You can directly control the heat and speed of the drum, allowing for endless experimentation under precise conditions, letting you dial in every roast until you have something spectacular.
It’s an expensive bit of equipment, though, and has a safety feature that’s a real double-edged sword. Around three-quarters of the way through roasting, you have to manually confirm that you’re still there or it will stop the roast. Some love the safety, others hate not being able to leave the machine to complete the cycle on its own.
This is a drum roaster with a twist. Instead of being heated by its own internal elements, the Kaldi is instead placed over a burner.
This gives it a considerably lower electric consumption rate than other drum roasters. It’s also an absolutely gorgeous machine that will look great on any countertop.
It does come with a few downsides. The drum is well and truly hidden, so you’ll need to insert a scoop to visually assess the beans as they roast. The need to have both a power supply and a burner can be problematic in some kitchen setups, and the hot machine has to be left on the stove after roasting to cool-down.
A transparent chamber makes it easy to observe the beans during roasting, and the chaff collector makes cleanup a lot less messy.
New to this model is a range of extra heat and speed options that really elevate it to a new level. There are nine levels for both, allowing curious roasters to control the process with a lot of precision. It also offers real-time temperature readings from inside the chamber.
The only real downside is its relatively small size: a 4oz capacity will need pretty regular roasts to meet the needs of a coffee-loving household.
Let’s address the elephant in the room before we start.
Yes, this is a popcorn maker.
As we said earlier, though, the fundamentals are pretty much the same. It moves hot air upwards to heat whatever is in the chamber and keep it moving. It’s also less than half the price of the next cheapest option, making it a good choice for those that are just dipping their toes in to see how they like the water.
On the downside, it has literally no features. It won’t tell you how hot it is, it won’t beep when the coffee is done, it won’t turn itself off, and it won’t allow you to control the temperature or airspeed.
Who’s it for? Coffee lovers who want to see if they like roasting, people who enjoy a challenge, people who want to roast their own beans but aren’t too concerned with repeated experimenting to get things perfect.