Roast your own coffee? You bet. The home coffee roaster is being equipped with more sophisticated equipment all the time. Obtaining green beans to create your own special blends and roasting just the way you want it is now a table top function and almost as easy as a toaster.
One type of tabletop roaster uses hot air, much like a hot air popcorn popper. In fact, there are reports of people successfully roasting coffee in a popcorn machine but don't try it without taking some safety precautions. Roasting coffee throws off chaff which poses a fire hazard in the wrong equipment. The IMEX Industries CX-100 which will roast about 5 ounces of green beans costs about $150 and uses a simple timer for operation.
The Swissmar ALPENRöST table top electric drum roaster is available for about $300 U.S. It tumbles the beans in a rotating drum and uses heating elements much like a toaster to roast the beans. This is a semiautomatic machine and has a trap to capture the chaff given off by roasting beans.
If you have about $7,000 to spend, you could own a semiprofessional drum type coffee roaster such as the IMEX Digital Coffee Roaster PRO1500. It will roast about one to three pounds of green beans at a time and is fully computerized. This type of roaster is ideal for small sample batch roasting or for the low volume restaurant... or for the very serious caffeine hound.
Just a note: we are displaying these products as an example of what is available for the home roaster. We don't endorse, sell, service or advise on their use. We don't make recommendations for these products other than making you aware of their existence. Do some research and seek out an SCAA food show where some of these products will be on display. Judge for yourself, ask the experts and taste the output of these roasters before buying one. We've found an independent web site (that apparently has seen all the same things we have) where you can purchase any one of these products. Some of the brand names shown will vary for the same equipment, but you get the picture.
One of the unexpected issues with coffee roasting in the home is it doesn't smell very good. The odor is more like a burning grassy smell rather than the expected rich aroma of coffee. For the good news, green beans will keep their full flavor for about two years. They're a lot like peanuts in that way. Once coffee is roasted, the flavor begins to fall off in three days and should be consumed within a week of roasting. Once you get used to how coffee should taste, there may be no turning back. Freshly roasted coffee from our roaster, or yours, is the only way to go.