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Coffee roasting is the process of chemical and physical transformation of green coffee beans into roasted coffee products. The roasting gives coffee its specific aromatic complexity by triggering a change in the taste of the green coffee beans.
Most coffee is roasted on a large scale, however, nowadays; roasting on a small-scale and roasting at home have been growing exponentially. What is particularly attractive about roasting your own coffee at home is the ability to experiment with the beans’ flavor and the fact that you always have a batch of fresh coffee at hand.
The Benefits of Home Roasting
As previously mentioned, a lot of people prefer to roast their own coffee instead of buying store-bought, pre-roasted variants. This practice has a certain economic advantage as well, but it is mostly chosen because it enables the consumer to control the quality and properties of the final product.
Therefore, if you have decided to start making your own coffee and to always enjoy a fresh cup of it, you should definitely take into consideration some important factors before you buy a roasting appliance. Make sure it suits your budget and personal preferences first.
Equipment for Roasting Coffee
There are several roasting methods that you should be aware of. For example, there are some DIY ones like oven roasting, skillet roasting, using a popcorn popper, etc., or more professional approaches as well, i.e. roasting with a quality coffee roasting machine. When looking for a commercial roaster, you should consider the amount of coffee you drink, how dark you want the coffee to roast, and how much money you can spend.
Though the DIY methods are a great way for beginners in coffee roasting to familiarize themselves with the roasting process, genuine and experienced coffee lovers usually opt for the roasting appliances because they come with built-in timers, easy cleaning possibilities, and temperature and air flow control, as well as smoke suppression.
It is important to note that there are two primary types of roasting, that is, drum and fluid bed roasting systems.
The former types of roasters are considered to be the most widely used and the most economical ones. They have a simple design and work great, except in extreme conditions when they can be prone to temperature variability within the drum, which could cause tipping and scorching. This happens if excessive heat is applied or due to high speed of the rotating drum that transfers the heat on a section of the beans.
The latter variant is based on an entirely different system of roasting comprised of a tall cylinder which permits hot air flows through a chamber that enables an equal heat distribution. They work on convection for delivering heat and offer a lot of benefits like easy cleanup, less time for roasting, and uniformity of the final product.
The best Coffee bean Roasters That Can Be Purchased on Amazon
The Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Roaster by Nuvo is 100 percent ceramic and it has a nice brown color. The body is made of ceramic whereas the grip is of genuine cowhide leather. This is the ideal roaster for eco-friendly and minimalist individuals. For the price of $34.50, you get your own coffee roaster with a waffle-shaped internal structure that provides equivalent roasting and you will certainly enjoy the soothing popping sound coming from the rear hole of the grip.
The cowhide leather protects from burning the hands at high temperatures, but it also contributes to the eye-catching design of the roaster. The ceramics elevates the product’s durability while the thermal conductivity passes onto the beans. What is also great about this appliance is that you can carry it to your camping trips and enjoy the aroma of fresh coffee in the woods or mountain.
However, what some customers dislike about this roaster is the shortness of the handle that can be overly hot for the hands, even when used with an oven mitt. Also, this roaster requires a stove or an open flame so that you can do the roasting.
The SR500 Automatic Coffee Roaster by FreshRoast is a fluid bed air roaster with heat and fan speed adjustments, a timer, a glass roasting chamber for bigger visibility, and a chaff collector that simplifies the cleaning process. At the price of $179, this roaster is a long-term and smart investment for those who are able to spend a bit more. Though the machine does not have a smoke reduction option, the machine’s top slows down the smoke flow so roasting under the oven’s hood fan will remove most of the smoke. The fan is really quiet and the interface is more intuitive than that of earlier models.
Nonetheless, some customers question the durability of this appliance, if we take into consideration that it is among the more expensive electrical roasters and it should perform optimally. However, according to a review of a concerned customer, after only 6 months of usage, the timing mechanism reduced and a minute on the roaster lasted only 28 seconds. Another negative characteristic is that the top cap is rather fragile and can easily fall off, as well as the roasting chamber, which could lead to breakage and permanent damage.
The 1600 Plus Customizable Drum Roaster by Behmor, Inc. comes with a smoke suppression technology and you can roast up to a pound of coffee at a time. This $329 drum roaster is based on 5 pre-programmed roast profiles, however, there is a manual options as well, which enables the user to regulate the speed of the drum and the temperature. The suppression technology makes this appliance safe for indoor usage while the removable chaff tray and drum make each cleaning effortless. The interior is lighted and it helps the user see the roasting process better through the glassy part and there is an automatic cooling cycle as well.
Nevertheless, this home roaster was not designed for the roasting of Italian, Vienna, French, or darker beans and it is described as ‘weak’ by some users because it is rated for 1 lb, but it stays below 8 oz. Other users are particularly disappointed by having to stand by the machine throughout the entire process since if you are not there after 75 percent of the roast time, the machine goes into error mode and you end up losing coffee.
Final Thoughts on Choosing a Quality and Affordable Coffee Roaster
To conclude, if you are looking for a luxurious roaster and a roaster that will enable you to produce up to a pound of coffee, you should opt for the Behmor appliance. In case you cannot afford to spend a lot on this type of electrical machine, but you still want to have fresh coffee at all occasions, the roaster by Nuvo is an easily-affordable and has superb roasting properties. If you are looking for a quality fluid bed air roaster, the one by FreshRoast will do the job perfectly. Though it does not come with a smoke suppression option like the Behmor one, the numerous other advantages it offers make up for this.
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