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November 18, 2021
There is a myth in the industry that roasting can only be done by professional roasters. Some people insist that roasting is somehow different from espresso and brewing, special, and therefore requiring of a level of expertise that is just not possible to attain unless one becomes a professional roaster. That is just not true. Professional roasters are indeed experts at roasting coffee to exacting standards and producing at scale. Of course, you can learn how to approximate the process of the commercial-scale roaster, but it's not mandatory. That level of expertise is not necessary to have delicious, fresh coffee at home whenever you want.
Just like buying a coffee brewer or a grinder, you don't have to shell out thousands of dollars to get good, freshly roasted coffee at home.
Roasting can be done in the oven in as little as 15 minutes. The process is improved if you have a cast iron and a convection oven, which will circulate the heat more evenly (combatting hot spots). Your coffee may not be that consistent from roast to roast, but it will still be delicious. After all, there is no perfect profile; there is a range at which each coffee tastes "good," and the extent of this range is subjective for each person.
To learn how to roast coffee at home, please go to:
If you want a dedicated coffee roaster, you can opt for a manual roaster like the Hive or the Zenroast. Manual roasters require a gas or electric stove (not suitable for induction stoves) and 15 minutes of shaking the roaster over the flame to roast the beans. Manual roasters are cheaper than automated roasters, but just like hand-grinders, the process can get tedious. You also don't have much control over the roast as it goes through its stages.
If you want more control over the roast and more visibility, as well as a dedicated roaster in your kitchen, get an automatic coffee roaster like the Fresh Roast SR540.
This is a fluid-bed roaster which means that it uses hot air coming out of the base of the roasting chamber to rotate and roast the coffee. The SR540 can roast about 6 cups worth of coffee beans in a single cycle. If you don't want to be roasting more than once a week, you can opt to get the SR800 which has a larger roasting chamber and a more powerful fan to keep the beans turning.
Why do we like this roaster?
The one drawback that we can think of is that the Fresh Roast is only really suited to sensory roasting. The SR540 does track the environment temperature which but if you want to measure bean temperature in order to use a program like Artisan or Cropster to track your roast, you will have to feed a temperature probe through the lid which will void the warranty. The SR 540 DOES NOT come with an app that can track the roast progression.
Of course, if you get to the point of being frustrated that your Fresh Roast doesn't allow you to map your roast in Artisan or Cropster without MacGyvering a bean probe through the lid, congratulations, you are officially as nutty as the rest of us coffee nerds. Welcome to the club. There are options for you; it just depends on how much you want to spend to be more precise about your roast.
November 24, 2021