The Best Home Coffee Roasters
Once you become more confident experimenting with coffee making, it’s only natural to consider roasting your own beans.
If you’ve already got a grinder to make sure the coffee in your cup is at its freshest, why not dial in the roast to your exact liking for a modest investment that will keep you drinking the finest coffee for years?
You can roast coffee beans in a pan or using a popcorn popper, as we’ll outline today.
The smarter alternative is to get yourself a coffee roaster, though.
You’re in luck today as we’ll review a broad spread of the very best home coffee roasters on the market as well as giving you a glimpse into some simple but effective ways to roast your beans.
Don’t overcomplicate things…
You don’t need to study how to roast coffee beans commercially. All you need is some simple equipment and you can profile your roast to your heart’s content.
Roasted coffee beans are often sold at markets and you can find a great selection at the legendary Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Check out the Stumptown Coffee locations here.
You can also, of course, get a solid spread of raw beans on Amazon as we’ll outline later today.
We’ll give you a glimpse now at the coffee roasters we’ll review today and then we’ll laser in on each roaster in a little more detail.
I. Best Home Coffee Roaster Comparison Table
1) Behmor 1600+ Drum Coffee Roaster
Although it’s not cheap, this classic drum roaster from the industry heavyweight Behmor is our top pick. Compact and stylish while offering a significant degree of customization, take full charge of your coffee brewing starting with those all-important beans. Fully programmable and a cinch to use, check out the Behmor right now.
Our #1 Recommended
2) Bean Plus Coffee Roaster
If your budget is a little more fluid and you’re looking for a no-nonsense coffee roaster from a highly reputable brand, the Bean Plus is the obvious choice. With 9 roasts to choose from, you’ll get magnificent consistency even if this roaster lacks the flexibility of some of the competition.
3) Fresh Roast Automatic Coffee Bean Roaster
For a pocket-friendly and extremely compact coffee roaster from a brand you can rely on, the Fresh Roast SR500 is well worth popping on your shortlist. An air roasting machine that gets the job done in 10 minutes at a price like this is too good to miss.
4) Gene Café Coffee Roaster
While it’s by no means cheap, the Gene Café roaster allows you a great deal of flexibility to profile your roast. Running quietly enough that you can hear the beans cracking, make sure the foundations of your brew are solid by roasting your own green bean Gene Café style.
5) Nesco Coffee Bean Roaster
For an affordable entry point into roasting your own beans, the Nesco Coffee Bean is a wise move. You can roast enough beans for 36 coffees in just 20 minutes. Set aside a half hour for darker roasts. A compact, lightweight unit, this is an ideal coffee roaster for beginners.
6) Nuvo Eco Ceramic Coffee Bean Roaster
This stunning ceramic and cowhide roaster is a hands-on way to roast your own beans and a real conversation piece in the kitchen. The basic functionality makes this roaster perfect if you’re just starting out. For a compact and portable coffee roasting solution, you can’t beat the Nuvo Eco.
7) Eleoption Home Coffee Roaster Machine
For anyone looking to roast larger quantities of beans without bankrupting themselves, the Eleoption is the go-to roaster. Running exclusively on 220 volts, you can also turn out some rice or popcorn so it’s a multipurpose piece of kit to grace any kitchen.
8) Wabash Valley Farms Popcorn Popper
This popcorn popper is a great leftfield approach to roasting your coffee beans and a way to double up on equipment saving space in the kitchen. Roast substantial batches of beans in less than 10 minutes using this utilitarian popper well worth a place on any shortlist.
We’ll explore these roasters in a little more depth right now.
II. Top Picks For Best Home Coffee Roaster
1) Our Top Pick: Behmor 1600+ Drum Coffee Roaster
If you’re looking to take full control of the coffee brewing process by roasting your own beans, our standout recommendation is the Behmor Drum Roaster. Looking like a cross between a giant toaster and a microwave, the 1600+ makes a great addition to any coffee lovers arsenal.
As you’ll know, the more interested you become in the whole process of coffee getting from bean to cup, the more you’ll want to assume control and ensure things are to your liking every step of the way. If you’ve got a great coffee machine and you want to grind your own beans from raw, a roaster is essential.
If you’re concerned about the idea of roasting indoors, don’t be. Smoke suppression technology means you can safely operate inside rather than being banished to an outbuilding. That said, many users still prefer to roast outside on the porch so think about placement and go with what works best for you.
You’ll struggle to find green coffee beans in your local store but there is a plentiful supply online which we’ll investigate after our reviews. Once you’ve sourced your raw beans, it’s down to you to laser in on your preferred roast profile.
There are 5 roast settings and you can also enter a semi-manual mode allowing you to make further adjustments but this is best left alone until you’re confident with the pre-sets.
The 1-pound capacity means you can work on large batches so you’ve got all the fresh coffee you need just the way you like it.
As a word of warning, when you’ve filled the drum with beans, make absolutely certain the clasp is firmly in place. Take care, too, when housing the drum and make sure it’s nicely notched in.
As with all coffee roasters, you’ll end up with a fair amount of debris accumulating. The chaff tray and drum are both removable so keeping on top of things is not too demanding. Just regularly wash down, dry and replace and that’s about the extent of any maintenance.
Since roasting coffee beans is a hands-on affair, there’s a safety mode where your roast will shut down once 75% done unless you respond to some warning messages on the display. Just hit the button and you can override this mechanism and finish your roast strong.
If you want a home drum coffee roaster from a brand you can rely on to give your coffee a head start, the Behmor 1600+ is tough to beat.
- Relatively compact for such a powerhouse roaster
- Semi-manual mode offering total flexibility in the roasting process
- Variable speed drum control lets you stay in charge
- Quartz heart lamps for a uniform roast every time
- Fully illuminated interior lets you monitor roasting with ease
- Machine gets gummed up easily so keep on top of cleaning
- Reasonably expensive
2) The Best High-End Coffee Roaster: Bean Plus Coffee Roaster
While not marketed as a commercial coffee bean roaster, this upscale machine from Bean Plus is more than fit for sustained and vigorous use.
As with most coffee roasters, technology is in place to dampen down the smoke that’s kicked up as you’re preparing those green beans. You can use this roaster indoors safely if you fancy setting up shop in the kitchen.
Once you’ve added 150g of your chosen green beans – and if you’re struggling to decide on those beans we’ll walk you through some superb options after our coffee roaster reviews – juts choose from the 9 roast settings and you’ll have your coffee just the way you like it.
The see-through lid lets you easily keep tabs on all parts of the roasting process.
Aesthetically, this roaster makes quite a statement. It looks more like a safe than a kitchen appliance and it’s sure to be a real conversation piece in the kitchen.
Whenever you’re using a roaster, you should always make absolutely sure the lid is secured. The Bean Plus locks into place so you’ll have no worries about a roaster spattered with debris.
Coffee roasters are notorious for generating a great deal of mess even if you have fastened the lid tightly. Once you’re done roasting, a Neat Cleanup option takes the sting out of this part of the job leaving you with little work to do.
If you’re intimidated by the thought of coffee roasting, while the Bean Plus verges on professional coffee roasting equipment, it’s also a very beginner-friendly roaster. By delivering exactly what you need rather than obsessing over unnecessary frippery, this roaster is a breeze to use even if you’ve never roasted before. Navigation is as simple as using a single dial.
That said, you won’t enjoy as much freedom to customize your roast profiles so think about what you need from your roaster. If you’re looking for the advanced functionality of an Ikawa coffee roaster then you’ll be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you want a basic, upscale machine from a brand you can rely on, check out the Bean Plus today.
- Transparent lid lets you keep your eye on roasting
- Vast majority of smoke is controlled
- Runs very quietly considering the performance
- Ideal even if you’re just starting out roasting
- Choose from 9 roast settings for maximum flexibility
- Expensive although still great overall value
3) Fresh Roast Automatic Coffee Bean Roaster
Next up is some much more affordable small batch coffee roasting equipment from Fresh Roast.
As long as you’re not expecting a commercial air coffee roaster, this nifty little appliance is a pocket-friendly entry point to roasting your own beans.
Despite being marketed as the quietest air roaster, that’s relative and you can expect a fair amount of racket during the 10 minutes it takes for your green beans to roast.
If you’re operating on a tighter budget and don’t fancy experimenting with used coffee roasting equipment, the Fresh Roast SR500 is a fantastic way to get started without bankrupting yourself or taking a chance on a second-hand coffee roaster.
Anyone with a love for making fresh coffee the right way knows that it’s easy for the amount of equipment and accessories to overrun the kitchen. This machine occupies an extremely small footprint so you’ll still have plenty of space for your grinder and espresso machine.
If you’re worried about roasting your own beans taking all day, you can forget all about that with the SR500. You can roast 90g of raw beans in as little as 10 minutes then you can move on to grinding and brewing.
There’s a great deal of scope for you to dial in the elements of roasting to your exact taste. You can fine-tune the temperature along with the speed of the fan depending on whether you’re after the best light roast coffee or you’d prefer something darker and more robust.
A few disgruntled users have complained about the build quality and durability of this unit, particularly with regard to the fan. You should always be realistic about your expectations when you’re buying any cheaper appliance. Think about your intended use. As long as you’re not planning to hammer the roaster day and night in a commercial setting, you shouldn’t experience any issues.
If you want to start learning the craft of roasting your own beans, the Fresh Roast SR500 makes a superb starting point.
- Outstanding value for money
- Very flexible with adjustable fan speed, temperature and timer
- Compact, space-saving roaster
- Brisk delivery with beans roasted in 10 minutes or so
- Intuitive control panel is a pleasure to use
- Lacks durability
- Fan can develop issues
4) Gene Café Coffee Roaster
Next up in our home coffee roaster reviews is the hard-hitting Gene Café roaster which is one of the most expensive home drum coffee roasters on the market. Is it any good, though?
The significant drawback of this roaster, surprising given the price point, is the preponderance of plastic parts. This is not considered ideal for coffee roasting so be aware of the construction before committing to purchase.
If you like to roast up bigger batches, you’ll be able to slot in 250g of your favorite coffee beans and you can have a batch nailed in just 15 minutes. If you prefer smaller batches, you can roast as little as 50g.
The design harnesses the best of drum and fluid bed roasters in this innovative combination. The twisting motion allows the beans to freely tumble around as they’re roasting with plenty of hot air flowing around them.
While you won’t get the programmable convenience served up by some home roasters, the fact you can tweak the temperature and time at any stage of the roast gives you much more freedom to makes tweaks from gun to tape.
No coffee roaster is likely to be quiet but this one runs as quietly as you’d expect. You’ll be able to hear the coffee beans cracking without straining your ears. As with all the best roasters, it’s perfectly safe to use indoors.
Although it’s not the lengthiest warranty, you’ll be covered for 1 year after purchase which gives you peace of mind against any pricey repairs cropping up.
This roaster works on 120 volts so make sure this is compatible with your power supply at home to avoid the need for an adapter.
The standard of English in the manual included is weak so it’s worth having a look online if you’re struggling to get up and running.
Overall, the shower of benefits vastly outweighs any minor gripes with this coffee roaster and if you’ve got the money to spare, the Gene Café is well worth your further investigation.
- Large capacity taking up to 250g of green beans
- Reasonably quiet for a roaster
- Even roast every time due to off-axis rotation
- Easy to profile your roast
- Cooling options at your disposal for total flexibility
- Very expensive
- Too much plastic which is not ideal on a roaster
5) Nesco Coffee Bean Roaster
Next in our look at the best small coffee roasters for sale is a cost-effective little model from Nesco proving you don’t need to outlay a fortune to start roasting your own beans.
Roasting coffee beans in a machine is essential if you’re picky about personalizing roast profiles. Why rely on what has been mass-produced for you when you can take matters into your own hands?
The nifty catalytic converter makes light work of pretty much all the smoke generated so you can pop this roaster on the counter and work inside without worrying about starting a fire.
While the smoke issue has been neatly dealt with, the manufacturer has not done so well on the noise front. You can expect a fair bit of sound from most roasters but this model is particularly lively when in use. Only you can decide how important this factor is in your buying decision.
With lighter roasts, you’ll have a batch ready for grinding in around 20 minutes. If you prefer your coffee much darker, set aside a good half hour to get the job done. As with all roasting machines, it pays to be actively involved in the process rather than sitting down to snatch some TV.
As you might expect with a cheaper coffee roaster, build quality leaves something to be desired. There’s too much plastic and the overall feel is slightly fragile. Peg your expectations of lifespan and handle with care.
Before using your roaster for the first time, it pays to wash it thoroughly and then allow it to dry naturally. This should dispel any taint you might experience if you try using it straight out the box.
Commercial coffee roaster manufacturers have nothing to fear from the Nesco but this model, even allowing for its flimsiness, is one of the best entry-level roasters currently on the market.
- Catalytic converter removes almost all smoke
- Roast enough beans for 36 coffees
- Very compact and weighs less than 6 pounds
- Easy to use even for beginners
- Superb overall value
- Over 30 minutes for dark roast so be patient
- Flimsy so handle with care
- Pretty noisy in operation
How To Roast Coffee Beans In a Pan
Before we move on to the next review, we’ll take a moment to look at how to get back to basics and roast coffee beans in a pan.
Although on the surface a very simple method of roasting green beans, mastering the art is tricky.
If you fancy starting roasting at home, it’s well worth trying out this method for the experience but you can get the job done much more efficiently with a dedicated coffee roaster.
What You Need
- Gas or electric burner
- Wooden spoon
- Metal colander
What To Do
Once you’ve got that basic equipment assembled, it’s time to get to work…
- If you have no exhaust fan, you might be better off opening all your windows or roasting outside if that’s practical.
- Measure out your green coffee beans. Try ½ cup and make sure you can stir them easily. Adjust until they make a good fit in the pan.
- Preheat your pan on medium.
- Pour your beans into the pan and start stirring. All you need to do is ensure there’s some movement in the beans so you don’t have to go tonto.
- Over the following 10 minutes, monitor the color change from green to yellow and on through increasingly darkening browns. Watch closely as the color should change slowly and progressively. Adjust the heat accordingly.
- The first crack happens after around 5 minutes. This is when the beans shift from a golden brown to a light brown. From this stage onward, coffee will be drinkable so it’s down to you how much longer you want to continue roasting. Bear in mind that while the beans cool down after roasting they will initially continue to cook so aim for a couple shades lighter than your intended final color to factor this in.
- The beans coming darker and darker brown until the second crack. For most reasonable purposes, you wouldn’t continue beyond this stage or you risk totally scorched beans.
- Pop your beans into the colander and stir them until they’re cool. Bear in mind the chaff will fall through the colander so make provision for this or do it outside to avoid a mess.
- Let your coffee degas for at least 4 hours then stash it away in an airtight container. It will keep for up to a week properly stored.
How About The Pan?
A skillet or wok is ideal but as long as the pan goes on the burner, work with what you’ve got.
Make sure the pan is not too thick and has no kind of coating whatsoever.
Stainless steel and cast irons pans are highly effective or you could use a popcorn popper as we will explore after the next couple reviews…
6) Nuvo Eco Ceramic Coffee Bean Roaster
If you’re looking for a simple and hands-on way to get started roasting your own raw coffee beans, this ceramic and cowhide offering from Nuvo Eco is well worth popping on your shortlist.
The arresting design will have every visitor to your home asking, “What’s that on the stove?” Looking something like an old pair of bellows, this roaster is like using an amped-up version of a pan so it’s a straightforward but limited method of roasting.
If you find the idea of roasting your own beans somewhat overwhelming, this affordable piece of kit is a great way to get started the easy way. While you don’t have anything like the functionality of a full-blooded roasting machine, its basic nature makes the Nuvo Eco suitable for all levels, even beginners.
Note that although the cowhide on the handle keeps much of the heat away, many users like to wrap a towel around just to be on the safe side.
The hole to the rear allows you to clearly hear the cracking of the coffee beans so you can dial in your times based on the sounds you hear.
The extremely compact nature of this roaster means it’s easy to take camping with you if you’re going on an extended trip and can’t face going without your shot of fresh coffee. You could even pop it in your suitcase if you’re heading on vacation.
One negative result of this small footprint is that you’ll be limited to roasting just 70g of beans in one hit. If you’ve got a large family of coffee lovers, this might not be the most suitable roaster but if you live alone it makes perfect sense.
We’ve tried to include something for everyone with today’s coffee roasting machine reviews and if you want a no-nonsense upgrade to roasting beans in a pan, check out the unique Nuvo Eco at your earliest convenience.
- Insulating qualities of ceramic ideal for roasting
- Exceptional value for money
- Perfect for beginners due to stripped-down simplicity
- Striking cowhide handle
- Hole at the back amplifies popping sound
- Very much a hands-on experience
- Only good for small batches up to 70g
7) Eleoption Home Coffee Roaster Machine
Coffee fiends looking to roast bulky batches of raw beans will embrace the Eleoption roaster which lets you work with substantial batches of up to 3 pounds. While it’s designed for home use, it would certainly stand up to light use in a coffee shop with a capacity to suit most needs.
As you’ll know if you roast beans, the chaff and debris ends up creating quite a mess which can be tiresome to clean up. The non-stick coating on the Eleoption’s chassis cuts this problem off before it occurs rendering clean-up a cinch.
You use a simple dial to set your preferred temperature and a thermostat ensures this remains constant throughout roasting for a uniform batch. You can make any tweaks you like as you’re working giving you a great deal of control over the roast.
As with all the best coffee roasting machines, there’s a transparent lid so you can closely monitor the roasting. The change in color of your beans is perhaps more important than audio clues like the cracking sounds so you’ll be able to watch them move from green on through various shades of brown until you’re happy with the result.
As an added bonus, you can use this roaster to prepare rice or popcorn, further enhancing the value for money you’re getting and saving space into the bargain.
One thing to watch out for is the voltage… This roaster will only run on 220-volt supplies so US customers should check out an alternative roaster or consider a transformer.
If you want to start roasting your own beans and you think you’ll need to do so in bigger quantities, the Eleoption coffee roaster machine is a smart bet.
- Roast an incredible 3 pounds in a single batch
- Non-stick body eliminates much of the mess of roasting
- Great value considering functionality and capacity
- See-through cover so keep your eye on your beans
- Versatile roaster also good for rice or popcorn
- Only works on 220 volts so you need a transformer in the US
How To Roast Coffee Beans in a Popcorn Popper
Now you’ve seen a great selection of the best coffee roasting machines on the market along with how to roast your beans in a pan, we’ll have a look at another method of DIY roasting by using a popcorn popper.
There are a number of hot air popcorn poppers on the market and you needn’t spend a great deal for a multipurpose appliance that does a reasonable job of roasting coffee beans as well as popcorn for your movie.
Before seriously thinking about using your popper to roast coffee, you should be aware that you’re likely to void your warranty by doing so. While it’s not a risky procedure, using a popper to roast coffee beans will undoubtedly stress the machine and you can expect to burn it out within months if you go over the top and roast in it regularly.
You must set aside the time to be present while you’re roasting with a popcorn popper. It’s certainly not set-and-forget due to the high temperatures involved and the possible fire hazard. You’re well advised to roast outside if you’re using a popper due to the volume of smoke generated.
With those words of warning out the way, how do you go about roasting your beans with a popper?
What You Need
- Popcorn popper
- Aluminum colander
- Large spoon
- Box for chaff
- Thermometer (optional)
What To Do
Before you get going, a benchmark for timings…
Light roasts generally take 5 or 6 minutes with a popcorn popper. For darker roasts, you’ll need to heat the beans for upwards of 8 minutes.
Bearing that guideline in mind, it time’s to get going…
- Set up your popper either outside or near an open window and ventilation hood. Make sure you choose a well-lit area so you can accurately gauge the color of the beans, a crucial element of getting your roast just right.
- Go for ½ cup (around 85g) of beans if you’re using a popper.
- Fire up your popper and allow it to warm up for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Pop in the beans and put the lid on the popper. Make sure the chute sits over the container you’ve set up to catch the chaff that accumulates.
- When you’re using a popper for the first time, you might want to simply experiment with a couple batches so you get used to the smells, sounds and colors. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail to dial things in perfectly first time.
- Just before you think the color is spot on and between the first and second crack, shut down your popper and decant the beans into the colander so they can cool down while finishing off.
If you take the drawbacks of this method into consideration, it’s still a tried and true approach to getting your coffee beans roasted just the way you like.
8) Wabash Valley Farms Popcorn Popper
Marketed as a popper capable of yielding popcorn in as little as 3 minutes, swap those corns out for coffee beans and you’ll enjoy your beans roasted as you like them in 5 to 8 minutes depending on your preferred profile.
One of the key advantages of using a popper to roast beans is the amount of control you’ll have over the roast profile. If you’re deep into coffee, this flexibility is worth its weight in gold.
On the downside, you’ll have no transparent viewing window and you’ll need to be careful about opening the lid and releasing heat so it’s important to go with the sound of the coffee cracking.
This popper works best with darker roasts so if you tend to err toward lighter roasts, you’re better off looking at one of the other machines we review.
Although this popper is guaranteed for an incredible 25 years, you should not that using it to roast coffee beans might well invalidate that warranty. That said, it shows you how much confidence the manufacturer places in this product.
All you’ll need by way of extra equipment is a colander.
As when using any popcorn popper to roast coffee, it’s best to limit your use of it in this capacity. If you plan on roasting on a sustained and heavier basis, you’re well advised to invest in a dedicated machine. If, on the other hand, you want a roaster for occasional use, getting back to basics with this popper is a worthwhile introduction to roasting.
- Roast beans rapidly in well under 10 minutes
- Easy to remove lid for simple clean-up
- Capable of roasting larger quantities of beans in a single batch
- Very heavy-duty and built to last
- Excellent value for money
- Intensive, hands-on experience when roasting beans
- Awkward to monitor the roast visually
III. Where To Buy Unroasted/Raw Coffee Beans
If you’re not sure where to buy raw coffee beans, shopping online is your best and most convenient option.
If you’re new to the game, scouring the stores hunting down beans is tiresome. You don’t often find unroasted coffee beans for sale on the street although that’s slowly changing.
As we mentioned from the get-go, you can grab some beans from various Stumptown Coffee locations or, again, buy them online.
Top-tier coffee beans give you the perfect platform from which to start the whole brewing process and by controlling the roast, you can take your brewing to the next level.
If you choose to buy your beans online, we’ll look now at 5 of the best options at your disposal…
Our Recommendation: Green Unroasted Yirgacheffe Ethiopian
First up and our recommendation for the best raw green coffee beans on the market come from CoffeeBean Direct.
Hailing from Ethiopia, the spiritual birthplace of coffee, you’ll get a 5-pound bag of these Yirgacheffe at a very reasonable price point.
If the Ethiopian is not to your taste, you’ll get a whopping 21 flavors to choose from hailing from everywhere from Papua New Guinea through to Peru and Sumatra. You’re spoiled for choice with coffee from all over the globe.
If the 5-pound bag is not large enough for your taste, you can order the Nicaraguan in a colossal 25-pound bag instead.
These beans have a punchy, fruity taste without being overpowering. Light bodied and only moderately acidic, these raw beans respond well to all roast types so you’re in safe hands.
Green Unroasted Coffee Beans, Colombian Supremo
Another fine choice if you’re looking for raw green coffee beans comes from in the form of this standard sized 5-pound bag from the aptly named Fresh Roasted Coffee.
We would recommend the Colombian Supremo although if this is not to your taste, you can choose from a staggering 37 different flavors so you’re sure to find the bean of your choice.
This South American beauty is wonderfully balanced with notes of honey and cherry. The Arabica beans are not laced with any unnatural ingredients or additives so you can enjoy these fine single origin beans exactly as they were intended.
The company behind these beans understands fully that great coffee must begin at the source. Offering beans from all over the globe, these natural and non-blended beans are the perfect way to get started roasting.
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Green Unroasted Coffee Beans
If you’re looking for raw coffee beans on a budget, Morning Hills Coffee has you covered.
Hailing from the Kochere region of Ethiopia, this is a prime example of the very best Yirgacheffe. Ethiopia has the optimum climate for growing Arabica and these beans are grown at high altitude by farmers who care.
Despite the ultra-low price point, the beans come in a robust, resealable bag with multiple layers to ensure they stay fresher for longer.
You can choose from 6 sizes and 3 flavors so give the Brazilian or Costa Rican a shot if you don’t find the Ethiopian to your taste.
Single Origin Nicaraguan Estate Green Unroasted Coffee Beans
Next up are some affordable single origin beans from Central America distributed by Primos Coffee Company.
These beans are grown on Nicaraguan farms that have been family-run for generations so there’s a deep level of expertise in play as well as the knowledge you’ll be propping up a sustainable, ethical enterprise.
The specialty beans come with a very low defect rate and the perfect moisture content to set a winning foundation for your coffee.
Shoot for a medium roast with these delicate, nuanced beans and you’ll never look back.
Brazil Adrano Green Unroasted Coffee Beans
Last but by no means least, some more pocket-friendly beans from the highly reputable Heirloom Coffee.
Adrano is a type of Brazil Volcano coffee, a bean that’s gaining fans worldwide for the marvelous combination of taste and aroma. The dark volcanic soil in which the beans are grown imparts a deep, rich flavor.
These beans took away the bronze medal at the Golden Bean Awards in 2015 so they come highly recommended.
There are 3 sizes available from 1 pound to 10 pounds
IV. How To Roast Coffee Beans At Home
Now you’ve got your beans and you’re itching to get started roasting.
First thing’s first, you need to decide which method you’ll be using. As we’ve outlined, you can start out by roasting in a pan but this is a limited and fairly intensive approach. If you have a popcorn popper at home, you could try using this. By far the best way, though, is to invest in a coffee roaster like those we’ve looked into today.
Once you’ve got your beans and your equipment dialed in, there are some general pointers you should take into consideration so you can better understand how to roast coffee beans at home.
Different Stages of Coffee Roasting
As you become more experienced with roasting, you’ll be able to identify up to 10 different stages during the process.
1. These can be reduced to 4 main stages:
- Change of Color
- First Crack
- Second Crack
Change of Color
During the first few minutes of roasting, the beans remain green.
Colors then start to gradually shift toward golden tones.
While the color is changing, you’ll spot steam rising from the beans as the water begins to evaporate.
At 205 degrees Celsius, you’ll get the first audible crack. This is the sugar in the beans caramelizing and the process gives off that distinctive cracking sound.
Your kitchen will start to fill with the wonderful aroma of roasting beans.
With the surface of the coffee beans becoming drier, you can stop at this point if you’re looking for a light roast.
If you continue beyond the first crack seeking a darker roast, the color of the beans becomes progressively deeper and heat draws more oils to the surface.
For most purposes, it’s advisable to stop before hearing the second crack. By now you’ll have a medium to dark roast.
At 225 degrees Celsius, you’ll get the second crack.
If you proceed beyond this point, you’re highly likely to end up with questionable results so it’s best to wait until you’re a dab hand before experimenting in this territory.
2. Different Roast Styles
We’ll briefly break down 4 of the main roast styles:
- Light Roast
- Medium Roast
- Medium-Dark Roast
- Dark Roast
Light brown in color, light roasts have a very light body with no oil on the surface of the beans.
The taste is grainy with a marked acidity.
With light roasts, you’ll more easily be able to detect the origin flavor of the beans.
Surprisingly, light roasts also retain the most caffeine.
Light-roasted beans come to fruition between 180 and 205 degrees Celsius. This is directly before the first crack at 205 degrees Celsius.
Mid-brown in color and still containing no oil on the surface, medium roast beans have a fuller body and none of the grainy taste of a lighter roast.
Flavor and acidity are more balanced.
You’ll get less caffeine with a medium roast.Internal temperatures of 210 to 220 degrees Celsius deliver a medium roast bean.
Medium roast happen between the first crack ending and the second beginning.
As the color of the brown bean continues to deepen, oil begins to show on the surface of medium-dark roasted beans.
The second crack is now underway with temperatures rising to a heady 230 degrees Celsius.
Flavors and aromas become more pronounced and you might experience a hint of spice.
Chocolate brown verging on black, dark roast are slick with oil and have a smoky and bitter taste.
Caffeine content at this level of roasting is dramatically reduced.
Between the end of the second crack at 240 degrees Celsius and 250 degrees Celsius, you can extract a dark roast. After this stage it’s a point of diminishing returns with the beans becoming tarry.
Dark roasts are commonly used for espresso.
More Coffee Roasting Facts
Check out the 7 main factors that affect roasting coffee beans here.
V. Store Your Coffee Beans
If you’ve decided to roast your own beans, you’re obviously interested in coffee at its finest.
You should give due consideration to how you store your beans once they’re ready to roll or your effort might go to waste.
Coffee needs to sit for up to 48 hours after roasting. During this period, gases will escape.
If you’re filter brewing or using a French press, your beans will be ready in 3-10 days.
Espresso lovers need to wait 5 to 12 days.
From this point, there are 4 main factors that influence how long your beans will stay fresh with their flavors fully to the fore:
The quality of your bag will impact how long the beans stay fresh. A regular unlined paper bag will start tasting stale after a week or so.
Many manufacturers have introduced one-way valves on bags which can extend the lifespan of your beans a further week.
If your coffee is packaged in a valved bag and you imagine you’ll get through all the coffee within a fortnight, it’s perfectly fine to leave it there.
If, on the other hand, you’ve stiffed with a straight-up paper bag, it’s worth decanting your beans into an airtight container.
There are many specialist containers on the market.
Aim for a dark, opaque container if possible to prevent light from spoiling the beans.
If you buy a dedicated coffee bean storage container, they come with a range of vacuum devices to ensure that no air remains inside to tamper with the beans.
You should store this airtight container at room temperature. Somewhere dark and a little cooler is ideal.
Since exposing coffee beans to air is bad news, it’s worth batching your beans up in separate smaller containers to avoid continually compromising your main supply.
Alternatively, think about roasting fewer beans. If you’re roasting your own in order to get the freshest coffee possible, it doesn’t make much sense to store it long-term since you’ll end up with a diminished roast.
Is It Possible To Freeze Coffee?
The better question here is “Is it wise to freeze coffee?”
The answer is a resounding “No.”
Seriously, don’t do this. It flies in the face of getting your coffee down to perfection.
If you put coffee beans in the fridge, oil is driven to the surface through condensation.
Putting them in the freezer, even in a vacuum-sealed bag is the best method of preserving the most flavor and aroma but freezing coffee really is a waste of time.
VI. Commercial Coffee Bean Roaster
If you’re scoping out a coffee roasting business for sale, one of the most crucial elements to consider is the roaster itself.
Commercial coffee bean roasters are suitable for batching up anywhere from 1kg to 30kg of beans.
There are a number of factors to think about when it comes to a commercial roaster.
We’ll look briefly now at 6 key areas:
- Gas or Electric
- Infrared or Direct Flame
- Automated or Manual
Think about how much capacity you really need and don’t sell yourself short.
It might be tempting to rush in and buy a cheaper machine sacrificing capacity to shave off a few bucks.
If you’re looking to roast for commercial purposes, be realistic about how much you’ll be roasting and make sure to get a machine man enough for the job.
Price should always be a factor in any buying decision but never the determining factor.
When you’re thinking about a commercial roaster, you should consider it as the best investment you’ll ever make rather than an expense.
With that said, don’t spend more than you can afford.
Make a budget and stick to it with the added advantage of limiting your options and simplifying your buying decision.
3. Gas or Electric
Gas-powered roasters give you more control.
With electric heaters, adjusting temperature takes longer although you can still get results.
4. Infrared or Direct Flame
Drum roasters pull heated air through the beans inside the drum so the burners are charged with heating air rather than the beans.
Infrared burners are more efficient than direct flame burners but their output is more limited. You’re restricted to a high or low setting so these burners are effective but stifling.
For true coffee artists, direct flame burners are the only way forward.
In the realm of commercial coffee roasters, most are fashioned from materials suited to the exacting task of roasting.
Look for something with the build quality you need for roasting on a grand scale.
6. Automated or Manual
Automated roasting undoubtedly makes your life easier but you’ll lose out on that important element of control.
Manual roasters are generally pretty straightforward to use and you’ll be able to really dial in the roast profile if you go this route.
If you can live without a touchscreen interface and you demand coffee the way it should be, go manual.
If you’re looking to buy a commercial coffee bean roaster, Mill City Coffee Roasters is a great place to start.
The legendary Ikawa also offers commercial-grade roasters.
Choose well as the roaster underpins any decent commercial coffee shop!
1) Is it essential to buy a coffee roaster if you want to roast green beans?
Absolutely not. You can use a simple pan over a burner and spend the time to manually roast your beans in less than 10 minutes. Popcorn poppers also work well. For maximum control and efficiency, though, it’s worth investing in a coffee roaster if you decide you’re committed to roasting.
2) What is Arabica?
Coffee species can be broadly divided into two, Arabica and Robusta. Although it packs less caffeine, Arabica has double the amount of lipids and sugars meaning it’s generally tastier.
3) Does dark roasted coffee have more caffeine?
Counterintuitively, the opposite is the case. If you’re aiming for caffeine overload, the lighter the roast the better.
4) What is Fairtrade coffee?
Fairtrade describes a model where farmers are offered a minimum price guarantee and can bypass the trader. This model allowed many mainstream growers to climb out of poverty. For growers of truly great beans, though, there’s more money to be had by angling directly toward roasters and importers.
5) When was coffee first discovered?
Coffee was said to have cropped up in Ethiopia in 800 AD although this is unsubstantiated. The first hard evidence of the coffee tree dates to the mid-15th century in Yemen.
6) What is the cracking sound when coffee beans are roasting?
As the sugars inside the beans start to caramelize, you’ll hear a crack at 205 degrees Celsius followed by a second crack at 230 degrees Celsius. The cracking sound, along with the change in color, helps to determine roast timings.
7) How much coffee can you roast in a day?
This is linked to the capacity of the roaster you’ve chosen. You should refer to our section on storing coffee to see why it’s not a smart idea to think in terms of roasting as much as you can in one shot. If your aim is coffee at its freshest, you should tailor the quantity of beans you roast to the amount you’ll get through in a week. That way, you won’t need to watch your hard work spoil.
8) What is specialty coffee?
When coffee is grown and farmed in ideal conditions then harvested optimally, processed, roasted and finally brewed with proper attention to detail and care throughout, the result is specialty coffee. Specialty coffee is ethically-sourced and everyone along the way is fairly compensated. When coffee testers called Q Graders score coffee at more than 80/100, you’re in specialty coffee territory.
9) Do you need to check the moisture level in your coffee beans?
If you’re roasting at home, this step is overkill. If you have a roasting operation, though, it’s well worth checking that any consignments of beans you buy fall within the acceptable moisture parameters of 9 to 12%. This is particularly important since moisture levels have a direct impact on roasting.
10) Are oily beans any good?
No, they’re not. If the oil comes onto the outside of the beans, they’ll turn rancid. Properly roasted coffee beans will be dry and never shiny or oily.
Well, we very much hope you’ve enjoyed this comprehensive look at the best coffee roasters on the market.
If you were in any doubt as to whether or not it’s worth roasting your own beans, hopefully you’ve been inspired to give it a shot.
Whether you want to dabble with roasting in a pan or you fancy using a popcorn popper, getting started is cheap and easy so you’ve got nothing to lose.
If you get hooked and fancy fully profiling your roast, check out our coffee roaster reviews then look at getting the best beans to whack in there.
It might seem like an unnecessary step to take if you’ve got a hectic schedule, but roasting doesn’t really take much time and you’ll enjoy dramatically fresher coffee than if you buy pre-roasted beans.
We hope you also found our tips on storing coffee beans gave you a few pointers and you’re now ready to attack the art of roasting.
Get those beans cracking and come back soon!
Our Top Pick: Behmor 1600+ Drum Coffee Roaster
- Easy to clean
Although it’s not cheap, this classic drum roaster from the industry heavyweight Behmor is our top pick. Compact and stylish while offering a significant degree of customization, take full charge of your coffee brewing starting with those all-important beans.