We're going to be primarily looking at automated custom coffee bean roasters for the purposes of this article. But, it's worth noting that you can roast your own coffee beans fresh at home without having to buy a roasting machine.
It is possible to roast beans in or on the stove, on a barbeque or fire or even, sometimes, in a popcorn popper. But, if you take your home roasting seriously and want some help with the process (the do it yourself approach can take a lot more time and effort) then a proper roasting machine may be your best option.
So, why do people roast their own beans at home? Well, it's basically all about freshness and the quality of the roast you will ultimately get. If you buy green coffee beans - i.e. beans that are unroasted - you can simply roast them at home when you need to use them in batches so they'll be ultra fresh. Green coffee beans are cheaper and last longer than ready roasted beans into the bargain.
The ability to roast your own beans is a desirable must with many coffee aficionados - you can do away with stale coffee, get the level of roast you want when and where you want it and save yourself some money into the bargain!
In very simple terms there are two main types of machine to consider when you're deciding how to select a coffee roaster which are Fluid Bed/Air Roasters and Drum Roasters.
Fluid Bed/Air RoastersIf you want to roast your own coffee beans at home then the first thing you should look at is getting hold of a standard fluid bed based roaster. These machines are small, can be compact and are primarily designed for small-medium home use. So, they will roast your beans for you fairly quickly and with minimal fuss - you don't have to stand over them for example, as you would if you were home roasting on the stove top.
These kinds of roasters kind of work like popcorn makers in that they use hot air during the roast process. You can see how the roast is progressing in most cases so you can control it more effectively and you will sometimes also be given pre-set roasts to choose from in any case. If you're a home roasting
Also see whole bean roasters .