7 Best Home Coffee Roasters [2022 Reviewed]

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Coffee roasting machine gives you access to the world’s most authentic coffee flavors – and all this without leaving your apartment. You acquire new skills that allow you to get creative when preparing your perfect cup of joe. 

Choosing the right roasting machine can be a daunting task. It depends on how much coffee you drink, how much you’re willing to spend, and your preferred roast level.

Well, if you’re still confused, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve compiled a list of the best home coffee roasters to help you get started on your home roasting journey.

How we choose

  • Studied 27 YouTube videos from professional roasters in the U.S. and Europe
  • Combined nearly 150 sellers and customers reviews from Amazon, SweetMaria’s, Roast Rebels, Burman, etc.
  • As home roasting geeks ourselves, we have also added some tips from our experience.
  • We didn’t include poor-quality equipment you can find in other “best” lists just for the sake of getting affiliate commission.

Table of Contents

Our top picks

Best Overall

Gene Cafe CBR-101

One of the U.S.’s most preferred home coffee roasters.
Perfect for family and coffee shop usage.

4.9 ⭐ Experts

Best Overall

Gene Cafe CBR-101

One of the U.S.’s most preferred home coffee roasters.
Perfect for family and coffee shop usage.

4.9 ⭐ Experts

Best Drum 

Kaldi Motorized

Reliable instrument that gives you full control of the roasting process.
You’ll never go wrong with this one.

4.8 ⭐ Experts

Best Budget

Fresh Roast SR540

Leader of budget home roasters – it’s compact, easy to use, and doesn’t require much effort to clean.

4.7 ⭐ Experts

Best Pro

Hottop B KN-8828B-2K+

Nearly professional-grade machine perfect for learning the science of roasting.

4.9 ⭐ Experts

Best Design

Kaleido M2 Sniper

A newcomer in the roasters market already making a name as a sturdy and reliable instrument

4.7 ⭐ Experts

Best Drum

Kaldi Motorized

Reliable instrument that gives you full control of the roasting process.
You’ll never go wrong with this one.

4.8 ⭐ Experts

Best Budget

Fresh Roast SR540

Leader of budget home roasters – it’s compact, easy to use, and doesn’t require much effort to clean.

4.7 ⭐ Experts

Best Pro

Hottop KN-8828B-2K+

Nearly professional-grade machine perfect for learning the science of roasting.

4.9 ⭐ Experts

Best Design

Kaleido M2 Sniper

A newcomer in the roasters market already making a name as a sturdy and reliable instrument

4.7 ⭐ Experts

For Tech Heads

Sandbox Smart R1+C1

Innovative “set it and forget it” technology, which you can operate from your phone

4.5 ⭐ Experts

Home Coffee Roaster Types

Before we look at the best roasters on the market, we should consider the different types of machines, and also the different methods of roasting.

Heat Trasfer Method

Firstly, let’s have a look at how various machines apply a heat source to the beans. These are: conductive heat, convective heat, and radiative heat.

Conductive heating is when two objects are actually touching. For example, when a heat source like a gas flame comes into contact with the drum containing coffee beans, the drum gets hot, and the beans touching the drum get hot – its that simple.

Traditional coffee roasting in many countries where beans are roasted in metal bowls or pans over flames uses conductive heating.

Convective heating is heat transferred through the air, often described as air heating technology. It’s like when you open the door of a hot oven and you feel the rush of hot air on your skin, that’s convective heat.

Radiative heating uses the principle of heat radiation – the transfer of heat through vibrating molecules and atoms, like in a microwave oven. 

In coffee roasting it usually means using an infra-red heat source, which actually just becomes conductive or convective heating depending on whether it heats up the chamber the beans are in, or the air around it.

Anyway, now we will talk about the types of roasting machines available.

Roasting Technology

There are three main types of roaster on the market, and when you are looking to buy a coffee roaster it will certainly be one of these.

They are solid drum roasters, perforated drum roasters, and fluid bed roasters. Drum roasters tend to be the most popular for home roasting and mostly they are modelled on commercial roasters.

Solid Drum

The solid drum roaster uses conductive heat. A heat source heats the drum which rotates, and as the beans roll around the walls of the drum they contact the hot metal and are roasted. Because the beans are in direct contact with the hot surfaces they roast quickly and the solid drum is most suitable for dark roasts.

These types of drum roasters are usually simple machines and can use any heat source to heat the drum, and as a result are usually found at the lower end of the budget scale.

Perforated Drum

The perforated drum roaster is like a solid drum roaster except that it is perforated with lots of holes (obviously!). 

This uses both conduction and convection technologies; the heat source heats up the air around the drum which passes through the perforations as the drum rotates, and users of this type of machine say that the hot airflow makes for a more even roast, and in fact uses less heat than other types of machine.

One advantage of drum roasters in general is that it is easy to take samples of the beans while the machines are operating, so you can keep a check on the quality and stages of the roast.

Fluid Bed

Fluid bed roasters again use convection, pre-heating the air which is forced by fans through the beans, just as if the beans are floating on hot air. Rather than a rotating drum moving the beans around, the hot air itself pushes the beans around.

Fluid Bed roasters will roast the beans faster than drum roasters and are most suitable for lighter roasts, allowing the beans to retain more delicate flavours and acidity than in drum roasters.

These roasting machines have a reputation for consistency and flavour retention. However they can be more complicated than drum roasters and as a result the machines are more expensive. 

Also, you cannot sample the beans during the roasting process, and they have a limited capacity.

So now you have an idea of the types of machines and how they work, let’s take a look at some actual machines.

Below is a more detailed look at the top choices given by experts in 2022. If you want to dive deep into the craft of coffee roasting, you should be definitely aware of them. 

Best Small Batch Coffee Roasting Machine

#1

Gene Cafe CBR-101

4.9 ⭐ Experts

Description

Gene Cafe CBR-101 is easy to operate and takes away the hectic method of trying to understand how a coffee roaster works. Therefore, it’s an excellent investment for beginners.

This device offers you control of how you’d like coffee beans roasted and can be easily adjusted during the roasting process.

CBR-101 uses hybrid technology and has a built-in protector, making it reliable and secure.

Furthermore, this roasting machine has a modern design and looks like a professional kitchen instrument.

Key features

  • Hybrid technology – uses hot air with a rotating drum chamber.
  • Two knobs to control temperature and time – ergonomic and intuitive
  • Can accommodate about 100 to 250 gram quantities during each roasting process
  • See-through glass chamber, allowing you to monitor the roasting process
  • Chaff collection container, preventing a mess 
  • Unique design that is intriguing and convenient

Pros

  • Ensures even roasting by turning the coffee beans in the spacious drum
  • You can easily monitor the roasting process through the glass flask
  • Comes in a unique shape and sits attractively on any countertop
  • Has an exhaust outlet that allows you to direct the smoke outside
  • Equipped with a powerful motor
  • Perfect for home and small coffee shops

Cons

  • Automatically turns off in case of overheating – it’s better to watch the process

Best Drum Home Coffee Roaster

#2

Kaldi Motorized

4.7 ⭐ Experts

Description

Kaldi is a tank among roasters – its body is made of steel so that it will survive any falling or beating.

Minimalistic design is an eye-catcher for people who appreciate durable and functional objects.

If you’re serious about roasting, you can start with this one – the drum technology makes it very similar to professional machines.

Key features

  • Drum roaster – requires a stove or a gas burner
  • Sustainable design – made of 2mm stainless steel
  • Roasts up to 175g of beans (30 cups of coffee)
  • Roast time ~ 15 min per batch
  • Has a wide mouth making it easier to pour in green beans
  • Removable chaff container reducing the mess

Pros

  • Gives you the “true touch” of the professional device
  • The machine saves time. It takes up 10 to 15 minutes to roast
  • The drum is insulated to retain heat during the process
  • Powerful air vents 
  • Includes a thermometer

Cons

  • Occupies much space in the kitchen
  • Instructions are poorly written – need some time to figure out how to use the device

Best Budget Home Coffee Roaster - Under $500

#3

Fresh Roast SR540

4.6 ⭐ Experts

Description

Want to start roasting on a shoestring? SR540 will be your buddy.

It is a medium-sized machine perfect for a small family, featuring nine levels of heat adjustments made with the help of a single knob.

Beans are evenly prepared with hot air, which pumps them around the roasting chamber.

Made especially for small batch at-home use, it will be a more than a fair exchange for your $20 popcorn popper.

In addition, it’s equipped with a comprehensible control panel – best choice for beginners.

Key features

  • Electric air roaster – using hot air to roast the beans
  • A single knob that controls all the nine parameters
  • Roast up to 125g of beans (15-20 cups)
  • Roast time ~ 7 min per batch

Pros

  • Great visibility of what’s happening during the roasting session
  • Fluid-bed technology guarantees even roast
  • Device is entirely portable
  • Easy to clean – versatile chaff collector

Cons

  • Can process a small number of beans at a time
  • Some users say engine wears out after couple of years

#4

Behmor 2000AB

4.5 ⭐ Experts

Description

The next one may look like a microwave oven, although it is a commercial-grade roasting machine capable of producing high-quality roasted beans.

In addition, it has powerful features that help the delicate flavors thrive.

This machine can handle up to one pound of green beans at time — also a good choice for restaurants, cafes, and other busy coffee joints.

Key features

  • Uses halogen heating elements
  • Comes with a double-layered glass panel that retains heat
  • The audible alert beep that warns you about 15 seconds before the machine cuts off the heat
  • Patented smoke suppression technology
  • Equipped with automated pre-programs to make roasting easy

Pros

  • Perfect for medium-roasted coffee 
  • Works really quiet (when the door is closed)
  • Has an automatic cooling cycle

Cons

  • Control panel is not intuitive and takes time to understand
  • Locking the drum inside is uncomfortable and probably requires gloves
  • Cooling takes too long

Best Electric Home Coffee Roaster

#5

Hottop KN-8828B-2K+

4.9 ⭐ Experts

Description

This home coffee roaster is best for people who want to create world-class roasts in their apartments. It’s affordable and mobile, therefore broadly used by many professional roasters for creating coffee samples.

So you’ll have actually a commercial-grade roaster with a balanced roast and cool cycle – great for the price.

Key features

  • Electric roaster with precise control of the roasting process
  • Compatible with Artisan – advanced computer software allowing you to create high level roasting profiles
  • Comes with three pre-programmed profiles
  • Works quietly due to the powerful air vents
  • Can handle a batch size of 250-330 g
  • Has an advanced air filter system that reduces smoke emission

Pros

  • Easily upgradable – great for home roasting geeks
  • Made of high-quality stainless steel for stability and durability
  • Flawless control of the roasting process with the help of a computer program
  • Bonus – comes with a free 8-pound green coffee sample

Cons

  • Requires waiting for 10 minutes to cool down between roasts
  • Automatic profiles are almost useless

#6

Kaleido M2 Sniper

4.7 ⭐ Experts

Description

For all coffee lovers with meticulous tastes – this device is your pick. Kaleido M2 Sniper is created to bridge the gap between beginners and professional roasters. It offers you the joy of roasting perfectly balanced coffee beans in the comfort of your space.

This uniquely designed coffee roaster is an eye-catcher with wing-like features of a Tesla Model X or some kind of video game character.

This machine is designed to handle small to medium roasting batches seamlessly. You can also use it for commercial purposes.

Key features

  • Comes with an electric tube that heats up the roasting drum with rotating arms to help shuffle the coffee beans
  • Has a powerful and independent cooling system that takes about 2 or 3 minutes depending on the batch size
  • Operated with a modern touch screen to control temperature and time
  • Robot-like design for that edgy look
  • Can handle a batch size of 150-400g 
  • Functional chaff collection container that is easy to clean and replace
  • Has a high-speed drum that rotates at 60RPM

#7

Sandbox Smart R1+C1

4.5 ⭐ Experts

Description

The Sandbox coffee roaster allows you to experiment with flavors and aromas without restriction.

Minimalistic design and the simplicity of setting up a roast – no need for big buttons and clunky LED displays on the box. Device is packed with Bluetooth software to control the whole roasting process within the app.

However, if you’re a traditional coffee roaster with some skills up your sleeves, you can switch to manual mode and enjoy the process from start to finish.

Key features

  • Uses electric heating source
  • Accommodates a batch capacity of about 100-150 grams
  • The phone application allows you to live-monitor the roasting profile
  • It also offers expert instructions to walk you through
  • Comes with a convenient chaff drawer that allows you to take out the dirt properly
  • Has excellent vents for blowing the hot air evenly and cooling off the beans
  • Has pre-loaded curves that allow you to boost the roasting recipes

Pros

  • Pre-built roasting profiles making it easy to operate
  • Excellent cooling system
  • Chaff management on a high level

Cons

  • Significantly expensive
  • Hard to see what’s going with the beans inside the roasting chamber
  • Some people complain about app usability

How to Choose the Best Home Coffee Roaster?

Finding the right roaster for your home isn’t that easy. There is a large number of models on the market, and it’s sometimes quite difficult to compare them.

Here are five tips you have to consider when choosing the best home coffee roaster. They will help you to find a suitable machine for you.

Purpose

The first and essential thing is to question yourself who you are and why you need this roaster.

There are three different kinds of users of small-batch roasting machines. 

First are home roasters who like making fresh coffee for themselves. They don’t want to spend much money on a machine with such a narrow profile – they want a good cup of coffee.

The second group is people who want to learn the craft of roasting and later want to become professional roasters. Therefore, they want to understand how roasting works, the principles of drum roasters, roast profiles, etc. 

Usually, these first two groups are a bit mixed together. 

There are a lot of commercial professional roasters who started as home roasters. Even some of the most well-known roasters in the world (Rob Hoos, author of “Modulating the Flavor Profile of Coffee”)

So your home roasting hobby might someday turn into a real business.

The third category of people is professional commercial roasters looking for a small roasting machine. Usually, they need it as a sample roaster, and they have specific needs for such a device.

So looking at the first group, they can be divided into several clusters of people:

 

Broke and Curious

They use whatever they can get their hands on – usually, the skillet, the frying pan, and the oven. We must warn that using the pan, you run the risk of burning the beans and getting very uneven roasts.

If you’re one of the budget roasters – try using a popcorn machine – it’s pretty affordable.

In the beginning, however, you should use one of those devices outside or in your garage. The beans release chaff (skin of the bean) while roasting, so you need to have some mechanism in your roaster that will collect them.

Fresh Roast SR540 or SR800 is in fact a professional upgrade of the popcorn popper. This is a perfect choice for those who want to try roasting at home and don’t want to spend a fortune on the machine.

 

Connoisseurs

The second group of coffee lovers doesn’t need to dive deep or be too specific. They don’t care about the technical part – they just want a good cup of joe. 

The Gene Cafe roasters are usually a people’s choice for such aims. They are popular in the US and for a reason.

These machines manufactured in South Korea are quite versatile, look good, and last for about ten years. In addition, they are reliable, easy to use, and can help you make high-quality coffee at home. 

Coffee Geeks

The third group of people may be a bit nerdy. They want to know all the information on the roasts and dive deep into roast profiles and the capabilities of their espresso machines. They care about the evenness of the grinds, pressure profiles, and all kinds of information. 

They usually work with the roaster, which connects to Artisan or Cropster.

Artisan is free software that gives information about the different temperatures, thermocouples, and calculations such as the rate of rise (RoR), the roast development, time percentage, and much more.

With the help of profiles, you can easily save and repeat the successful roast. 

If you associate yourself with this group, go for a Hottop roaster or an elite Bullet roaster. They give you a lot of information and can work on profiles very nicely.

Capacity

How to find the perfect roaster capacity for your needs? 

The one rule of thumb – roasting machines work best at about 80 percent of their recommended maximum capacity. In this way, you’ll still have some flexibility for the heat transfer, making it faster or slower.

The minimum capacity is around one-third of the mentioned maximum.

The perfect range is between 40 and 80 percent. If you go lower, you risk burning the beans, whereas if you go higher, you have the risk of baking the beans

The questions that one can ask to find the right capacity of the roaster are:

  • How often am I going to roast?

A lot of people roast, for instance, every second weekend.

  • How much coffee do I need per week?

Do you need just one sort of coffee or different beans, for instance, one for a brew, another one for espresso.

  • Do I usually drink single-origin or coffee blends?

If you want to mix them, you’ll need to roast smaller amounts of each sort. 

Popular capacities start from 200-250 grams for home roasters and go up to 500 and even 800 grams of coffee. It’s more than enough to fulfill the need for roasted beans for one family. 

If you later want to become a professional roaster and need the machine for professional purposes, there are two ways:

  1. If you want to sell batches right away to your friends or farmer’s markets, it’s better to go for a larger machine.
  2. If you want to experiment with samples and later work with a commercial roaster or become a micro-roaster, you’ll need a smaller machine.

Weight, Smoke, and Installation

Weight

Roasting machines with capacities above one kilo are usually quite heavy. 

They’re not mobile, so they’re fixed to a specific space and usually have a particular outlet for smoke ventilation.

On the other hand, the home coffee roasters below one kilo are lightweight, usually between 5 and 10 kilos. You can use them in a coffee shop or take them outside to roast.

Weight is an important practical aspect to consider when choosing your roaster. 

Smoke and Installation

Another important aspect is how to cope with smoke. Therefore, you should decide where you will roast because your place will be full of smoky flavor.

If you have a strong vent in your kitchen – try using it. Or install a hose to your window and totally remove all the smoke from your apartment.

What you can do in addition is roast outside. Just be careful not to place your device under direct sun or in snow.

Measurement and Control

When controlling the roasting machine, in the best case, you have a separate control for the heat going to the roast and the airflow. 

In this way, you can work on the roast profiles. 

Have a look at how to control the roaster and what information the roaster manufacturer gives you before purchasing

 

Heat Source

In roasting, we usually have two different kinds of heat sources, either gas or electricity

If you are considering a gas roaster, you should be comfortable using a gas burner. Meanwhile, you can plug the machine into the standard home network and roast right away by working with electric models. 

Most of all of the home roasters work fine with the standard electricity network so you can choose any one of them. It doesn’t make much difference with such small roasting machines. 

In large production roasting, it’s usually gas that is being used because of the effectiveness of the heat transfer.

If you need to choose between convection, conduction, radiation, and other kinds of heat sources, then go for a roaster with as much convection as possible. The heat transfer with airflow helps you to roast green beans quickly and evenly.

Stay away from roasters that transfer the heat solely on conduction, like on direct contact of heat transfer. That is the same as heating beans in the pan – it just won’t give you an even roast.

Bonus Tip – Safety

Safety is often neglected in home roasting, while it’s a big issue in production roasting. 

Some machines sold in the US don’t meet the standards that would be needed to sell them in Europe, and a lot of them have to do with safety.

Even if the risk is minimal, you still have a fire risk. However, if your place is on fire or someone is harmed, your insurance will not accept any liability because you are working with a roasting machine that is forbidden to be used in your country.

You don’t need to be scared, but be aware of this when you’re looking for roasters that don’t meet your country’s safety standards.

Choosing the best home roaster can be daunting. Using these tips, you can figure out the main types of roaster machines and which one will be the right one for you. Good luck!

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