Review on Home Coffee Roasters
A Home Coffee Roaster can help you make coffee the way you like it. Coffee beans are green before they are roasted. It fascinates me how a hard, odorless, flavorless, green bean can be turned into something so deliciously aromatic and tasteful merely by roasting it. There is such a huge variety of coffee on the market. The way the coffee is roasted can vary from extremely light, to medium-dark, to coal black and anything in between. The fact is, no two gourmet coffee drinkers prefer it exactly the same way. Yet, we certainly spend a lot of money on coffee trying to match our tastes. Then, when we finally believe we’ve found that perfect coffee – the one variety or brand that we like better than all others, we get curious and wonder what it would be like to try something new? Inevitably, we waste money buying coffee we don’t like before we find another one that matches our preference. It’s a never-ending process that makes me wonder: We mix our own drinks, make our own beer and wine, cook, fry, boil and roast our food. Why don’t we do the same with our coffee? There are three reasons to consider your own roaster.
- Flavor and Freshness
Coffee beans don’t lose their freshness until they are roasted. In their original green state, coffee beans are sometimes even aged on purpose to bring out the complexities of their flavor, but once they are roasted, the flavor of coffee beans can only degrade over time. I usually keep my Starbucks Roasted Coffee beans in an air-tight container to insure they are as fresh as possible when I use them. Nothing smells better than a newly opened bag of roasted Sumatra, Kenyan or Zimbabwe Coffee Beans. By using your own roaster, you are guaranteed the freshest coffee possible.
- Low Acid Coffee
One of the reasons I prefer a Darker Roast Coffee is for its reduced acid. Dark-roasted coffee tends to be less acidic. I assume this is because the acidity is lost in the roasting process. My tastes have changed. I used to prefer a lighter roast coffee. Years ago, I bought my own home coffee roaster because I didn’t like how dark the coffee beans were at most of the coffee shops. I think when I was younger I must have preferred the tanginess from the higher-acid, light roast coffees. While, I don’t care for the overly smoky French Roast coffees, I really do prefer the darker roasts at Starbucks. If you want to be sure you’re getting a Low Acid Coffee, buy low acid green coffee beans and roast the coffee so it is quite dark, defeating the purpose of a home roasting machine.
3. Green Coffee Beans are Cheaper
Having a gourmet coffee addiction is very expensive – much more expensive than a home coffee roaster. It is the quality roasting service that you are paying for. You can find green coffee beans in the varieties you like for about 40% – 50% less. You may even be able to find green coffee beans for less than that if you buy them in large bulk quantities. If you have a gourmet coffee habit, you can definitely save money with your own roaster. The key is to find the right one.
Don’t go too cheap with your first Roaster
I was never happy with the cheap roaster I used in the past. It was really nothing more than a popcorn popper which heated the coffee beans up and tumbled them with forced air to keep them mixed. They often didn’t roast evenly this way and a few times it set off my smoke alarm. I had to use the coffee roaster outside. I was never able to get the consistent light brown coffee I liked back in my younger days. I am sure it would be even more difficult, if not impossible to get the consistent dark roast that I like today. The other draw back is that you can only roast a few cups at a time. A cheap coffee roaster is probably good for roasting 2-4 cups at a time. There are many people who have tried using a hot-air popcorn popper as a home coffee roaster. Trust me, you’ll never be happy with this. An adequate machine will cost a minimum of $150.00. Here is the one I suggest.
i-Roast 2 Home Coffee Roaster
The i-Roast 2 has everything I would have wanted when I first discovered the difficulties and problems associated with roasting coffee at home. For one thing, it includes a smoke vent on top, so the smoke can be vented through a dryer hose if you desire. That’s clever thinking. Another great advantage to the i-Roast is it’s temperature control which won’t leave you guessing how long to roast your coffee to reach the desired darkness. A built in memory, allows you to save and recall up to 10 different roast profiles from light to french roast, or anything in between. This one uses air too, to mix the beans, but unlike the cheap coffee roaster or popcorn popper, the air is directed in an upward stream which does a much better job of evenly roasting the coffee beans. Finally, this is the 2nd generation of this product, so you know some of the kinks and bugs of the original invention have been ironed out and improved. If you’re in the market for a quality coffee roaster under $500, the i-Roast 2 is worth a look.
Best Coffee Beans
The best coffee beans that I’ve found are at Costco. They come in a big 2lb bag that says Kirkland, Roasted by Starbucks, Certified Organic, Medium Roast. Now, I don’t claim that these are necessarily the best coffee beans for everyone. I rank them as the best, personally, for me for a couple of reasons. For one thing, these coffee beans are dark roasted to perfection. Secondly, at $9.95 for a 2-LB bag, I can afford to use them for my every-day, drinking coffee. When you pick out your home coffee roaster, you might just want to pick up a bag of Kirkland, Roasted-by-Starbucks coffee, to use as a benchmark for roasting and comparing them to the very best coffee beans, yourself.