Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster Review

Roast coffee beans quick, evenly, and with little effort

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4.5

Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster

fresh-roast-coffee-roaster-hero

The Spruce Eats / Cheyenne Elwell

What We Like
  • Quick and consistent results

  • Adjustable settings

  • Slim design

  • Fun to watch

What We Don't Like
  • Few instructions

  • Chaff collector is flawed

  • Small capacity

Bottom Line

The Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster is a wonderful way to get into home coffee roasting. It’s easy to use and customize, and it produces consistent and even roasts.

4.5

Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster

fresh-roast-coffee-roaster-hero

The Spruce Eats / Cheyenne Elwell

We purchased the Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.

If you want to up your at-home coffee game to a whole new level, you can learn to roast your own coffee beans. Home coffee roasting not only saves you money (as green beans are often less expensive than roasted coffee beans), but it also ensures you the freshest beans possible. The Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster is one at-home roaster that has received excellent reviews, and I was able to test it out for several weeks to evaluate its design, performance, setup, and ease of use. Keep reading to see what I found. 

fresh-roast-coffee-roaster-beans

The Spruce Eats / Cheyenne Elwell

Design: Slim, simple, but lacking in style

The Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster boasts a slim design that mimics that of a modern-day blender. It has an electric base, a glass chamber that lives inside of the base, and a lid that sits on top of the glass chamber. In this case, the lid consists of a chaff basket and a top cap. It measures 14.4 x 18.4 x 8 inches and weighs about 5 pounds. This size allowed me to easily store it in my cabinets, which is a nice convenience since it’s not an item I use every day. 

There is a dial on the base to control the fan, heat, and timer along with an LCD screen that displays the fan, heat, and timer levels. In addition, there is an “On/Off” button and a “Run/Cool” button. The control panel is very easy to navigate because it’s so simple and consists of so few buttons. The LCD screen is a little outdated, but still easy enough to read. 

The moment I pressed start, I watched the green beans transform before my eyes from green to gold to brown.

In terms of aesthetics, I have to be honest in that I found that it’s quite lacking in style. The lid and base are black and the LCD screen lights up in red. This roaster is definitely more utilitarian than anything. It looks quite outdated compared to the rest of my home kitchen appliances. 

Setup Process: Few instructions to go off of

The Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster isn’t necessarily difficult to use, but because there are few instructions included with this product, the setup was somewhat frustrating. It took some guesswork to figure out how to properly assemble the roaster due to the limited instructions. Plus, none of the pieces really lock in place, so I had to hope for the best upon first use. I ended up assembling the roaster based on the illustration included in the instruction guide. 

After I assembled the roaster, I wiped the inside and outside of the glass chamber with a damp cloth, and it was ready for use. Next, I put my 4 ounces of green coffee beans into the glass chamber and placed the lid on top. I turned the machine on and just used the factory settings for the fan, heat, and timer. Then, I pressed start, and the machine did the rest. The “Run/Cool” button can be used in the middle of a cycle to stop it early if the beans have started getting too dark. If not pressed, the machine will enter the cooling phase automatically and shut off by itself. 

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The Spruce Eats / Cheyenne Elwell

Performance: Fun to watch and fast results

The Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster is a delight to use and watch. The moment I pressed start, I watched the green beans transform before my eyes from green to gold to brown. It was also so easy to use even when I made my first batch of coffee beans. I ended up going with the factory settings the first time because I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out. I got lucky because these settings actually perfectly roasted my green beans to my desired roast level (medium). However, each roast after that I needed to adjust the settings during the roasting session based on the color of the beans. Since the glass chamber is clear, I was able to view when the beans started to reach the roast I was aiming for each cycle.  

If you’re looking to up your at-home coffee game, the Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster is a fun and easy way to go about it.

This roaster includes nine levels of fan and heat settings. There is also a real-time temperature readout during the roasting session. I used this roaster a number of times trying out the different settings and was so impressed with the results. The roasted coffee beans were very consistent in terms of color, which is important when it comes to roasting, and it was so quick. The entire process takes about 15 minutes including the cooling phase. 

Additionally, this machine also attempts to collect the chaff in the chaff collector at the top of the machine. The chaff is the outer layer husk of the coffee bean that comes off when roasting. However, this piece didn’t work perfectly, as I still needed to sift through my beans afterward to remove the chaff manually. Another downside is that this roaster can only roast up to 4 ounces at a time, which isn’t a lot of coffee. I wished that it could roast more at a time. As an avid coffee drinker, this amount lasted me about one week or less. 

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The Spruce Eats / Cheyenne Elwell

Ease of Cleaning: It can get messy if you’re not careful 

In terms of cleaning, the Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster isn’t too difficult to maintain. Some chaff lands on the lid during a roast, but it just requires a quick wipe after the roaster cools down.

The chaff collector on top must also be removed from the machine and emptied after each roast. In emptying it, be careful not to spill, otherwise there will be much more to clean up as the chaff can easily go everywhere. The top cap screen must also be cleaned after each use. I wiped the glass chamber after each use, too. 

Price: Worth every penny

Home roasters can get to be very expensive and extravagant, but the Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster retails for around $189. Being that it’s an electric roaster, this is actually a great price, and it’s worth every penny. Once you get the hang of it, you can enjoy freshly roasted coffee regularly at home.

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The Spruce Eats / Cheyenne Elwell

Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster vs. MIFXIN Home Coffee Roaster Machine

MIFXIN Home Coffee Roaster Machine: The MIFXIN Home Coffee Roaster Machine is another home coffee roaster. It retails for around $118 and has the ability to roast much more coffee than the Fresh Roast—equivalent to 1.5 pounds. However, this roaster bakes the beans, which takes considerably longer than the Fresh Roast. It can take upwards of 30 minutes per batch, whereas the Fresh Roast takes only about 10 to 15 minutes per 4-ounce batch.

If speed is your game, go for the Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster. If you want the ability to roast more beans at one time, then the MIFXIN Home Coffee Roaster Machine may be in your best interest. 

Final Verdict

Buy it for the freshest of beans.

If you’re looking to up your at-home coffee game, the Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster is a fun and easy way to go about it. For a fairly reasonable investment, you can start enjoying the freshest of coffee beans in no time. This is a great buy you won’t want to miss out on.

Specs

  • Product Name Coffee Roaster
  • Product Brand Fresh Roast
  • Price $189
  • Weight 5.84 lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 8 x 18.4 x 14.4 in.
  • Color Black
  • Power (Watts) 1750
  • Voltage 120V
  • Warranty 1 year, limited
  • What's Included Top cap, chaff basket, glass roasting chamber, and base unit