Home Coffee Roaster

Home Coffee Roaster

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.

    1. 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.
    2. 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

Cheap Coffee Roaster
Cheap Coffee 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

i-Roast 2 Coffee Roaster
i-Roast 2 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.

Coffee Roasts

Coffee Roasts

Light Roast Coffee or Dark Roast Coffee?

Do Light Coffee Roasts Have More Flavor?

Coffee Roasts
Light Roast Coffee

My taste in Coffee Roasts has changed dramatically. I’ve come full circle over the years in how I like my coffee. Even when I gave up cheap canned coffee 15 years ago, it took me some time to become endeared to the very dark roasted Starbucks Coffee that is now my favorite. When I bought the dark roast coffee beans and brewed it at home, it would consistently taste flat. One day I decided to try a fresh cup at Starbucks and became sold on the piping hot, smoky flavor. In order to get that same flavor from my dark roasted coffee beans at home, I would have to use about twice the amount of coffee. So, I don’t think light roast coffee is more flavorful, but I do think the majority of lighter coffee roasts are stronger, which is why they require less coffee. It’s all in the Coffee Roasting and the Coffee Maker.

 

Green Coffee Roasting

Green Beans Coffee Roasts
Green Coffee Beans

Green Coffee beans are nearly odorless before they are roasted. It’s really no different than a good steak or roast. Most meat does not have a very pleasing aroma or flavor until it is heated up and cooked. But overcooking can have the opposite effect. A steak loses its flavor as it is grilled to the point where the juices are cooked out of it. Such is the case with coffee. Even the best Arabica coffee beans can only endure so much roasting before the flavors inside disappear into the smoky air. So we start with flavorless or bitter Coffee Green Beans and need to roast them to the point where Coffee Roast perfection is recognized. Under roasted coffee will taste raw and green where-as over-roasted coffee will taste more like smoke than coffee. How do we find the perfect coffee roasts when the coffee makers we most often use at home do not match that of a super-expensive Starbucks Machine made to achieve that perfect brew from the precise unlocked Coffee Roasts of their select beans? My theory is that we need to find coffee roasts that matches are coffee maker.

 

 

The Right Coffee Maker for the right Coffee Roasts

Dark Roast Coffee
Dark Roast Coffee

Starbucks can get away with such dark coffee beans because their brewing equipment is designed specifically to extract or unlock the magic that’s left inside of them. No less – No more – just perfection. When Coffee Beans are roasted very darkly, there is a small window in which to brew them to perfection. It stands to reason, that the water, if near boiling point, is going to do a little roasting of its own. So, my cheap Mr. Coffee – which never got very hot, isn’t going to pull much flavor out of those really dark, well-roasted beans. On the other hand, my Presto Percolator, which gets dang hot, is probably going to excessively extract what’s in those beans until the point, there’s nothing left but bitter smoky water. Ahh, so would if I tried a light roast coffee (and I mean a quality-arabica, light roast coffee), in a percolator? Wouldn’t a lighter roast coffee taste better with the help of piping hot, 205 degree water to finishing the roasting process before it reaches your cup. Sounds good in theory, but as we’ve said before, nobody ever drank a cup of theory. So, does a lighter roast coffee actually taste better from a percolator?

 

 

Percolator and Light Roast Coffee Conclusion

The answer is a resounding, yes. One of my local neighborhood coffee shops uses an expensive, but lighter coffee roaster, so I decided to put my theory to the test. The Kenya and Columbia from my local brewer, which is at least 3 shades lighter than the comparable Starbucks variety, tasted delicious in my Presto Percolator. In fact, I was so impressed with this Lighter Roast Coffee that I’ve decided to make a habit of finding quality, light roast coffee beans. Coffee snobs have been whining all this time how percolators over-extract the coffee and make it bitter. I have really never found that to be the case even with Dark Roast Coffees. However, I was not completely satisfied with the taste from my percolator until I started going with lighter coffee roasts.