Roasts beans evenly and consistently
Easy to use once process is learned
Minimal cleaning needed
Small yield for a large machine
Stainless steel gets really hot
Instructions are difficult to understand
We bought the Kaldi Motorized Home Coffee Roaster so our reviewer could try it out herself at home. Keep reading for our entire product review.
Although it may seem daunting at first, home coffee roasting is something almost anyone can try. If you're an avid coffee drinker, imagine all of the bucks you could save by having this installment in your kitchen instead of making daily morning runs.
Home coffee roasters can create some of the richest coffee brews. I opted to taste-test the Kaldi Motorized Home Coffee Roaster to see if it could do just that. After many trials with my coffee beans, here's what I found.
Design: Durable, but takes up space
The Kaldi Motorized Home Coffee Roaster is a no-frills roaster that’s large and quite awkwardly and asymmetrically shaped. This size and shape were most inconvenient when it came time to store it; I had a hard time finding a spot for it in my cupboard. It’s also not something to leave out on the counter because of its utilitarian design—a major drawback in my book.
It boasts a stainless steel body along with a stainless steel hopper and chaff tray, both of which are detachable.
However, you may find that the roaster somewhat makes up for its simple design with its sturdy and well-made construction. It boasts a stainless steel body along with a stainless steel hopper and chaff tray, both of which are detachable. The motor lives on the back of the machine underneath the power switch and power jack. There is a wood handle at the top for easy transport. In short: You'll find functionality and convenience that can stand up to much use in your kitchen.
The Kaldi Motorized Home Coffee Roaster also comes with several accessories, including a thermometer, adapter, and a probe rod that can be used to check on the beans during a roast.
Setup Process: Intimidating
The lack of instructions and the roaster's many unrecognizable parts made the setup process quite a headache. The user manual unfortunately lacked clarity. The directions were very brief, and there were a number of typos that made them incredibly difficult to follow. I ended up having to do additional online research to figure out the proper setup.
For first-time use, I attached the adapter to the machine’s power jack. I made sure the power switch was off before plugging it into the outlet. I placed the roaster on my gas stove, then attached the hopper and the chaff tray to the machine (this roaster requires the use of a gas burner, which is not included). I then turned the machine on and put the burner on medium-low heat.
The drum did an excellent job of producing uniform and consistent roasts—which can often be a challenge when roasting at home.
While the machine warmed up for about five minutes, I added green coffee beans to the hopper. I then removed the hopper and placed the thermometer into the drum area to track the temperature of the beans throughout the roast. The machine essentially did the rest of the work; I just had to listen to the beans until I heard the first crack. Immediately afterward, I turned off the machine and poured the beans out of the machine to prevent them from roasting further.
It should be noted that this roaster should ideally be used outside to get enough ventilation. I used it inside for testing, which worked fine, but I made sure to keep the front door open during the process.
Performance: Even roasts and quick results
Despite my issues with the roaster's setup, I had few complaints about its performance. The drum did an excellent job of producing uniform and consistent roasts—which can often be a challenge when roasting at home. In fact, I was very impressed with the caliber of the roasts each time. Plus, the entire roasting process takes about 15 minutes, at most.
Despite my issues with the roaster's setup, I had few complaints about its performance. ... I enjoyed how easy it was to use after I figured it out.
What’s also great about this coffee roaster is that it’s highly adjustable. Having to use it on a gas burner allows you more control over the temperature throughout the roast. I also enjoyed how easy it was to use after I figured it out: Essentially, it comes down to just turning the machine on, adding the beans, and letting the roaster do the rest. Of course, I needed to check the beans and temperature during the roast to make sure they weren’t over-roasting, but it was mostly a hands-off experience.
Ease of Cleaning: Not much to clean
I liked that there isn’t too much to clean after a roasting session other than the standard remains. The chaff tray collects some (but not all) of the chaff from the beans, which has to be dumped after each roast. Additionally, the entire machine needs to be wiped down after each use with a dry cloth.
The included instructions also recommend cleaning the drum inside the machine to keep it in good condition; this requires disassembly of the roaster.
Considering it’s basically a mini version of a professional roaster, the price really isn’t that bad for a top-tier home roaster that can evenly roast every time.
Price: On the higher end
While considerably lower in price than a professional roaster, the Kaldi Motorized Home Coffee Roaster retails at around $540. This is on the higher end for an at-home coffee roaster. However, considering it’s basically a mini version of a professional roaster, the price really isn’t that bad for a top-tier home roaster that can evenly roast every time.
However, one thing I didn’t like about this coffee roaster is that it gets very hot. This became especially inconvenient when I needed to remove the roaster from the burner and dump the beans out; make sure to use oven mitts when handling. Another downside is that this machine can only roast about 9 ounces of coffee beans per batch. This was surprising because I expected a much larger yield, considering the size of the machine.
Kaldi Motorized Home Coffee Roaster vs. Fresh Roast Coffee Roaster
The Fresh Roast Coffee Roaster is another roaster that allows users to roast green beans at home (view at Amazon). It's smaller and offers a more stylish design than the Kaldi Motorized Home Coffee Roaster. There are a number of customizations as well, which can be controlled by the LCD screen.
The main difference between the Kaldi and the Fresh Roast is in the way each roasts the coffee. The Fresh Roast resembles a popcorn maker and can be plugged into an outlet; the Kaldi requires an outlet and a gas burner. The Kaldi also uses a drum as traditional professional roasters do, so it is a true deal.
It comes down to how serious you are about home roasting. The Kaldi is for someone who is more invested in home coffee roasting and wants to get a very similar experience to professional roasting. The Fresh Roast Coffee Roaster is much simpler and more compact—and it’s much less of an investment.
Buy it if you’re really invested in home roasting.
If you are someone who is seriously committed to the craft of home coffee roasting, the Kaldi Motorized Home Coffee Roaster is your machine. Though there are less expensive home roasters, you'll get the even taste of professionally roasted coffee—at a fraction of the price.
- Product Name Motorized Home Coffee Roaster
- Product Brand Kaldi
- Price $498.99
- Weight 14.6 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 14.1 x 8.0 x 22.1 in.
- Material Stainless steel
- Capacity 7 ounces
- Voltage 12V / 6 W
- Warranty One year, limited
- What's Included Main body, hopper, volt adapter, thermometer, probe rod, and chaff holder