Out Of Stock – Nesco has issued a voluntary recall on the roaster, check it out here.
Nesco has gotten back into the roaster game! Make sure to read all the details – this roaster is very different from their last machine.
This is a very cool entry-level roaster. A device that roasts tasty coffee for under $100?!?!?
Very basic – it does what it states and makes tasty coffee but has some limitations compared to more advanced home roasters.
This unit will not roast super dark! To keep it automated and simple, it will roast on the verge of 2nd crack to just a pop or two into 2nd crack, but that’s as dark as it gets. To be honest, this should be dark enough for most consumers but this unit will not produce a French Roast.
This roaster has a 4 oz capacity with approx 20 minute roast time, 18 for roasting, 2 for cooling. It has medium and dark settings and a glass top with (limited) visibility to watch the coffee beans roasting. It does not have any adjustable settings, only “Medium” and “Dark,” but you can choose to end the roast early with the “Cool Down” button.
We roasted a bunch of 3½-4 ounce batches of various coffees and found them all tasty. We did get some visible smoke from 4 ounces of Natural Yemen Mocha, but most batches were handled adequately by our vent hood. The dark setting worked great as it roasted up to the edge of second crack, which is just starting to smoke. The coffee had spots of oil on some beans the next day. The medium setting is a little cooler temp with the same time setting, no oil on the beans and less likely to smoke. We found all roasts tasty.
The chaff collects in the top and 4 ounces of a high chaff coffee is the max that should be used. Note: Some roasted beans may collect in the chaff collector. Once cooled you can just pick them out and use with the rest of the beans from the roast chamber.
All in all, we think it’s a great starter roaster at an excellent price point – a perfect gift for the coffee lover on your list!
Capacity: 4 Ounce
Heat Settings: Medium or Dark (not super dark)
Fan Settings: None, consistent fan speed.
Roast Times: 20 minutes (including cool)
Venting: Required – will produce some smoke, especially with higher chaff coffees or darker roasts
Ease of use: Very easy
Batch Roasting: No
- Easy to use – fully automated
- Excellent value for those new to Home Coffee Roasting
- Compact design roasts up to a quarter pound of raw coffee beans
- Pre-programmed Medium & Dark roast options
- Convenient chaff collector with safety handle & glass viewing window
- One year warranty from major American appliance manufacturer
Basic Use Instructions:
- Weigh out 4 oz. of green coffee beans.
- Pour the green coffee beans into the roasting chamber. NEVER fill the roasting chamber with more than 4 oz. of beans.
- Place the cover/chaff collector on the roaster. Ensure cover is secure and seated correctly. CAUTION: Never remove cover while roasting is in progress.
- Plug the roaster into a standard polarized 120-volt outlet.
- Roast option and cool down indicator lights will illuminate blue and flash.
- Select and press one of the roast settings: MEDIUM or DARK. The setting button will illuminate red and the roasting process will begin. The default time setting for each roast selection is approximately 20 minutes.
- As the roasting cycle continues, you will notice the beans increase in size and gradually change from a pale green to a chocolate brown color. You will also notice the odor of the beans as they begin to roast.
- When your roaster has completed the roasting cycle, the selected setting button will change illumination from red to blue. The appliance will begin a 2- minute cool down cycle. When the cool-down cycle has completed, all selection buttons will illuminate blue and flash. The appliance will then turn off automatically.
Check out our home roasting resources for more tips and tricks!
Nesco is the manufacture/distributor of the Nesco CR-04-13 home coffee roaster and they provide a 1 year warranty. Call them directly 1-800-288-4545 if you are having difficulty with the roaster. Also, be sure to let us know – we will be happy to help!
Coffee at camp –
I love this roaster! Very easy to use. I used 1/3,pound and it worked perfect
Tony McCanless (verified owner) –
This is my new favorite. I’ve been roasting for many years with several different roasters. I currently own the Fresh Roast 500, the previous Nesco model that is discontinued, and now this Nesco. It’s smaller and so easy to use. I do wish it had a timer, but any kitchen timer works, and you don’t really need it. I think this Nesco gets more chaff out than others. I use a colander with holes slightly smaller than beans, so chaff falls through, but there’s not very much with this roaster. I also can hear the crack. With the other Nesco, I can’t really hear it, so I would use the Fresh Roast for that. But with this new Nesco, I hear the cracking quite well. And since I like a light to medium roast, I just go a little longer (the timer would be more exact) and then I hit the Cool button. And when it’s finished, I sometimes hit the Cool button again. How cool is that?
Mark Harmon (verified owner) –
Excellent product and excellent customer service. I would highly recommend. I asked a few questions before I bought and they were very helpful
Picked one of these up to try my hand at roasting. For an entry level device, it’s pretty cool despite the lack of controls like fan speed or power.
I have had my best success using higher altitude, washed varieties – I pre-heat the roaster for about 5.5 or 6 minutes on the dark setting and then drop in my beans. This seems to yield a first crack that arrives reliably between 9 and 10 minutes into the roast. Engaging cool-down around a minute after first crack gives me a baseline medium roast and I adjust development times for future roasts from there.
Joe Gaude’ (verified owner) –
Just got my roaster yesterday. I’m in love with it. I’ve roasted up a couple of rounds of Costa Rican Gladiola… It came out perfect. I went with the Medium roast and it did outstanding. Beautiful dark color, just roasted until 2nd crack. Coffee is amazing, flavorful, nutty, smoothness! I love this roaster! Cleanup is nothing…
Joe Gaude’ (verified owner) –
Second review on how much I like this roaster… I don’t know if I got an especially good one, but mine will roast well into second crack to the point of burning the beans almost. So much oil extraction that the beans are sticking to the side. Super dark roast if you want it.. I love this roaster! This was playing around with Kona beans. I tried a medium roast, it was just “okay”… trying very dark now.
James Rostron (verified owner) –
My first roast turned out way better than I expected. I thought I might be compromising by getting an inexpensive, simple roaster, but it did an amazing job. I poured in 4 ounces of green beans, pressed Medium, and got perfectly roasted coffee beans 20 minutes later. There was no smoke, the machine wasn’t too loud, and the chaff collector worked great. I love this roaster!
JohnP (verified owner) –
Roast is pretty uneven for my taste. Especially at 120 g of coffee (4 oz). I have since rolled back to 90 g, but still not great. And LOTS of chaff. Blower does not seem to get it high enough for the chaff catcher. In reading the previous comments, I will tinker a bit – preheating, roasting a little longer, etc.
Still, better and safer than my air popper. And uneven home roast still better than commercial roasts. So, yeah, a 3 rating, but generally happy with this.
alanlemieux (verified owner) –
I bought this as a small batch roaster to accompany my Behmor AB which I love. I am pleasantly surprised. If you are new to roasting and don’t want to spend a bunch of money then this easy roaster is for you. Great for darker roasts with preset buttons, for lighter roasts you have to stop early and self cool the beans. I like this so much I bought a second for a friend who loves coffee also!
Scott Geiger (verified owner) –
Just got mine and absolutely love it! Just roasted 3 oz of the beans that Burman sent with it. Only question I have is on the medium roast. Still seems to come out a bit more on the dark side. Any suggestions as to when to hit cool down if I want a lighter roast? Thanks!
Jon Burman –
If you bump up the batch size just a pinch, it should roast slightly lighter. Also one can listen for 1st crack, sounds little like muted popcorn on most beans, give it an additional 45 – 120 seconds than hit cool. Too light some cups can come off a little grassy/earthy/acidic. Playing around a bit with time from 1st crack before hitting the cool button should bring out a default time one can use.
Edison Abrenica –
I have done many roasting techniques so I’m familiar with coffee roasting.
I bought this because I want to have a roaster that I can use under my stove vent and
not deal with chaff cleanup.
Though this one only roast 4 oz at a time, I found it more convenient than my other
roasters. I hardly use the others because of the hassle unless I know I have to do a
very large batch. Only problem I have with this is it roast more than medium and dark.
med=espresso roast and dark=french roast. If you want to city roast, you have to do it
manually. Overall, for the price, this is great; especially if you are starting at
roasting coffee. This is a good buy.
Maureen Faulkner (verified owner) –
The little roaster with great expectations.
Only had this about 3 days and have so far gone through a bag and a half of beans! Dark, strong coffee, just how I like it. 3.5 ounces is what I put in on “Dark” setting, and the end results are tasty.
Mark (verified owner) –
I have been using this now for a month and I have roasted 3 pounds of beans and here is my review and I am a novice or beginner to coffee bean roasting.
I am not a dark roast guy, light to full city is my range. Having said that here’s what I have experienced. This unit has a dark roast button and a medium roast button and I found out that if you go medium roast button, you will have a French roast after the 18 minute roast period.
I have played around with roast times on three different coffee’s and I find first crack happening at 11 minute mark and the beans enter light roast at about the 14 1/2 minute mark, medium roast is reached at 15 to 15 1/2 minute mark, full city is reached at 16 to 16 1/2 minute mark. Through the window I observe and watch the color of the bean as it roasts. I hope sharing my experience and it’s a good experience helps you in choosing a roaster. Happy roasting everybody may your bean water turn out perfect.
Andrew (verified owner) –
For background, I purchased this roaster around April 2020 and put about 35-40 pounds of coffee through it before it died in December.
My roasting routine was 3 oz batch on the dark setting. I found that across most beans, this gave me around a C+ to FC roast. Roast time for this cycle is looong, and it seems this roaster is as under powered is it can get both in terms of heat and airflow while having reasonable roast quality. The airflow specifically is not enough to move a batch even a full ounce lower than the theoretical max, and I typically found inconsistencies in color across the batch (though not enough to cause actual scorching).
On the good side, the chaff collection is excellent; the mesh is fine enough to not make a mess, and it gets the majority of the chaff out of the coffee. One button roast cycle is also nice.
On the bad side, other than the power issues described above, you don’t get much control. Theoretically, you can manually start cooldown to cut short a cycle, but that’s hard to judge with the very limited viewing window on this unit. Also, you can’t get into darker roasts unless maybe you reduce batch size (I never experimented with this because 3 oz is about my daily need, and I don’t have 40 minutes to devote to roasting two batches every day).
I’m ascribing the unit’s death to bad luck. Postmortem revealed the main heating element burnt out like an incandescent lightbulb. This unit does have a thermal fuse, but (weirdly) that’s not what failed. The autopsy also revealed a brown-white harry dust that I suppose was mold growing throughout the inside of the base unit from coffee oils that had seeped in. I don’t suppose it was hurting anything, but still… kinda gross. Otherwise, build quality was perfectly fine.
Ultimately, I upgraded to a Freshroast SR540 rather than fussing with warranty on this unit (and possible future mold issues). The difference between these two is enormous. If you’re looking for a platform to experiment with different roast levels, walk quickly past the Nesco and look at that unit.
If you’re looking for an off-the-shelf way to dip your toe into home roasting, sure get the Nesco, but expect to upgrade if you decide to stick with it. If you’re looking for one-touch convenience, this will fit the bill, but I recommend opening it up every couple months for cleaning.
Tracey Jones –
Been using mine for months…but all of a sudden it is burning the half of the beans that are on the bottom and the top beans come out perfect. Is there something I need to do with the unit to fix this? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Carter Foulke –
Usually that means something is blocking airflow through the machine. If you haven’t already, make sure to clean your chaff collector and screens. Those little slots can get clogged up causing the air not to move as well. If that doesn’t do the trick, I might try a different outlet to see if there is a difference. Beyond that, taking advantage of the warranty be the next step.
Tom (verified owner) –
I’m pretty happy with it so far. Medium roasts it a bit too dark for my liking. Thanks to Mark for posting the roasting times! I was able to get the desired roast and now have fresh great tasting coffee. Ordered some more bags of beans today!
Glen Shellrude –
I bought two units last spring. I love the ease. But thus far I have had three units fail. I have been meticulous in keeping the tiny holes in the chaff collector clear. I suspect that the main heating element is burning out… As indicated in another review. I also have an Sr540 and love it. But I really like the simplicity of the Nesco. I hope that the company can fix this design flaw.
JHdriggs (verified owner) –