Why Roast Coffee at Home?

November 18, 2021

Green beans can be easily roasted at home using the oven method or by using an automatic coffee roaster like the FreshRoast SR540 (pictured here).

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.

Why roast at home?

  • Always have fresh, delicious coffee: Roasted coffee is perishable. It starts to lose flavour after 3 days and should ideally be consumed within 2 weeks of the roast date. Green beans are shelf-stable and can last up to 2 years with proper storage (dry, away from UV).
  • It takes less than 15 minutes: It doesn't take long at all. If you're using an automatic coffee roaster like the Fresh Roast, the machine does all the work for you! No hand cranking or shaking is necessary.
  • Customize your roast: Local roaster roasting coffee too dark? Too light? Or, do you want to try a different roast for your favourite coffee? Easily roast coffee to the exact degree you want at home.
  • Save some $$: Green beans are always much cheaper than roasted coffee. Just look at our website, a coffee that sells for between $10-$12 per pound green will cost between $20-$26 roasted. That is the cost of roasting the beans. Cut out the middle-man and save some money!
      • Bonus: green beans are shelf-stable, so you can buy in bulk and save even more money than you already are.
  • Availability: buying green can give you access to a greater range of coffees from online retailers than you would have when attempting to source roasted coffee
  • Get creative! Tired of endlessly perfecting your cup? Take the plunge, learn how to roast! It's definitely a niche interest, but a growing community of home roasters love to share their experience in online forums. 

It only needs to be as complicated as you want it to be.

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.

Looking for a budget-friendly automatic roaster?

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. 

Fresh Roast Automatic green bean coffee roaster.

Why do we like this roaster?

  • Fluid-bed technology promotes even roasts.
  • Roasts 6-7 cups of coffee at a time (assuming 15-16g/250 ml cup)
  • The glass roasting chamber allows you to see your beans changing as the roast progresses.
  • Variable fan control circulates the beans gently and gives you another way to control the progression of your roast.
  • 9 temperature settings 
  • Easy to use and intuitive sensory roasting
  • Efficient chaff collection with hassle-free cleaning
  • Capable of roasting any coffee
  • Low footprint; this is a relatively small machine that won't take up much room in your kitchen. This roaster is slightly bigger and taller than a standard electric kettle.
  • 1-year limited warranty in North America for material and workmanship defects

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.


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