A Comprehensive Guide to Commercial Coffee Roaster

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The raw green coffee seeds don’t amount to much unless they go through a series of processing. The processing of coffee seeds is mostly done by heat that gives the seeds its exquisite fragrance, flavor and solubility. We get the coffee beans in the market after this extensive transformation. And commercial coffee roasters are behind the whole course of actions. The commercial coffee roaster machines are cylindrical and flames burn underneath them. So, commercial coffee roasters are basically the reason that coffee becomes brewable.

What makes a commercial coffee roaster machine different from others?

There are different types of coffee roaster machines catered to serve different buyers and purposes. The different types of coffee roaster machines produce different taste, fragrance, sweetness or bitterness in coffee. These are the popular coffee roaster machines that are used in different sectors:

  • Specialty coffee roasters: produces high quality coffee, very expensive
  • Artisanal coffee roasters: used in a rather small scale, produces great quality
  • Commercial coffee roasters: known for their speed and number of coffee beans roasted
  • Home coffee roasters: used for very personal coffee experience at home
  • Small shop roasters: used in small businesses to roast their own coffee

Commercial coffee roasters serve best for mass production of coffee beans. From young students to older job holders, all love to have a cup of morning coffee. To serve this interest, commercial coffee roasters produce great quantity of coffee beans with very good quality. Otherwise, we’d have to spend ten times more to have a cup of coffee since that’s how much specialty coffee costs. But deciding on the exact commercial coffee roaster can be a hassle.

So, how do you buy the right commercial coffee roaster?

Either you go for a wholesale coffee roasting business or a café where you roast your own coffee, you have to be careful about choosing the right roaster for your purpose. There are certain things like durability, size, cleanability and price that need to be looked out for while buying a commercial coffee roaster. The choice will depend on how much coffee beans you have to produce each day, how long-term your business plan is and how much you can invest in the business to extent of practicality.

An analytical look into the Capacity, Price and Quality

The best commercial coffee roasters are mainly categorized by the price, longevity, quality and size. Some models are introduced below.

ELEOPTION 110V Coffee Roasting Machine

This is a very easy to use model that works with gas, electric or alcohol stoves. The maintenance of the machine doesn’t require much since the emitting of smoke and extracts are very easy to remove. It’s only for roasting beans and it has no internal heat system. The price is $210.99.

Sonofresco Profile Coffee Roaster

If you’re going for a coffee beans production as large as 25 pounds a day, this machine might just be for you. It can roast 1 pound per batch. The price for this beast of a machine is $3,663.37.

The Java Master Roaster

This fully automated roaster works on demand which means it can roast a good amount in a very little time. Nearly 5 pounds of coffee beans take only 5-10 minutes to roast in this machine.

MegaLane Commercial 1Kg Coffee Bean Roaster

This is a software-based roaster. You can directly connect it to a computer to put data through USB. Large manufacturing companies or industrial production houses of coffee beans where they need to roast coffee beans continuously.

Behmor 5400 1600 Plus Customizable Drum Coffee Roaster

This cheap roasting machine can roast up to 1 pound in a single batch which is the biggest capacity in a price range of $369.00. The drum used in the machine rotates at a variable and controllable speed. The cooling is pretty fast and it has a very efficient waste removal tray.

Technology Used

The price and efficiency of a commercial coffee roaster depend on the technology it uses. This includes different methods used for the heating process, how automated the machine is, construction, material used in the drum, etc.

Most Common Type 

The other name of commercial roasters is drum roasters for its wide usage. The fluid bed roasters are a pretty recent discovery and it uses a completely different method of functioning. The two are characterized below.

Fluid Bed Roasting

  • Discovered by a chemical engineer, Mike Sivetz in 1970
  • Roasts significantly faster than drum roasting
  • This simple design only includes a burner, a roasting chamber and a blower
  • Notorious for being unable to produce quality coffee beans
  • Uses only convective heat- heat from the hot air flow

Drum Roasting

  • The oldest and the most popular coffee roaster
  • Uses 25% conduction and 75% convection heat
  • Needs careful maintenance while setting the heat or rotation speed of the drum
  • All sorts of sizes are available for drum roasters, starting from 200 grams to 5,000 pounds in terms of roasting amount

Infrared and Direct Flame

Drum roasting uses two methods of heating the coffee seeds.


  • Supplies uniform heat to all the beans, so almost no risk of burning
  • Coffee beans roasted with infrared have less formic acid, citric acid and malic acid
  • Procures 25% more aroma
  • Used less for commercial coffee roasting and more for specialty coffee roasting

Direct Flame

  • Offers precise heat control unlike infrared
  • The coffee beans come in direct contact with the flame
  • This is the classical mode of coffee-making and is endorsed by the connoisseurs

Source of Power

Gas has traditionally been the source of power for roasters but is getting slowly replaced by electricity for the ease and convenience it offers to the non-professional coffee lovers.

Electricity and Gas

A brief comparison of the two power sources would be:

  • Electric roasters are cost ¼ of the gas roasters
  • Gas roaster produces more smoke than electric roasters
  • Electric roasters requires no skills in roasting
  • Gas roaster is manual and requires serious skills in maintaining heat and timing
  • Coffee beans from electric roasters taste all the same whereas gas roasters offer different results

Put an analytical overview of the two power sources. Use bullet lists and subheadings with paragraphs underneath if necessary, for a great and easy-to-understand presentation of the matters. Don’t forget to discuss the overall advantages and disadvantages.


Materials in commercial coffee roaster machines matter because they decide the durability and care required for maintenance. But in terms of quality, materials don’t amount to much. The types of materials used in the coffee roasters are cast iron and stainless steel. Cast iron roasters don’t cost as much as steel roasters but in terms of longevity, steel roasters reign supreme.

Cast Iron and Stainless Steel

A brief comparison of the coffee roasters with different materials:

  • Professionals use cast iron more than stainless steel due to its thermal stability
  • Cast iron roasters might need better care whereas stainless steel can be used pretty roughly
  • Stainless steel roasters offer greater resistance and durability
  • Cast iron used in the roaster machine is actually welded steel
  • Stainless steel roasters is actually a sophisticated alloy with high thermal conductivity

Operational Control

With the growing necessity of pace in the modern world, even the coffee industry had to make changes in their businesses. What were previously manually operated roasters are now automated for serving the customers right and with great speed. However, there are manual roasters still found as classical relics in many cafés with 20th century themes.

Automatic and Manual

The automatic and manual controls of the coffee roasters are entirely different and yet they share almost the same trajectory of formulating coffee. Below, there are discussed.

Manual Coffee Roasting Machines

Manual coffee machines are still used for commercial purposes in small coffee shops. This requires a lot of manual labor but produces the best quality of coffee in the hands of an expert. Manual coffee roasting machines are very cheap and are small in size. They offer a fine control over the machine and coffee craftsmen love these machines. However, industrial coffee production in the 21st century with a manual machine is pretty much impossible where more or less everyone is addicted to coffee.

Manual Coffee Roasting Machines

Automatic Coffee Roasting Machines

There’s a difference between passion and business. This is where automatic coffee roasting machines come in. Automatic coffee roasting machines offer the same quality in every roasting and this is how large brands maintain their consistency. For large-scale commercial purposes, there’s no alternative to automatic roasting machines. Automatic machines have their own presets and the user has to conform to that preset. It doesn’t offer the elastic control that manual machines normally offer. However, they require no manpower except a person for taking care of the exhausted smoke.

Can You Buy Used Roasters?

Commercial coffee roasters can be extremely costly but many big companies are continuously selling their roaster machines to keep updated on the newest models available. Thus, buying second hand roasters is a very common occurrence among the coffee enthusiasts and commercials. But before buying a second hand coffee roaster, you need to make sure of certain things.

Can you buy used roasters


You may find a used roaster at a cheap rate but don’t forget to calculate the full expense of coffee roaster which includes the costs of installation, possible restoration, tax-deduction, electricity, etc.


Whatever size you want your roaster to be, always go for a size upper than that. A bigger roaster means less personal effort, less manpower and more time to expand business.

Features & Functions

3 functions you should always check for before buying a used roaster: airflow, flame control and drum speed. Also, check out for the machine connectivity (data output) and the software you’re going to use on the machine to see if they’re compatible.


Maintaining a coffee roaster takes a great toll on your body and hygiene. Not only coffee extracts but also oil and grease will take over your entire body while maintenance. The better the condition of the roaster, the less this would happen. If you have to hire an engineer to look after your machine regularly, it would just add a huge expense to your account.


Reviews come as a great help while buying something of which you’re unaware of. The reviewers can give you the most personal and intense information about the roaster model you want to buy.

When should I buy a new commercial coffee roaster?

Whether you should buy a used model or a new one depends on the size of your business venture, capacity of investment and desired prospects. If you want to go for a large-scale commercial venture, you should definitely buy a new model with enough research. But if you’re going for a small business, you can really make do with second-hand coffee roaster. Before buying a roaster, you must estimate a minimum loss and profits per month and then go for buying a model accordingly.

Once you bought and used…

Once you buy a commercial coffee roaster machine, you’re entitled to its maintenance for durability. Here are some maintenance tips:

  • Let the roaster cool down after each roast
  • After cooling, always weed out the chaff in the roasting drum or under it
  • Clean the main filter on a weekly basis and change as deemed necessary
  • Clean the chaff from the roast chamber of the drum once a month
  • To clean out the roasting oil, use cleaner that cuts through grease and nylon scrubbing pad


Whether you’re going for a chain coffee business of consistent market value, a small coffee shop out of passion or you just want to go commercialize wholesale coffee beans, you must have a commercial coffee roasters. The roaster machines, their types, their pros and cons, maintenance, etc. are all explained in details and will, hopefully, work as comprehensive instructions for buying a commercial coffee roaster machine.

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I prepared my first Sunday supper at the age of ten for my Italian American family. I can still remember the dishes: pasta with homemade meatballs, steamed broccoli, salad, and COFFEE, the only thing that my family still talks about. Thus, began a culinary adventure where coffee has always been the centerpiece. By profession, I am a gastronomist and food historian living in Sacramento, California with wife and a lovely daughter. My passion for coffee has reached so far that I learnt everything what a bartender would know. I share my epicurean memories through this blog. It is my immense pleasure to write for the people who are interested in creating delectable recipes and wonderful caffeinated memories in their own kitchens. Read my posts to get more of my exciting ideas!


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