Purchasing a Coffee Bean Roaster

Jammie McClure

Before making a roaster purchase it is important to understand the different types of roasters available for home use. Roasting coffee beans at home is not difficult and once the skill is honed can become a hobby. Friends and family will be clamoring for the secret to the gourmet coffee they are served and soon everyone will want a sample or instructions on how to use a coffee roaster. An air roaster is the most popular roasting method and can even be done using a hot air popcorn popper. Air roasting is one of the easiest methods because of the even roast the circulating air provides. However, only a small amount of beans are able to be roasted at one time in an air roaster, usually three or four ounces. Air roasters are easy to see into, an important aspect in roasting coffee beans in order to watch the progress of the beans. Oven roasting is another popular method but not as easy to watch since the oven is not entirely visible like air roasters. Oven roasting produces an uneven roast which is typically inferior coffee. The one advantage an oven has is that it is vented and so the smoke is allowed to escape the kitchen without congesting it with coffee bean smoke.

p>Gourmet coffee roasters are true coffee roasters designed specifically for roasting coffee beans. Some are simple pots that are similar to saucepans with tight lids. These are placed on heat and moved continually during the roasting process to keep the beans moving so they don't scorch. The beans will begin to make cracking sounds as they heat up. Once they crack for the second time it is important to begin timing the process to prevent the beans from burning. These types of roasters should have a built in thermometer to help gauge the process and insure a good roast. More expensive models of roasters are available that are fully automatic and do everything for the roaster except grind them at the end. These upper end models have thermostat controls that are built into the roaster that controls the amount of heat in the machine. These fully automatic roasters have air flow systems and automatic stirring components and a timer that powers the machine off at the desired amount of time which depends on the roast desired. These automatic machines typically have a guide to help new roasters know how long to set the timer while they are learning to roast their beans.

Roasting coffee at home is the natural next step in the journey through the world of coffee. Coffee grinders were a novelty for many years and now they are found in a large number of homes and are common appliances for coffee lovers. The coffee roaster was bound to be the next coffee appliance to hit homes where coffee is king. Beginners should start with an air popper and move up as they become more comfortable with the process.

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