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Home coffee roasting is a terrific way to ensure fresh beans for your daily cup of joe—and if there’s one thing coffee lovers agree on, it’s that fresher means better. Experts say coffee beans are best used between two to 14 days after roasting. Any longer than that and the coffee will degas too much and lose flavor.
Roaster options are fairly limited, especially compared to other coffee-related appliances like grinders and milk frothers, but the process itself is simple and takes just minutes. The two main kinds of rosters are manual and automatic, both of which are covered on this list. The former is more affordable but likely has a smaller capacity; the latter is easier to use and typically includes electric or gas devices.
For fresh, ready-to-grind beans, here are the best home coffee roasters.
Best Overall: Kaldi Motorized Home Coffee Roaster
Easy to use
Thorough and even roast
Exterior gets hot
Subpar chaff collector
This roaster delivers the look, feel, and final product of a coffeehouse-worthy machine. It will transform your at-home coffee experience, unearthing the optimal flavor notes in every batch of beans.
A high price tag makes the item a long-term investment, but the features and performance are worthwhile. The stirring drum holds up to 250 grams of coffee beans, though 200 grams is the recommended amount per batch. Fully motorized, all you have to do is place the roaster over a gas burner for heat to be evenly and thoroughly distributed across the raw coffee beans. Other features include an easy-to-read thermometer, a probe rod, and a reliable chaff holder. If this machine isn't quite the right fit, measuring 14.1 x 8 x 22.1 inches, Kaldi also manufactures a high-quality mini roaster that is smaller in size and slightly cheaper.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Fresh Roast SR540 Coffee Roaster
Easy to clean
Subpar chaff collector
The Fresh Roast SR540 turns raw coffee into a delicious, ready-to-brew batch of beans, and the whole process takes just 10 minutes. Simply turn a knob to select between nine levels of heat and hit go. The item is easy to use, yet it comes with a few advanced features, like a real-time temperature reader and the ability to cool beans once they're finished roasting.
Depending on your coffee-roasting needs, however, the size of the product might be a considerable drawback. It holds just 4 ounces coffee beans, which works great for personal use but may be a bit small if you want to roast a lot of beans at once. Aside from that, the Fresh Roast SR540 is highly reviewed, affordably priced, and a great way to upgrade your at-home coffee.
"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." — Cheyenne Elwell, Product Tester
Best Budget: Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster
Easy to use
Value for money
Great for beginners
No instructions included
Nuvo's ceramic coffee bean roaster lets users make coffee via the old-school fire-roasting process. All you have to do is place the item over a gas stove, camp fire, or electric cooktop for an average of 15 minutes (though times do vary) to produce richly roasted coffee beans. Be aware that it is not compatible with induction cooktops, however. The manual, handheld item can roast up to 70 grams of beans at once; this is a smaller capacity than most electric roasters but still enough to brew several cups of coffee afterward.
The ceramic material has good thermal conductivity to roast the beans properly. While the grip does protect your hands, it’s wise to wear gloves while using. The hot roaster should not be placed on a cold surface or immersed in water. Even though it's a serious tool, the item is attractive enough to use as a décor item when it’s not roasting beans, so you can leave it on display rather than hiding it in the pantry. Plus, it comes at a budget price.
Best Large Capacity: Mixfin Home Coffee Roaster Machine
No stovetop required
Manually stir while roasting
No chaff collector
Mixfin's Home Coffee Roaster not only has one of the largest bean capacities you can find, it's also one of the most affordably priced machines out there. It holds a whopping 750 grams—roughly 1.6 pounds—of your favorite coffee beans. Customers give the item especially high marks in durability and value for money, suggesting that it's a sound long-term investment for coffee lovers who want to craft their favorite caffeinated drink from step one.
This roaster is also extremely user friendly. The inside is lined with non-stick material for easy cleaning, and it's simple to adjust the temperature thanks to a dial that goes from 0 to 240 degrees. Flip the switch and in just 30 minutes you'll have rich, home-roasted coffee beans—or, as an extra perk, you can roast various nuts.
Best Splurge: Sandbox Smart R1 Coffee Roaster
Controlled via Bluetooth app
Slight learning curve
Fairly small capacity
One of the most advanced coffee roasters designed for home use is the Sandbox Smart R1 Roaster. The sleek square device is controlled by Bluetooth and an easy-to-use app. After downloading the app to your phone or tablet, simply select between a light, medium, or dark roast; users can then make adjustments during the roasting process, like changing the fan speed, drum speed, and temperature. The app also tracks roast history should you ever want to look back at your ideal specs.
The many features and settings might require a slight learning curve, and it could take a few batches to figure our your preferences, but once you get the hang of it the high-tech elements will be a delight. There are two main drawbacks to consider before purchasing, though. First, the R1 Roaster comes with an extremely high price tag. Second, it has a somewhat small capacity, only capable of holding up to 100 grams of coffee per roast. Overall, however, this is a cutting-edge machine that will turn coffee lovers into at-home coffee experts.
Best Design: Dyvee Gas Coffee Roasting Machine
Can see beans while roasting
Even bean coverage
Slow roast time
This sleek, lightweight roaster only needs to be placed over a gas stove to get your morning coffee started. It's primarily made of stainless steel, but the drum is made of sturdy quartz glass, which lets you see the beans change color as they roast. A wooden handle provides an elegant touch as well.
The roasting process for this item is more hands-on than that of electric models, but it gets the job done nonetheless. As a silver lining, the manual turning offers more control over the beans. It has a fairly large capacity, holding up to 400 grams of coffee beans, but 200 to 300 grams per batch is recommended for optimal use.
Keep in mind that the purchase does not include a gas burner, even though one is featured in photographs. Customers also recommend outside use, as this roaster can get smoky.
Best Handheld: Cafemasy Coffee Bean Roasting Net
Great for beginners
Easy to clean
Coffee lovers looking for a simple and affordable home roaster should check out Cafemasy's Coffee Bean Roasting Net. The item requires more hands-on effort than higher-tech options, but usage is very straightforward and only takes around 10 minutes per batch. Plus, it's a great way for beginners to learn about coffee roasting.
It's recommended to roast over open-flame burners and to consistently shake the beans during the process to avoid burning them. The bottom of the basket is grooved to help beans turn over and change position more easily. While the item can hold up to 100 grams of coffee beans, the brand says the ideal amount per batch is only 50 grams. As a result, it takes a few roasting sessions to prepare enough beans for a full pot of coffee—although, this is a sufficient amount for non-electric brewing devices.
Best Alternative Roaster: Wabash Valley Farms Whirley Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper
Easy to use
One of the worst-kept secrets among home coffee roasters is that some popcorn poppers can also be used for roasting coffee. This stovetop popper won’t offer you temperature control or smoke suppression, but it’s a dual-use item that does the job well.
Since you can’t control the smoke, you should use this outdoors for coffee roasting or have an open window and a fan ready to remove the smoke and odor. Stir the beans constantly to ensure even roasting and listen for the popping sounds to gauge the roasting stages. Since coffee beans don’t fly around like popcorn, you can open the lid towards the end of the roasting time to judge the roasting color. You can roast about 1 cup of beans per batch in this popper.
The Kaldi Motorized Home Roaster (view at Amazon) is a professional-quality device that lets users transform raw coffee into rich, ready-to-brew beans right from home. It's a little expensive, but the price truly falls somewhere in the middle of at-home roasters. For a true bargain, customers should turn to the handheld Nuvo Ceramic Roaster (view at Amazon).
What to Look for in a Coffee Roaster
Is coffee roasting going to be an occasional hobby or a new passion? Most home roasters are designed to roast small amounts of coffee, but it’s a good idea to consider how often you want to roast and the volume of beans you plan to roast at a time.
Manual or Automatic
From fully manual to fully automatic, you can find a coffee roaster that fits your needs. Fully automatic machines make roasting easier but are more expensive, while manual machines are more budget-friendly but require constant attention during the roasting time.
Coffee roasting produces quite a bit of smoke, no matter what method you use. If you’re going to be using your roaster outdoors, the smoke shouldn’t be a problem, but if you prefer to do the roasting in your kitchen, it might be wise to pick one with a smoke suppression system. You should also consider whether you can position your roaster near a window or under a vent fan.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a freelance food writer who specializes in product reviews and recipes. Her work has appeared on Serious Eats, Fine Cooking, and her own recipe blog, Cookistry.com. She's also the author of "Make Ahead Bread" (view at Amazon), a cookbook meant to simplify the bread-baking process.
This piece was edited by Derek Rose, the coffee and tea expert for The Spruce Eats. He researches a variety of coffee products, from measuring scoops to commercial espresso machines, and interviews field experts for their insight. He typically uses non-electric coffee makers at home, alternating between the Bialetti Moka Express (view at Amazon) and the Bodum Brazil French Press (view at Amazon).