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Pay attention when buying a roaster

Which coffee roaster is the best for me? What are the differences and what do I have to look out for when buying a roaster? Is coffee roasting safe and what should I look out for, so that I do not take any risks? In the post you will find the most important questions and tips for buying a roaster. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us anytime.

1. Application and Purpose

First, you should think about what you will need the roaster for in the first place: 

Home roasters

Getting started with roasting

Purchase of green coffee

Development of roasting profiles

You want to roast especially for yourself. At times you will roast very intensively, for example if you want to test new coffees and profiles, at times you will rarely roast, just so that you have fresh coffee regularly. Maybe you will make some coffee for friends or family from time to time, but not with the aim of making money.

You want to roast and sell coffee in the future. In the first step, you want to gain experience without investing too much money.

You either have a large number of green coffee samples you want to make or you want to roast and compare small quantities of the same coffee for quality control.

You roast large quantities on a drum roaster and are looking for a small roaster with which you can work on the development of roasting profiles. The profiles must be as adaptable as possible to the production roaster.

For you, the roasters are with capacities between 250 and about 800 grams. Look at the questions and tips below.

For you a drum roaster with Artisan connection like the Hottop KN-8828B-2K+ is suitable. Such a device behaves in the roasting curve very similar to a production roaster and you can already collect experience and Artisan profiles that will help you on the production roaster.

Hot air roasters are suitable for you, which roast the samples in a very short time. You can find more about this here.

Drum roasters are suitable for you with a capacity of 250 grams (usually 100-300 grams of charge possible). Make sure they have a thermocouple that measures bean temperature, ambient temperature, and that they can control heat and ventilation separately (for example, Hottop models). Such roasters are available with electricity as well as with gas. With the power-driven roasters, you make changes to the heat approximately 15-30 seconds earlier than with a gas-powered roaster. More information can be found here.

2. Capacity of the roaster

What amount of coffee do you want to roast? As a rule, the roasters work ideally with a load of approx. 80% of the capacity. Roasters like Gene or Hottop actually have a capacity of 300 grams, we recommend roasting a maximum of 250 grams. 1kg roaster can be loaded with 800 grams of raw beans, etc.

The roaster should have enough capacity so that you do not have to roast all the time, at the same time it should not be too big, so that your coffee does not get old (especially with espresso mixes, since you then roast a load of each bean). Therefore, the capacity of 250 grams has been proven in home roaster environment.  

  • For example, if you drink 5 coffees a day, you will need about 250 grams of roast a week.
  • Experience shows that in a long run you will roast three to four coffees every three weeks. This is also useful for coffee blends.
Ingo Albrecht Rösten

3. Gas or electricity

In commercial coffee roasting, roasting is mainly carried out with gas, as the operating costs are lower.

Electricity has established itself with home roasters because it is much easier and also very safe (provided your roaster fulfils the regulations - be sure to pay attention to the CE mark). 

It has hardly any influence on the roasting result, the Artisan curve of the bean temperature is also the same. If you are used to roasting on gas, you have to adjust the temperature supply of electric roasters about 15-30 seconds earlier.

4. Degree of precision

Before buying the roaster, think about what type you are. Is it important to you that you can precisely control a roast and repeat the roasts so that they always taste the same and always behave exactly the same in the coffee machine? In this case a roaster is recommended, where you can influence the heat supply and ventilation very precisely at any time during roasting (as for example with the models from Hottop). 

If you prefer it a bit less complicated and simply like a good coffee roasting, we recommend a roaster, such as the models of Gene Café, which are only controlled by time and heat supply.

Huky Kaffee Röster

5. Safety

With a roaster you put an appliance in the kitchen, which produces more than 200°C. Many of the roasters available on the market are solutions from hobbyists or companies from overseas that do not meet the requirements for sale in the EU and Switzerland. The picture shows my first and last roasting with such a device:

Sicherheit Kaffee Rösten

When you put such a roaster in your home, you are not only risking a fire, which is bad enough. Because if it is a device that does not comply with CE regulations, you even risk that your insurance company will refuse liability in the event of a fire

When buying a roaster, it is therefore essential to pay attention to the CE mark, which means that the roaster complies with all safety regulations of the EU and Switzerland.

We have tested the market and at this time (February 2018) only the following manufacturers comply with the CE directives: Gene Café, Hottop, Ikawa.

6. Local support

Dealers in the EU and Switzerland must give you 2 years warranty/guarantee on the devices. If you shop outside Europe, it is a maximum of one year. 

Above all, however, you have very short and inexpensive routes with a local dealer in case of warranty or repair. If your dealer is overseas, you pay about $300 for the return shipping in case of warranty or repair out by yourself and you have to do without your roaster for several weeks.

Make sure that you choose a dealer who knows the machines and can give you tips, because often it is small things that can massively improve your roasting results.



Ingo Albrecht Kaffee

More questions? We're here for you.

In addition to the questions mentioned above, there is another, which might be relevant for you, as the smoke, the energy consumption or optics. Please do not hesitate to call me or write me an E-Mail. I will be glad to help you, so that you choose the roaster for you, which you also in the long term, satisfied and happy.

Telephone +41 76 261 97 17 or Email ingo[at]roastrebels.com

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