How to Choose a Home Roaster for roasting Coffee?

The taste of coffee depends on the method of roasting. Once the grains were roasted on a regular baking sheet in the oven, determining the degree of readiness by the characteristic crackle. But today, coffee lovers prefer roaster: having such a device, it is more convenient to experiment with time and temperature, it is easier to achieve even roasting.

Grain Roasting Methods:

There are 3 ways to heat the grains:

  • Conduction – heating the grains when the hot walls of the drum are touched. If the conduction is moderate, the taste of the drink will be thick and sweet. But with excessive conduction of grain burned;
  • Convection is a milder way of heating coffee due to the flow of hot air. The taste of the drink will be clean, bright, with moderate sourness. But if the grains are subjected to convection for too long, they will dry out, the drink will become hollow;
  • Thermal radiation – heating the grains with heat, which is emitted by the walls of the roaster (without touching). This is the softest method of roasting, but it is difficult to regulate the level of radiation.

Types of Roasters

Classification of roasters by type:

  • Drum – devices with a drum, which rotates around an axis lying in a horizontal plane. Approximately 50% of the heating occurs due to convection, up to 30% due to conduction, the rest due to radiation;
  • Convection – roasters, where the grain heats up a stream of hot air;
  • Mixed roasters are devices with an unwieldy drum. Grains are mixed blades located inside it and rotating around a vertical axis.

Drum roasters are the most common. The capacity of industrial devices reaches several centners, small roasting companies acquire roasters for 20–50 kg. In the cafe, models for roasting 1–5 are installed, sometimes 5–10 kg.

Drum Roaster
Drum roaster

For home needs, it is better to buy mini roasters that can fry 60–300 g of grains at a time. When choosing a roaster, you need to take into account that the maximum shelf life of roasted grains is 2 weeks.

Convection roasters roast coffee faster than drum roasters. But large volumes of grains in such devices fry uncomfortable.

In mixed-type devices, up to 70% of the heating occurs due to convection. These devices have all the advantages of drum and convection roasters, but without their drawbacks.

Convection Roaster
Convection Roaster

Most models are heated by gas or electricity. But industrial coffee roasters can also be dielectric (the roasting of beans is performed using microwave radiation, like in a microwave) and infrared.

Choosing a roaster for home

Until recently, so-called sample roasters, intended for roasting small amounts of grains, were used mainly in industry. With their help, determined whether to purchase a particular batch of coffee. Sample roasters do not require high precision roasting. But these devices are mainly used by professional obzharschiki: for the home, the sample models are too expensive, and their productivity is excessively high.

The need for mini-devices designed for roasting 60–300 g of coffee arose as the popularity of the barista championships increased. Roasters were equipped with control panels that allow you to accurately set the temperature and time of roasting. Many coffee lovers from buying a home mini-roaster meanwhile are still holding a high price: even the simplest models cost about 300–400 $.

Sample Roaster
Sample Roaster

Coffee roasters for the house are gas and electric. The most common drum models . The main part of this device is a rotating cylindrical drum. Inside it are installed the blades mixing the grains. Coffee in the drum fall asleep through the hopper.

When roasting coffee, garbage is always formed from pieces of husk. So that the mote is not burning, there is a forced ventilation system in the drum. The stream of hot air created with the help of a gas burner passes through the grains, heats them, picks up light trash particles and goes into the ventilation pipe (garbage enters a special tray). In the roaster there is a window that allows you to monitor the state of the grains.

Coffee Roasting
The device of the drum roaster:
1 – drum with blades inside;
2 – feed hopper;
3 – capacity for cooling;
4 – burner;
5 – ventilation pipe;
6 – forced ventilation system.

Under normal conditions, the roasting process lasts a few more minutes after turning off the power source. To prevent this from happening, a capacity for cooling the grain is provided in the roaster. In it, the coffee is stirred and blown with cold air. Roasting lasts 12–20 minutes, cooling – 5 minutes.

Gas roasters

Roasters with an electric motor and a gas burner are more economical than electric: gas is cheaper than electricity. It is believed that with careful operation of the burner will last up to 30 years (although no one guarantees that during this time the engine will not break). There are models that can work on both natural gas and propane or butane.

However, to manage a gas roaster requires some experience. The fact is that when coffee is heated, moisture is released, which reduces the grain temperature (ROR – Rate Of Rise). Especially intense moisture release occurs at the time of the first cod (crack). Accordingly, the temperature of the grain decreases sharply. In a gas roaster, it is difficult to achieve a gradual decrease and the same gradual increase in the temperature of the grains.

When choosing a gas roaster should be preferred models with a double drum. In them, the grains are heated more evenly, and the fall and rise in temperature occurs more smoothly than in devices with a single drum.

Electric roasters

Electric roaster is heated by heating elements. The average lifetime of the heating element is 5–6 years. The grains in electric roosters are roasted evenly, the temperature can be reduced and increased smoothly. However, sudden changes in temperature are difficult to achieve, so some models are considered less manageable than gas analogues.

Modern roasters can both be operated manually or run programs with roasting profiles. Profiles are provided for a French press , filter coffee makers and other methods of roasting.

In the kitchen, the roaster must be installed in the immediate vicinity of the hood.

The most popular manufacturers of home roasters:

  • Fresh Roast (performance – from 60 g);
  • Hottop (250–500 g);
  • Gene (model Gene CBR101 – performance 250 g).
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