What To Look For In Your First Roaster

Are you a first-time buyer of a coffee roaster? If so, there is a serious task lying in front of you, as the coffee-roaster purchase is indeed a costly and important investment. Hence, it is of the utmost importance to make the right buying decision.

Photo: Ariel Zambelich/WIRED

Since you are just a beginner, it is quite normal that you do not know what to look exactly in this type of kitchen appliance. What burdens the selection even more, is the simple fact that today’s market is overflowing with a range of coffee-roaster models that come with different characteristics, signed by the names of popular brands in the industry. Sincerely, latest models of coffee roasters come at not that easy-on-the-pocket prices, so it is almost unacceptable to make the wrong buying decision. However, being pampered with the right information will certainly take you to the right coffee roaster that will match all your personal needs and preferences.

Speaking about this, may this article be your simple step-by-step guide to follow, once you determine to turn to home-roasting.

First, let’s start with the two basic types of coffee roasters:

  • The fluid-air bed coffee roaster
  • The drum coffee roaster

Fluid-air bed roasters roast and agitate the coffee beans by floating them on a so-called ‘bed’ of hot air. The second model, drum coffee roasters, roast the beans by heating a rotating chamber. When comparing the two models, it is recommended to go for a fluid-air bed coffee roaster. The reason why? Because this model of roasting machine tends to roast the coffee beans much faster and hotter than the drum coffee roaster. The only disadvantage of fluid-air bed roasters is their roasting capacity. They offer less capacity than drum roasters, so if capacity is the key factor for your buying decision, you may consider buying a drum coffee roaster.

However, the two most important ‘details’ in determining what is the right coffee roaster for you, are:

  • The amount of coffee you roast and drink.
  • The roast style and flavour you prefer.


Keep in mind that your fresh-roasted coffee will lose its freshness and quality after 4-5 days, so make sure to not roast more than what you will drink in this given time frame.

And now, the feature that you are probably most interested in – coffee flavour. When it comes to flavour, a fluid-air bed coffee roaster will produce a bright-coloured coffee, but will retain its complexity. The coffee from a drum coffee roster on the other hand, will feature less brightness, more sweetness, better body and more depth. Hence, drum coffee roasters are commonly sought and purchased by huge espresso fans that drink great quantities of this type of dark, bitter and full-bodied coffee drink. But, latest coffee trends are showing that people are roasting their coffee beans in a fluid-air bed roaster for espresso purposes as well, and they are extremely satisfied with the results.

As we can see, the bottom line would be that coffee flavour is nothing, but a matter of personal preference. So, keep calm and drink the coffee you like, roasted the way you personally like it!


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