What Is the Best Coffee Roaster for Home?
Since the quality of coffee begins to decline after roasting, many coffee drinkers consider roasting their own coffee at home. Ordinarily, when you roast coffee yourself, you know when it is fresh. Moreover, you control the level of roasting and can achieve the perfect cup at the end. While coffee is green, its quality will not drop for up to one year counting from the arrival date. However, to roast coffee at home, you need a purpose built roasting machine. So, what is the best coffee roaster for home?
Things to Consider When Choosing a Roaster
Generally, you cannot say that a particular machine is the best coffee roaster. There are many options that you should consider and make a decision based on your preferences. When you choose a roaster, think about your budget, your desired roast, and the amount of coffee you normally drink.
First, if you like dark roasts, choose Gene Cafe or air roaster because they work better with dark roasts. Second, depending on the machine, you will be working with 4-12 oz. batches. Usually, 4 oz. of green coffee will result in 26-42 oz. of brewed coffee (depending on how strong you make your coffee). A Gene Cafe or a HotTop will make twice more coffee, while a Behmor 1600 will make up to a full pound of light roast. So, if you drink a lot of coffee, you should consider a larger drum roaster instead of an air roaster. Lastly, drum roasters are much more expensive compared to air roasters so plan accordingly.
Air Roaster or Drum Roaster?
Air roasters use hot air for moving and roasting coffee. Examples of those are Nesco and Fresh Roast. Usually, air roast takes about 8-12 minutes. If the roast stays less, the flavor might not develop completely. If the roast stays too long, the flavor might dull. Drum roasters are larger in size and they move the beans using a rotating drum. Examples of those machines are Behmor 1600, Gene Cafe and HotTop. It takes longer to roast the coffee using those, about 14-20 minutes. While air roasters make coffee brighter, drum roasters tend to develop the flavor better.
How Long Does a Roaster Last?
The longevity of the roaster depends on the regularity of use and maintenance. Small roasters normally last around two years. They might last longer if you use them less often, clean them regularly and make lighter roasts. However, if you use the roaster a lot, do not clean it, and make dark roasts, the machine can have a shorter lifespan. If you choose a drum roast, you have an option to replace parts instead of replacing the whole unit. This saves you money in the long run.
Roasters for Beginners
Smaller machines like Nesco or Fresh Roast do a great job roasting coffee beans. Fresh Roast is good for beginners, affordable and small, which makes it perfect for those who do not drink a lot of coffee. Nesco is bigger and has a feature for smoke reduction, which is great if you do not have good ventilation. It is tricky if you buy a large machine without knowing how to use it, but it is also tricky to buy a machine that will not produce enough coffee.
If you do drink a lot of coffee or if you already know some things about roasting, going with a larger drum machine is a good choice. Such roasters as HotTop, Gene Cafe, and Behmor allow you to control time and temperature. A lot of these machines now include programming features which help you tailor the roast to the coffee beans. All things considered, choose a roaster depending on your needs. Think about your budget, the amount of coffee you drink, and the desired roast.