Home coffee roasting is a journey that requires patience and passion. You have to love the journey, as well as the final cup of coffee.
When you first start, you can easily feel discouraged. From expensive roasters to inconsistent roasts and burnt beans, truly good results can feel unattainable. But we’re here to tell you it’s not.
Because you chose to roast coffee at home, you'll get to enjoy a wider selection of green coffee beans, roasted to your liking, for less than buying roasted beans. So, buckle up and read on. It’s time to learn how you can feed your passion for roasting coffee with little overhead investment.
Types of Coffee Roasters
Before we dive into which coffee bean roaster we recommend for beginners, let’s go over what your options are. There are two basic types of home coffee roasters – air roasters and drum roasters.
Air roasters use a high-powered fan to shake the coffee beans as they roast. It’s generally considered a faster and tidier way to roast. These roasters are also easier to clean. From start to finish, roasting the coffee beans typically only takes 10 minutes.
Drum roasters use a direct heat source to roast the coffee beans. A horizontal rotating drum (hence the name - drum roaster) tumbles the beans, as they roast, to ensure a consistent roast. These roasters tend to be more high-end and are often used by coffee roasting companies.
The Best Coffee Roaster for Beginners: Fresh Roast SR540
We love the Fresh Roast SR540 for many reasons and think you will too! The Fresh Roast SR540 has all the features you need to create a great roast profile and get some good beans. And if you live in an apartment or have little storage space, the Fresh Roast SR540 still works well because of its compact size.
Generally a quiet roaster, the roast settings are easy to tweak with the twist of a knob, the machine is easy to clean, and the catcher stores all the chaff. Meanwhile, you can monitor the temperature in real time to see how the roast is progressing. Nine different heat levels allow you to dial in your roast each time.
Once the roast is complete, the cooldown cycle will automatically kick on. If your roast progresses faster than expected, you can manually turn on the cooldown cycle at any time. While the roasting chamber isn't large, you can comfortably roast 120g of coffee at a time.
To make the deal even sweeter, we offer a couple perks to help you get off to a good start. When you buy a Fresh Roast SR540, you’ll get free shipping, free coffee samples (to start your roasting journey with), and a few free gifts (from us to you).
We’ll also give you a quick call to walk you through some basic product information, the warranty terms, and answer any questions you may have. We want you to walk away feeling confident and ready to go when your roaster arrives at your door.
The Next Step: Investing in Higher-End Coffee Roasters
If you love your Fresh Roast SR540 and never want to look back, that’s great! If you want to roast more coffee or have greater control over the roast, there are other roasters you can try.
Hottop B KN-8828B-2K (+)
Hottop makes two roasters that are fantastic. Hottop coffee roasters have gained a reputation for their compact, intuitive design.
Currently, the plus model is one of the most advanced home roasters on the market. It connects to your laptop to give you real time readings. You can also adjust all settings from your computer and save up to three roast profiles to use again later.
Behmor 2000AB Plus
The Behmor coffee roaster is another easy-to-use home roaster. If you have a little more room in your budget, this is a great option for both novices and experts.
The roaster has five pre-programmed roast settings but you can easily switch it to manual roasting. Patent-pending smoke suppression technology lets you roast coffee in your house worry free – for the first time ever. A multi-speed motor also provides greater roast control.
Gene Cafe Drum Roaster
The Gene Café coffee roaster uses simple time and temperature knob controls to get you started. The unique, vortex twisting, off-axis chamber rotation employed to roast the beans makes a uniform roast. While it doesn’t have the largest capacity, you can roast up to a half-pound of coffee (or 250g).
Coffee roasting at home is a fun-filled journey sure to take you on a few adventures. Learning how your machine works, how to roast your coffee beans, and what your flavor preferences are will be memory-making.
Now that you know what roaster to use, it's time to learn how to roast! If you feel lost or overwhelmed by the roasting process, take a look at our quick guide on how to get started roasting. Once you understand the basics, you can narrow in on which roast level you want to try. From dark roasts to medium roasts to light roasts, you're about to embark on a fun journey!