity of 120 grams (4 ounces)
- No pre-programmed settings, so you have control of the roasting process
- Real-time temperature display with the turn of a knob
Home Coffee Roasters Comparison Table
|Check Price At Amazon Fresh Roast SR540 Review|
|Check Price At Amazon KALDI Coffee Roaster Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Nuvo Eco Review|
|Check Price At Amazon JIAWANSHUN Review|
Best Home Coffee Roasters Buying Guide
If you’re like the majority of coffee drinkers, you buy coffee that’s already roasted. No judgment here — it’s definitely more convenient, and if you love a particular kind, why change? But what if you could roast coffee beans yourself in your own kitchen? The best home coffee roasters enable you to do exactly that.
We can all agree that freshly roasted coffee beans make the best brew, and what’s fresher than roasting beans yourself? You can prepare what you need and not have to be concerned about stale coffee. It can even be customized to your java preference.
While there’s a much larger market for commercial coffee roasters, supply and demand for home-use versions are increasing. There are some pretty nifty options available, ranging from small and portable to larger models that resemble professional roasters. You don’t have to be scared off by the expense, either, as there’s a roaster for nearly every budget.
When you’re deciding which best coffee bean roaster is for you, consider the following:
Type of roaster
How dark do you want to go?
Coffee looks very different when it’s bought in a store, compared to what it looks like when first harvested. Known as green coffee, newly harvested coffee beans are, well, green, with a hard and crunchy texture. And, while you can brew green coffee, it’s not going to taste like the beverage you’re used to. That’s because coffee develops most of its flavors through the roasting process.
During roasting, coffee beans are heated to high temperatures. An exact temperature depends on how dark the roast is, but it’s typically somewhere between 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) and 475 degrees Fahrenheit (246 degrees Celsius). As beans heat up, flavors and oils seep out, which is what makes that cup of joe taste so fabulous.
Aside from checking the temperature of beans when they’re roasting, there’s an audible crack that happens and signals how it’s progressing. The beans literally crack open, which releases those flavors and oils.
The first crack occurs around 385 degrees Fahrenheit (196 degrees Celsius). Most light roast coffee fits into this scenario. Medium roast coffee has been roasted almost to the second crack, which happens when the temperature reaches 435 degrees Fahrenheit (224 degrees Celsius). And, dark roast coffee has been roasted to the second crack or beyond.
Advantages of Roasting Your Own Coffee Beans
Obviously, we can all buy roasted coffee from thousands of stores and roasters, so why would you do it yourself? There are some pretty cool benefits to roasting coffee beans at home.
- Unroasted coffee, or green coffee, has a very long shelf life, so you don’t have to worry about them going stale. Once roasted, coffee starts losing some of its flavors almost immediately, and there’s a limited time for its freshness. Just roast your own coffee in small amounts as needed.
- Roasting your own may be more economical than buying it ready to brew. Green coffee is often less expensive than its roasted counterpart.
- You can experiment! Playing around with roast levels and flavor combinations will let you develop your own favorite coffee.
- Your living space will smell of freshly roasted coffee. What’s not to like?
How to Select Your Home Coffee Roaster
When you’re ready to purchase your own home coffee roaster, there are a variety of factors to think about. After all, the roaster that you’ll love is one that’s best suited for you.
Home coffee roasters come in all sizes. You can find compact models, which hold enough beans for one or two cups of java. They can also be large enough to roast pounds of coffee at a time.
First, figure out how much java you drink daily and how much roasted coffee you use. As a guide, you’ll want to roast enough so you can have that extra cup in the morning. Running out of roasted beans takes all the fun out of drinking java.
If your budget allows, look for a roaster large enough to accommodate a four to five-day supply of beans. This will provide you with plenty of roasted coffee, yet you’ll brew it before it goes stale.
Type of Roaster
There are two main types of coffee roasters — air and drum roasters. Technically, handheld portable roasters could be considered a third since they don’t fall into either of the two main categories, but we’ll cover that in a bit.
Air roasters, also referred to as fluid air bed roasters, use hot air to move coffee beans around while roasting. A fan circulates the air so rapidly that the beans essentially levitate on a bed of hot air. These roasters are typically the easiest to use for those with little or no experience in roasting. Air roasters also tend to heat up and roast beans more quickly.
Drum roasters use a rotating chamber to move the beans around. These roasters operate more slowly, thus roasting takes longer. However, they offer more precision while using indirect heat to roast beans. The heat source is outside the rotating chamber, preventing direct contact with the beans. Drum roasters are often more expensive and not as user-friendly.
Because of the high temperatures generated when roasting coffee beans, it’s almost inevitable that there will be some smoke involved. This is particularly true if you’re trying to achieve a dark roast.
Besides the obvious problem of setting off a smoke alarm in your living space, smoke can create some health hazards if you inhale it. Smoke can also adversely affect coffee beans and pollute them with unwanted flavors. One way of limiting this is to ensure that your area has decent ventilation, through either fans or open windows.
However, some home coffee roasters include smoke suppression systems that can limit or filter out any smoke.
We’ve talked a lot about heating coffee up to roasting temperature, but it’s also important to cool the beans properly afterward. When your beans reach their proper roasting temperature, you want to stop this process immediately.
If you don’t, the beans can continue roasting from residual heat. This can make your coffee a darker roast than intended, and it may not carry the flavors you’re expecting. While some roasters do include a cooling feature, you may need to purchase a cooling machine for use with your roaster.
How Dark Do You Want to Go?
Before purchasing your coffee roaster, you should have a good idea of what level of roast you want to achieve. Make sure that your coffee bean roaster has an adequate temperature range. For example, if you know you want dark roast coffee beans, it’s pointless choosing a roaster that only reaches 445 degrees Fahrenheit (229 degrees Celsius).
It’s also a good idea to check out how much time is required to reach your preferred roast level. If you have plenty of time to kill, you might be okay with a roaster taking an hour to transform those beans into a dark roast. However, some roasters can do the job much faster.
Top Home Coffee Roasters
Coffee roasters can become complicated really quickly. Timers, temperature, and programmed settings can seem a little intimidating, especially if you’re new to roasting your own coffee.
Fortunately, we’ve done the research for you, and compiled our favorites. We’ve looked at popularity, features, and what real users think of these roasters.
~ Best Overall
Our Rating: 4.7/5
- Nine heat levels
- Clear roasting chamber — watch the roasting process
- Slim design with small footprint
The Fresh Roast coffee roaster is a fluid bed air roaster, designed to be an improved version of the previous SR500 model. It can roast up to about 4 ounces of coffee beans each time, or 120 grams.
This SR540 coffee roaster has nine different heat levels, along with an adjustable fan. Controls are straightforward — adjustments are made via a dial, which when turned to the right also displays the current temperature in real-time. An electric heating element makes for quick roasting, with each batch only taking 5-10 minutes.
Although it arrives with a chaff collector, some note that it can be temperamental at times. And, while instructions are included, they could be more detailed. The company also makes a point of stating that its warranty is void if this model is used outside of North America.
There are no timer or programmed settings on the SR540 roaster. This is ideal if you want more control over the roasting process, but it also means that you’ll have to monitor it closely to make sure you don’t over roast your beans.
- Clear roasting chamber lets you see progress
- Includes chaff collector
- Rapid roasting — complete in 5-10 minutes
- Limited instructions included
- No timer — constant monitoring is required
~ Best Pro-Like Roaster
Our Rating: 4.4/5
- An adapter allows for switching between 110v and 220v
- Uses Air Roasting Technology for even roasting
- Gas burner required for use
The KALDI Wide Home Coffee Roaster is a drum roaster with a larger footprint than many other models. Electricity is required for the drum’s movement, but a gas burner (not included) is also necessary. Its drum is stainless steel, and it can roast nearly 11 ounces, or 300 grams, of coffee beans at a time.
This company uses its own Air Roasting Technology that ensures coffee beans roast evenly. Its thermostat goes up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees Celsius) — perfect if you’re a fan of dark roast. Plus, you can use a volt adapter to switch between 110v and 220v.
Each KALDI Wide coffee roaster also comes with some handy accessories, including a probe for checking the temperature of beans and a removable chaff tray. The stainless steel drum has a copper sleeve to prevent beans from being scorched.
Similar in design to professional roasters, the KALDI Wide roaster isn’t geared for beginners. You can control the temperature and rotation speed of the drum, along with the roasting time, and that combination may be a bit much for people new to coffee roasting. The KALDI roaster is also much more expensive than other models on our list.
- Voltage adapter can switch between 110v and 220v
- Air Roast Technology provides for even roasting
- Wide hopper lets you pour beans in easily
- Could be too complicated for beginners
- Most expensive model on our list
~ Best Portable Coffee Roaster
Our Rating: 4.6/5
- Offers complete control over the roasting process
- Can be used on open flame or with electric stoves
- Inexpensive way to experiment with roasting
The Nuvo Eco Coffee Roaster is inexpensive and truly fits the definition of portable. This handheld device roasts coffee beans while being moved constantly over the heat source. After adding beans into this roaster, you use a figure-eight motion to keep the beans constantly moving.
This roaster is lightweight, weighing less than a pound, while it’s crafted from ceramic and cowhide. Even heating is ensured with the waffle shape of the inside, and roasting time takes around 3-10 minutes. Its design is stylish, and learning the technique is simple. However, because of its small size, you can only roast enough beans for 1-2 cups of coffee.
Cleanup is easy and uncomplicated with a Nuvo coffee roaster. Simply wipe down or use soapy water as required, but remember to let it cool down completely before doing so. Thermal shock from using cooler water on a hot roaster can lead to damage.
With this, you’re fully in control of the roasting process, plus it’s perfect if you want an affordable way to experiment. However, if the beans aren’t kept in constant motion, they may roast unevenly. And, this device cannot be used on induction stoves, only electric stoves or open flame.
- Most affordable model on our list
- Easy portability
- Can be used with an open flame or electric stove
- Only roasts very small amounts at one time
- Coffee beans may burn if not constantly moved
~ Best for Beginners
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- Dial-controlled temperature
- Teflon non-stick surface
- Can also be used to roast nuts and seeds
The JIAWANSHUN Electric Coffee Roaster is a good choice for beginners since it’s super simple and straightforward to operate. This roaster is more like an electric baking pan than a traditional coffee roaster, which is why it can also be used for roasting nuts or seeds.
Featuring a clear lid with four vents, you can conveniently check the progress, and it uses a mixing rod to help the coffee beans roast evenly. With the ability to roast just over a pound of coffee (500 grams) at one time, this has the largest capacity of any roaster on our list.
With 1200 watts of power, the JIAWANSHUN electric coffee roaster machine can reach up to 464 degrees Fahrenheit (240 degrees Celsius) — suitable for most roasts. Anti-scald handles will allow you to safely touch the device without burning yourself.
It also arrives with a Teflon surface, so the beans don’t stick to the pan, and its temperature knob can be easily adjusted. However, this device doesn’t heat up very quickly, and the roasting process can take up to an hour. Also, the standard for this model is 110v, and you will pay more for a model that is 220v.
- 500-gram capacity
- Easy to use for beginners
- Can also be used for roasting nuts or seeds
- Takes longer to heat up than most models
- No chaff collector
Sure, it’s easier to buy coffee beans from a roaster or store, but if that cup of joe is part of your soul, you’ve probably given some thought to roasting your own beans. It may seem intimidating, but there are roasters out there that let you create your dream beverage.
Home coffee roasters can fit any budget, from inexpensive to high price tags. The most common types are air and drum roasters, but you’ll also find handheld versions that can be taken on the go. Temperature control, cooling stations, and timers are just a few of the bells and whistles you can get with coffee roasters.
There’s definitely a learning curve with roasting your own coffee beans. However, these best home coffee roasters can make that process a little easier, and you’ll enjoy the results.
Best Home Coffee Roasters FAQs
How Long Does It Take to Roast Coffee Beans?
It depends on the coffee roaster and what degree of roast you’re trying to reach. The darker your roast, the longer it will take. However, some coffee roasters operate more quickly than others.
Are Home Coffee Roasters Worth It?
If the freshness of coffee and its flavor matter a lot to you, then yes, home coffee roasters are worth it. Also, unroasted green coffee often costs less than the roasted version, so you may even save money.
How Long Do Coffee Roaster Machines Last?
It depends on the quality of a coffee roaster, how much it’s used, and how well it’s maintained. A small home roaster should last several years, providing it’s cleaned regularly, and your preferred roast isn’t too dark.
How Do I Start Roasting Coffee?
You can roast coffee on a stovetop, in an oven, or even with a popcorn popper, but these coffee beans will not be the same quality as those processed with a coffee roaster.
Should You Wash Green Coffee Before You Roast It?
No. Washing coffee introduces moisture into the beans, and this can affect how the beverage will taste. Temperatures during roasting will be high enough to kill off any bacteria that may be present.
How Long Do Unroasted Coffee Beans Last?
Unroasted coffee beans, or green coffee, can last 6-12 months when stored properly. That means storing them in a dark, cool area without humidity.