Coffee roasters and air poppers compared side by side!
(Note: this is a vintage page, and some of these machines are not the current models. But we do have most of the latest models of these home coffee roasters in stock at Sweet Maria’s! Note too that our chart didn’t transfer over so well to this new format, so the images dropped out)
There are many ways to roast coffee, from home appliances made specifically for this purpose, to simple pan roasting. Before you get started, we highly recommend checking out our Visual Guide to the Roast Process.
There are small, dedicated home roasting appliances, and we carry a number of these machines. This page, Home Roasting FAQ is a good introduction to the various models, and our Green coffee refers to the processed seed of the coffee tree fruit. Coffee is a flowering shrub that produces fruit. The seeds of the fruit are processed, roasted, ground and prepared as an infusion.: Coffee FAQ; this Roaster Comparison Chart compares the all the roasters we carry.
If you don’t want to invest in a dedicated A machine for roasting coffee. Or the person operating it! The basic requirements for a coffee roaster are a heating element that gets suitably hot and a mechanism for agitating the beans.: A mechanism for, there are some low cost options. While stovetop or oven roasting can turn green coffee brown, air popcorn poppers can actually achieve good results. Of the three, we recommend that route.
Our hope is to inspire you to roast your own coffee, not to sell you the fanciest roaster …in fact, the priciest model (the A home drum roaster with a 9oz capacity, adjustable heat and airflow profiling, and an external cooling tray.: A home drum roaster with a 9oz capacity, adjustable heat and airflow profiling, and an external cooling) is not good as a first-time roaster. The FreshRoast SR500 is a fair price for a dedicated roasting appliance, but you can’t beat the price of a hot air popcorn popper! (Especially if you already have one in the cupboard someplace). So here is our Home Coffee Roaster Comparison Chart – Tom
|Name||HotTop KN8828-Programmable||HotTop KN8828-Basic||Gene Cafe Drum Roaster||Behmor 1600|
|Batch Size||9 oz/255 grams|
(=7.65 oz/217 grams roasted)
|9 oz/255 grams|
(=7.65oz/217 grams roasted)
|8 oz/ 230 grams (=6.8 oz./190 grams roasted)||4 oz, 8 oz, or 16 oz/113, 230,or 460 grams(=3.4, 6.8, or 13.60/96, 190, or 390 grams roasted)|
|Roast Time||15 to 17 min.||15 to 17 min.||15-20 minutes||varies by weight|
|Controls||Roast time, temperature, fan speed and heater power can be changed during the roast – profiles can be saved and replayed||Roast time, temperature, fan speed and heater power can be changed during the roast||analog; two control knobs for temperature and time||4 pre-programmed roast times, 5 power level profiles|
|Roast Type: Heating Source||Electric heating element in drum area. Perforated metal drum with vanes to move coffee. 110v/750 watts||Electric heating element in drum area. Perforated metal drum with vanes to move coffee. 110v/750 watts||Transfer of heat through the bulk movement of a fluid. In the case of coffee roasting, we discuss convection in the context of heated air moving as a fluid through a roast chamber., off-axis mechanical drum agitation. Roast combines better Associated with and sensed by mouthfeel, body is sense of weight and thickness of the brew, caused by the percentage of soluble solids in the cup, including all organic compounds that are extracted from brewing of drum roasting with A euphemistic term we use often to describe acidity in coffee. A bright coffee has more high, acidic notes. : A euphemistic term to describe acidity in coffee. A bright coffee has more high, acidic of air roasting 110v, 1300 watts||mesh drum in chamber with quart halogen heating element 120v, 60 hrz, 1630 watts|
|Major Positive Features||Control features are very advanced, built in line voltage control, color LCD display, beans cool outside the drum for quick cooling, upgradable to Programmable model, very solid supportand out of warranty parts availability to keep the machine working for years.||Control features are very advanced, built in line voltage control, color LCD display, beans cool outside the drum for quick cooling, upgradable to Programmable model, very solid supportand out of warranty parts availability to keep the machine working for years.||The roast is easy to observe, and the controls make it easy to modify; change the roast time or roast temperature any time you like, and as much as you like. It features an oversized Chaff is paper-like skin that comes off the coffee in the roasting process. Chaff from roasting is part of the innermost skin (the silverskin) of the coffee fruit that still cling to the beans after collector that can deal with the most chaff-laden coffees.||Only home machine that actually does roast a full pound, affordable price, some smoke reduction, self-cleaning cycle|
|Major Negative Features||Expensive/More difficult to clean than other roasters.||Expensive/More difficult to clean than other roasters||Cooling is not as rapid or as effective as in HotTop. You need to stop roasts a tad short of where you want it to end up. Fairly new machine, introduced to US market April 2006||Limited use for dark roasts beyond 20 seconds into After First Crack, a roast reaction around 440 to 450 degrees that is distinguished by a snapping sound. Second Crack is the second audible clue the roaster-operator receives about the degree-of-roast, following First Crack. Whereas, not for use with small beans and heavily chaffed coffees, limited visibility|
|Name||FreshRoast SR500||Nesco Home Coffee Roaster||Stovetop Popcorn Popper (Whirley Pop)||West Bend Air Crazy|
|Batch Size||4 oz/ 90 grams (=3.5 oz/78 grams roasted)||5 oz/140 grams|
4 oz/ 90 grams dark roast (=3.4 oz/95 grams roasted)
|8 oz+, 225+ grams (= 6.8 oz/190 grams roasted)||3 oz/ 85 grams|
|Roast Time||4-8 minutes||18-30 minutes||10+ minutes||6-11 minutes|
|Controls||dial to adjust fan adjust fan speed. switch to set heat at high/,medium/low, digital timer||digital: roast setting numbers||No timer, can control heat||No control over heat|
|Roast Type: Heating Source||Fluid Bed Air Roaster: Electric Element, some control over heat and air flow, manual, not programmable|
|Screw-drive agitator in glass chamber -convective/conductive roast, no Roast Profile refers to the relationship between time and temperature in coffee roasting, with the endpoint being the "degree of roast". Roast profiling is the active manipulation of the "roast curve" or graphed plot of 110v||100% The transfer of heat between matter. In coffee, conduction heating is contrasted with convection heating, which occurs in a moving fluid. roasting with manual agitation||Fluid bed, very fluid…110v, wattage varies from model to model|
|Major Positive Features||Quietest air roaster, Roast easily visible,|
Fast, Very simple and fairly reliable
|Smoke-neutralizing catalytic converter is very effective, agitator very effective, innovative design, quiet. It produces a full bodied roast. It is very good for targeting lighter City roasts||Inexpensive way to roast 1/2 lb of coffee.||Inexpensive! Great roast results. Can pick up any popper at thrift store see details here|
|Major Negative Features||Roast not terribly even in first stages, best results obtained by manual stirring. Controls on heat and air flow are basic but serviceable. Some coasting as beans cool in the roast chamber. Like other air roasters, roast can be much effected by ambient air temp. and voltage||It produces a full bodied roast, but there is a middle range of the cup profile that is missing in the darker roasts, Full City+ roast is an ideal roast level that occurs roughly between 425 and 435 degrees Fahrenheit in many coffee roasters with a responsive bean probe where First Crack starts in the 395 to 405 degree and darker. The extreme delay between 1st and second An audible popping sound heard during roasting. In coffee, one refers to "first crack" and "second crack," which come from two different classes of chemical reactions.: An audible popping sound heard during roasting. In coffee, and the ineffective cooling cycle might be the problem. This machine was formerly known as the Zach and Dany’s roaster||Fully manual, standing at the stove and cranking for 10+ minutes: no cooling, just a tad dangerous. More uneven roast results and more difficult (i.e. easier to have bad results) than other methods. Cranks can wear out over time, especially if you roast over a flame that is too hot. Keep roast temperature moderate and shoot for a 7-9 minute City roast is what we define as the earliest palatable stage that the roast process can be stopped and result in good quality coffee. City roast occurs roughly between 415 and 425 degrees Fahrenheit in.||Fully manual, no cooling, just a tad dangerous Be sure you use the right type of popper! . Like other air roasters, roast can be much effected by ambient air temp. and voltage|
*Note on life expectancy – The small machines come with a one year warranty and generally can be expected to last about 2 years – depending on a number of factors: how often you roast, how dark you roast (darker, oilier roasts lead to more build up that can clog parts and shorten machine life), and how clean you keep the top screens and clean the air vents.