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New to Coffee Roasting? Here's the Best Home Coffee Roasters For You.

The freshest and, chances are, best tasting cup of joe you will ever guzzle. That’s what you get when you roast coffee at home.

If that’s not incentive enough, how about being able to fine-tune the flavor and some of your coffee. Have fun and get a huge kick out of it. Recipe your own custom coffee blends. Boost your coffee know-how. All the while, saving money in the long run.

Best Home Coffee Roasters for Beginners

Actually, all that’s needed to do-it-yourself home roast are a couple ingredients: your preferred pick of green coffee beans and the equipment to roast ‘em in.

Except there’s rather a lot of home coffee roasters out there. Worse, not all are cut out for those just getting started.

So to spare you a tough call, the java junkies here at CoffeeRoast Co. have harvested a handful of the highlight home coffee roasters for roasting rookies; followed by answers to the most frequently asked questions about home coffee roasters.

TOP HOME COFFEE ROASTERS FOR NEWBIES

1. Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster

Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster

THE LOWDOWN & MAIN FEATURES

No question, our number one selling and best reviewed home coffee roaster on the market.

Little wonder being so affordably priced, speedy to roast, and churning out above par results.

With a slimline build, the SR540 takes up no more room than a kitchen blender. And, as programmable coffee roasters go, just about as no-nonsense to operate.

By virtue of its 9 temperature settings, as many fan speeds and a timer, you can tweak the roast profile of the beans to your heart’s content. All of which, incidentally, can be adjusted on the fly and the readings for each, conveniently, viewed in real time on the roaster’s digital display.

Together with a clear glass roasting chamber, you can keep tabs on the beans throughout the entire roasting cycle.

With the roaster’s 3-minute autocooling cycle as well, you can avoid the bother of having to manually cool the beans.

Though the SR540 doesn’t boast any smoke suppression technology, a large chaff basket helps to gather up the silver skins flaking off the beans during roasting.

Granted, it’s not the best chaff collector in the world, but it does at least ease the burden of cleaning up afterwards.

Made mostly of reinforced phenolic plastics so pretty hard-wearing. But backed anyway by a 1-year warranty.

Fresh Roast SR540 Home Coffee Roaster

SPECS

  • Country of origin: American made courtesy of Fresh Beans Inc

  • Appliance type: air roaster

  • Roasting spot: indoors

  • Power source: electric

  • Heat transfer: direct heat

  • Batch size: max 4oz of beans at a time (or 4 scoops using the included measuring spoon)

  • Roasting time: no more than 5 to 10 minutes

  • Price: $$

  • Dimensions: 11.3” high x 7.4” wide x 6.9” deep

  • Weight: 6.50lbs

OPTIONAL ADD-ON

True, the bean capacity of the SR540 is somewhat on the small side. But not to despair. The roaster can be upgraded with a 10.25” high extension tube.

Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster with Extension Tube

Besides ramping up the batch size, the beans are tossed around more so end up more evenly roasted. Plus, lower fan and heat settings can be used saving time and energy.

RELATED MODEL

Getting through coffee like there’s no tomorrow, or reckoning on roasting for a crowd?

Try checking out the SR540’s bigger brother, the Fresh Roast SR800. As well as laying claim to a beefier fan, the taller roasting chamber can handle as much as 8oz of wet-processed beans (or 6oz of dry-processed beans).

 

2. NUVO Eco Ceramic Hand Roaster

Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster

THE LOWDOWN & MAIN FEATURES

Among the most popular entry-level home coffee roasters to be had.

No bells or whistles here though. Just good ol’ fashioned traditional style coffee roasting.

To put it in other words, using one calls for all hands on deck. In particular, having to keep swirling the beans in a figure-of-eight motion every 15 or 20 seconds (as the manufacturer recommends).

The payoff being you get to experience the roasting process up close and personal.

For those cash strapped, it’s the cheapest of the bunch too. Yet, for the most part, still a step up from roasting coffee in a frying pan, cast iron skillet, or wok.

Because, you see, this sturdy handheld coffee roaster is specially engineered for the job. Ceramic can stand up to the high temperatures needed to properly roast coffee beans.

Other than an opening at the top for piling in the beans, the enclosed design is supposed to stop that heat from escaping. Lo, the beans roast at a zippy pace.

Inside, the bottom is waffle textured to keep the beans apart and help clinch a more even roast. Though shortish, the cowhide-wrapped hollow handle even niftily serves as a spout for emptying out the roasted beans.

What’s more, it’s environmentally sound.

Once the vessel’s cooled down, it’s a breeze to clean. Being small and lightweight, it’s super portable. And when not roasting beans, could double as piece of décor as opposed to hiding it away.

On the flip side, it doesn’t come with it’s own heat source. The batch size is tiny, only roasting enough for 2 or 3 brews at once.

The very design makes seeing what’s happening to the roasting beans next to impossible so knowing when’s best to pour them out can be tricky. Though, to be fair, you can still hear the all-important ‘cracks’ of the beans.

Even after a good deal of trial and error, and a degree of luck, the roasted beans just aren’t going to land any awards.

With no way to collect the chaff too, things can get mightily messy with silver skins flying off in all directions.

Overall, great for the casual coffee sipper. For roasting micro amounts of specialty coffee beans. Or to throw in on a tenting trip for rustling up freshly roasted coffee over a camp fire. But for harder core coffee buffs, the least suitable of the lot.

NUVO Eco Ceramic Hand-held Roaster

SPECS

  • Country of origin: South Korea

  • Appliance type: pan roaster

  • Roasting spot: indoors or out

  • Heat source: electric stovetop, gas hob, or an open fire (but not, because the roaster contains no metal, an induction cooktop)

  • Batch size: up to 2.5oz

  • Roasting time: anything from 3 to 14 minutes

  • Price: $

  • Dimensions: 9.6” long x 5.2” high x 4.9” deep

  • Weight: 0.82lbs

 

3. Kaldi Coffee Roaster

Kaldi Coffee Roaster

THE LOWDOWN & MAIN FEATURES

Fairly new to the scene, but fast becoming a firm fave amongst home roasters.

Don’t let ye olde vintage contraption look fool you though. Make no mistake, beneath those tidily trimmed edges of the polished stainless steel housing, lies a roasting workhorse.

One that, like a mini pro roasting machine, is capable of knocking out roast quality worthy of any self-respecting barista.

Okay, we admit, the roaster does come with a bit of a learning curve (think zero automation). But, honestly, child’s play once you’ve gotten to grips with the basics of the roasting process.

What you get in return is absolute freedom to play around crafting epic roasting profiles.

The fully motorized perforated drum sits tilted at a slight angle and rotates slowly. Inside are twin agitator blades to keep the beans stirred. All together, making for an even roast.

Although the roasting beans aren’t visible, a quick peek at the attached bimetal thermometer (in celsius only) will clue you into how roasted they are.

The removable chaff container does a decent job of catching most of the silverskins coming off the beans. Meaning minimal clean-up afterwards.

As for snags, it’s powered separately by gas. For a roaster that’s not exactly petite and costing a few hundred bucks, the yield of roasted beans is disappointingly small.

Strangely too, considering its target buyers, the roaster comes with no smoke reduction tech whatsoever.

Despite being seriously well-made and solidly constructed, it comes with a 12 month guarantee.

Kaldi Home Coffee Roaster

SPECS

  • Country of origin: made in Korea care of Kaldi Coffee Lab Inc (Seinn Technology)

  • Appliance type: drum roaster

  • Roasting spot: outdoors or in

  • Heat source: gas burner

  • Batch size: up to 7oz

  • Roasting time: somewhere between 10 minutes and quarter of an hour

  • Price: $$$

  • Dimensions: 17.3” wide x 6.3” deep x 14.5” high

  • Weight: 9.90lbs

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

Rather than work a nerve tipping in the beans, there’s a mountable hopper to funnel them straight into the drum.

Seeing as the beans can’t be eyeballed while they’re roasting, also up for grabs is a probe rod. Handy for plucking out a sample of beans to clock how roasted they are.

RELATED MODEL

Along with the standard version roaster is the Kaldi Wide Coffee Roaster. Verging on 50% pricier, it’s otherwise identical.

Bar a bigger drum (holding 10.5oz of beans) with a third mixing paddle. An all-in-one thermometer, hopper and chaff tray, and the bean sampler.

Oh, and a mesh plated ‘flame arrest’ system which burns all the gas so the beans don’t get scorched.

 

4. Gene Cafe CBR-101 Coffee Bean Roaster

Gene Cafe CBR-101 Coffee Bean Roaster

THE LOWDOWN & MAIN FEATURES

Rolling off the factory line since 2003, but really gained traction amongst the home coffee roasting community over the last decade.

It’s purposed, above all, as a user-friendly household roaster. Though since it can output some 8oz of roasted coffee beans in one go, also pops up in cafés and coffee shops.

Needless to say, you can count on nothing less than high marks for roast quality.

For starters, and uniquely, the drum uses a vortex twisting, off-axis rotation to move the beans non-stop. That way, they’re roasted consistently.

At the same time, it offers plenty of control over the roasting process. With roast temperature and roasting duration both totally adjustable, you can experiment like a boss until you nail that perfect roast.

Read-outs for which, neatly, are shown live on the LED display of the control panel.

In combo with the full-view tempered Pyrex glass roasting chamber, you can keep a close watch on the beans whilst they roast away.

Automatic cooling of the beans is built-in and can be kicked off at any stage in the roasting cycle.

Thoughtfully included is a cleaning brush. The giant chaff collector isn’t just brilliantly up to task, but also finished with an exhaust vent. So when hooked up to some ducting then dropped out the nearest window, the bulk of the smoke gets wafted outside.

In terms of sore points are the high price tag. The fact that it’s especially sizeable. And though neither the fastest nor the quietest home roaster on the planet, it may well be the safest.

For one, it has a see-through plastic safety cover. For another, protection from overheating. Even audible alarms should you wander off from the roaster.

All this, plus being forged from stainless steel, aluminium and high-temperature plastics, and warranted by the manufacturer for a year.

Gene Cafe CBR-101 Home Coffee Bean Roaster

SPECS

  • Country of origin: Korean made

  • Appliance type: drum roaster

  • Roasting spot: indoors

  • Power source: electric

  • Heat transfer: indirect heat

  • Batch size: 7oz to 8oz (or 2 heaps using the supplied measuring scoop)

  • Roasting time: 10 to 20 minutes on average

  • Price: $$$$

  • Casing color: black, or red

  • Dimensions: 19.3” wide x 9.6” high x 9.0” deep

  • Weight: 12.13lbs

 

5. Sandbox Smart R1 Coffee Roaster

Sandbox Smart R1 Coffee Roaster

THE LOWDOWN & MAIN FEATURES

Though it hasn’t been around that long, this innovative premium roaster has already scored a loyal fanbase.

Sleek and cube shaped, if decidedly hefty, with a surprisingly minimalist footprint.

It is, quite possibly, the most state-of-the-art home roaster today. Something of a bank breaker, sure, but we are talking next-gen stuff.

Confession time again. Spoilt with features, it might take a spell to learn the ins and outs of the roaster. Then a few batches to work out what roasts make your taste buds zing most.

Once you’ve got the hang of it though, you’ll be banging out repeatedly lip-smacking brews in no time at all.

The roaster itself is controlled almost exclusively through the Sandbox Smart mobile application. Super easy to use with an intuitive interface.

To get going, it’s a matter of downloading and installing the software onto your smartphone or tablet - - for iOS gadgets, from the Apple App Store; and for Android devices, from Google Play.

Next, simply enable Bluetooth on your mobile, pair the app with the roaster, and it’s good to go.

Sandbox mobile app for Smart R1 home coffee roasters

If just starting out on your coffee roasting journey, the safest bet in the app is auto mode.

Tapping whichever of the pre-programmed light, medium, or dark roast profiles takes you fancy. For a half-dozen more official roasting profiles, you can sign up as a member for free.

When more confident, try downloading one of the stacks of roast profiles shared by your fellow R1 users.

By the same token, on splashing out a few dollars a month, rock with the in-app VIP subscription plan to get access to advanced/competition-level roast curves (over and above the extra cloud storage, as well as the options to export and backup your roast history).

If feeling positively adventurous, go fully manual. Set the temperature, timing, fan speed, even the number of drum revolutions per minute - - either to adapt an existing roast profile or create your very own personalized roast profiles from scratch.

Heck, if you hit on a roast profile to die for, you can upload it for others to get a buzz out of.

Throughout the whole thing, the app keeps track of the roast’s progress. Of course, there’s always the observation window fitted into the door of the roaster so you can glimpse what’s going with your own eyes.

Roast wrapped up, don the complimentary heat-resistant gloves to take out the drum containing the beans.

Beneath the unit is a pull-out chaff drawer which, with the included brush, make light work of cleaning up. Some smoke will belch out with the darker roasts, but this isn’t at all unusual with home roasters.

To make up for the smallish capacity, roasting back-to-back is doable without having to hang fire while the roaster cools down completely.

The necessary splurge aside, it’s difficult to go wrong with the R1. For added peace of mind, it’s served up with a 1 year global warranty.

Sandbox Smart R1 Home Coffee Roaster

SPECS

  • Country of origin: Taiwan

  • Appliance type: drum roaster

  • Roasting spot: indoors

  • Power source: electric

  • Heat transfer: infrared radiation using a trio of quartz heating elements

  • Batch size: officially, a maximum of 3.5oz (though, at a push, around 5oz)

  • Roasting time: 9 to 16 minutes

  • Price: $$$$$

  • Fascia color: black, red, or blue

  • Dimensions: 10.0” long x 10.2” high x 9.1” wide

  • Weight: 15.50lbs

  • Mobile device compatibility: iOS 12 or later, or Android 7 (Nougat) and upwards

OPTIONAL EXTRA

Saving yourself 75 large ones when bundled with the R1, the matching Coffee Bean Cooler is a must-have accessory for locking in the flavor of roasted beans.

Thanks to its in-built fan, the so-named Sandbox Smart C1 can chill nearly 18oz of beans to room temperature in a mere 60 seconds or less. At the same time, sucking every last flake of silverskin from the beans into the container below.

 

HOME COFFEE ROASTER FAQ

When was the home coffee roaster invented?

In the late 1960s, would you believe. Made in West Germany, the Ender brand Home Coffee Roaster was a robust, albeit loud, bit of kit.

A fluid-bed roaster with a glass bean hopper, mechanical timer, paper chaff filter, and integrated cooling. Roasting some 4oz of beans in just 6 to 8 minutes. Not at odds with contemporary home roasters.

It was picked up by Siemens in the ‘70s and sold as the Sirocco Coffee Roaster. Surviving well into the eighties, and proved massively popular in the States.

Where to use a coffee roaster at home?

More than anything, plump for a well ventilated space. Roasting can give off masses of smoke. The smell can be terribly strong. And the silver skins (‘chaff’) flaking off the roasting beans can blanket countertop surfaces and floors.

Preferably, roast outdoors. A porch, patio, shed, even a balcony will do. Though nothing beats an open garage. Indeed, it’s where many a small coffee house business owner got their first start.

If roasting indoors, the kitchen being the obvious place, see to it that windows are cracked open and any extractor fans powered on. Failing that, roast under a range cooker hood.

What are the different types of home coffee roaster?

Versus a pan, an oven or else a popcorn popper, purpose-built coffee roasters are the ultimate in at-home roasting.

More commonly used by a mile. The only way to have real control over the roasting process. Not to mention pulling off the best results.

Whether for novice or veteran roasters, there are two major kinds:

AIR ROASTERS

The more 21st century of the duo, coffee beans are plonked inside a roasting chamber and blasted with heated air. Lifting the beans onto a ‘fluid bed’ of hot air, and tumbling them around.

Hot-air roasting heats the beans equally so what comes out is an even roast.

To boot, air roasters are compact, energy efficient, easier on the pocket, and as close to plug ‘n’ play as it gets. Outside of only being able to manage smaller batches of beans.

DRUM ROASTERS

A rotating metal drum with a heat source underneath, and motor-driven arms or paddles for stirring. The coffee beans roast by crashing into the hot metal surfaces.

Being churned around inside, the beans don’t heat uniformly so no two drum roasts are ever the same.

Even so, drum roasting is slower so more complex flavors are whipped up.

Drum roasters are heavier duty and up to taking more beans.

How much do home coffee roasters cost?

Your biggest startup expense, purpose-built home roasters drop from a touch under 100 bucks to going on for three grand, give or take.

With air roasters, as a rule, more economical to snag than drum roasters. As with anything, you generally get what you pay for.

How much coffee can be roasted in a home coffee roaster?

Home roasters are only meant to roast relatively small batches of beans; anywhere between an ounce and twenty times that.

To balance having a smaller bean capacity, several of the better coffee roasters can roast continuously.

As a rough guide, roasting 4oz of raw green beans equates to approximately 18 to 20 cups of coffee.

Just remember not to overdo the quantity of beans in a single sitting. Unlike green beans, roasted beans turn stale after only 7 to 10 days.

How long do home coffee roasters take to roast green beans?

The precise roasting time depends on all manner of factors: the age and moisture content of the green coffee beans, climate/weather conditions, roasting method, degree of roast, and a ton more.

But by and large, from a few minutes to three-quarters of an hour with air roasters usually nippier than drum roasters.

Not forgetting that the moment roasting finishes, the beans need to be cooled then degassed before being ready for grinding.

How noisy are home coffee roasters?

Modern home roasters are intentionally designed to be quiet (in the order of 65 decibels). The reason being so you can listen for the first and second cracks of the beans.

In the main, air roasters tend to be noisier than drum roasters.

Normally, though, no louder than, say, a regular washing machine or dishwasher.

In any case, you can roast early in the morning without fear of waking your nearest and dearest.

How best to maintain a home coffee roaster?

Home roasters are expected to be low maintenance. Even so, all sorts of gunk builds up on and inside roasting equipment.

Smoke deposits, chaff, coffee dust and, particularly if you have your roasts medium-dark or dark, natural oils from the roasted beans.

Keeping a home coffee roaster squeaky clean and looked after should be a no-brainer. In the interests of maximizing its lifespan, minimizing the risk of fire, and optimizing roasts.

After every use, fetch a damp cloth and a bristled brush then give the roaster a good going-over.

Get into the habit of religiously emptying the chaff collector, and unclogging any holes in the cooling tray which have fouled up.

It’s also good practice to get roasters professionally serviced and deep cleaned on a yearly basis.

 

FINISHING OFF

From the highest rated FreshRoast SR540 to the cutting-edge Sandbox Smart R1, our carefully curated selection of home coffee roasting machines is specifically for beginners - - no matter if you’re after the tastiest cup of coffee possible or a wannabe roastmeister hoping to devise the roasting curve of champions!

Snap up your dream coffee roaster through CoffeeRoast Co. and benefit from our:

  • Price match promise;

  • Guaranteed safe checkout;

  • Payment installments;

  • Free shipping in anywhere in the continental U.S. on orders over $100;

  • Hassle-free returns;

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