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The Best Budget-Friendly Coffee Roaster to Start a Small-Scale Roasting Business in 2024

The Best Budget-Friendly Coffee Roaster to Start a Small-Scale Roasting Business in 2024

By Dale Goulding, ,

Launching a successful roasting business in 2024 begins with finding the right coffee roaster. The ideal machine not only roasts your beans but also unlocks the rich flavors within them. In a rapidly evolving industry, the best coffee roaster is more than just a machine; it's a gateway to exploring the nuanced world of coffee. This article will help you identify the best small-batch coffee roaster for your needs, highlighting their features and potential to kickstart your business. Let’s embark on this journey to find the perfect roaster for your thriving coffee roasting venture!

Understanding the Types of Coffee Roasters

A coffee roaster is essential in transforming green coffee beans into the aromatic, flavourful coffee we love. This process involves heating the beans to induce chemical reactions that develop distinct flavours and aromas. There are various types of coffee roasters, each using different techniques to achieve specific flavour profiles, for this article we'll focus on two:

  1. Drum Roasters: Traditional roasters using a rotating drum to heat beans evenly.
  2. Fluid Bed Roasters: Modern roasters that use hot air to roast beans, offering precise control over temperature and airflow.

Small-batch coffee roasters offer enhanced control over the roasting process, allowing artisans to fine-tune the flavour and aroma of each batch. These roasters often source high-quality, specialty beans, supporting sustainable and ethical practices, and contributing to a vibrant coffee culture.

The Ideal Roaster for a Budget-Conscious Startup

For budget-conscious startups, selecting the right coffee roaster involves balancing cost, efficiency, and scalability. Key factors to consider include:

  • Initial Cost and Operating Expenses: Evaluate the total cost of ownership, including maintenance and energy efficiency.
  • Roasting Capacity: Choose a roaster that can handle your current and future production needs.
  • Control Features: Look for roasters with adjustable settings for temperature, airflow, and time to ensure consistency and quality.

Comparing the initial investment with long-term benefits and operational costs is crucial for making an informed decision. Initially, you may not want to overcommit to a high-cost roaster tying up a significant portion of your startup capital in your equipment. We've explore the options available and compiled a list for the more price-sensitive roaster in mind then detailed the pros, cons and who we think it's ideal for.

Best Coffee Roasters to Start a Roasting Business in 2024

Here are some top budget-friendly coffee roasters to consider for your new business:

FreshRoast SR540:

  • Pros: Affordable, compact, user-friendly.
  • Cons: Limited batch size, not suitable for large-scale production.
  • Ideal For: Home use and small-scale beginners.


  • Pros: Customizable temperature control, large roasting chamber, smoke reduction.
  • Cons: Larger batch capacity might be unnecessary for very small startups.
  • Ideal For: Users seeking a balance between affordability and performance.

Behmor 1600 Plus:

  • Pros: Advanced settings, large capacity, consistent roasting.
  • Cons: Requires a learning curve.
  • Ideal For: Those needing a reliable, customizable roaster.

Hottop KN-8828B-2K+ Digital Drum Roaster:

  • Pros: Precision control, user-friendly interface.
  • Cons: Higher cost, suitable for more experienced roasters.
  • Ideal For: Enthusiasts and small businesses seeking high-quality results.

Kaldi Home Coffee Roaster:

  • Pros: Versatile, different models and sizes, great value.
  • Cons: Manual operation may require more attention.
  • Ideal For: Users looking for flexibility and affordability.

Gene Cafe CBR-101:


  • Pros: Unique drum design, even roasts, good control.

  • Cons: Higher cost for manual operation.

  • Ideal For: Users seeking a balance between cost and performance.


Nuvo Eco Ceramic Handy Coffee Bean Roaster:


  • Pros: Affordable, manual control, engaging roasting experience.

  • Cons: Limited batch size, no automation.

  • Ideal For: Manual roasting enthusiasts with a tight budget.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right coffee roaster is crucial for starting a successful roasting business. Consider factors like size, capacity, and technological advancements that align with your business goals. The roasters highlighted here offer a range of features and capabilities to meet various needs and budgets. By selecting a coffee roaster that suits your current demands and allows for future growth, you can build a prosperous and aromatic roasting business in 2024 and beyond.