The Behmor Electric Drum Coffee Roaster

There's finally a home coffee roaster that can truly do a full pound of coffee! That's the most remarkable feature of the new Behmor home coffee roaster. It makes perfect sense for those who want to roast their own coffee once a week, or those who roast coffee for the office, for family, or for gift-giving. It has pre-programmed roast times, heat curves, and an automatic cooling cycle. Best of all, it brings the drum-style coffee roaster down to a more affordable level; at $299 it is nearly half the cost of all other drum coffee roasters on the market.

The Behmor roaster has a strong feature set, but it's not without its quirks. We have composed a thorough review of the machine, with data compiled from months of testing the pre-production model of the roaster. We encourage you to read our review, scan for relevant parts, or at the minimum read our summary comments. Perhaps it seems odd, but we are rather critical of our products, since the goal is to match the right machine to the right person. We do have a .pdf version of the tip sheet we send with the roaster here. And Joe Behm just issued two new pdf sheets with instructions on using the new chaff tray, a Quick Start Guide and Guide to Using the New Chaff Tray.

Interested in what Behmor users are saying about this machine? Check out the Sweet Maria's Coffee Home Roasting Forum for more conversation about this home roasting and other home roasting topics.

The Behmor 1600 features automatic roast curves, pre-programmed roast times (with the ability to override), a smoke-reduction feature, and an automatic cooling cycle.

Summary of Features:

  • The Behmor can roast 1/4, 1/2 or full 1 Lb. batches.
  • As a 110 volt electric roaster, it uses efficient quartz halogen heating elements.
  • The roaster has a smoke-reduction feature, a secondary ceramic heating element that treats effluence from the drum. The roaster isn't totally smokeless (the bigger the batch, or the darker the roast, the more smoke), but this feature greatly reduces the smoke output.
  • The machine is exceptionally quiet (60db or less at 1 foot) compared to air roasters, making it easy to hear the "first crack" and "second crack", letting the operator know how dark the coffee is roasted.
  • We are impressed by the consistency of the Behmor; in our tests the cup quality compares favorably to our commercial Probat drum roaster. And the Behmor is no bigger than a toaster oven!
  • The roast is visible through the glass window, and the interior has a light bulb to illuminate the roast chamber.
  • A bright display shows you the roast settings, a countdown clock, and a cooling cycle clock.
  • For each batch size (1/4, 1/2 or 1 Lb.), you can quickly select a pre-programmed roast time (A, B, C, or D on the touch-control panel), and a roast heat curve program (designated P-1 through P-5). By combining these, you can produce a wide range of roast styles, from a light City roast, medium Full City roast, or Vienna roast.
  • You can add or subtract time from the roast cycle at any time using the + and - key on the touch pad. You can also choose to end the roast by hitting the Cool button at any time.
  • The machine has an automatic cool cycle of 8-12 minutes, depending on the batch size.
  • It features an automatic error code system that shows in the digital display.
  • We feel the machine is well made, with a metal chassis, stainless steel front panels, and top-quality motor and fan components. It weighs a hefty 20 Lbs.
  • It is backed up with a limited year warranty. The roaster has been rated at 900 1 Lb. roast cycles, but will certainly do many more when properly used.
  • A couple of important limitations: Out of the box, this machine is not for dark roasts. Now ships with the smaller grid drum and a redesigned chaff tray.
We have compiled a 5 page review to help you find out more about the Behmor roaster:
Sweet Maria's Behmor Roaster Guide - v 1.1
1. Features, Purchase 2. Using the Behmor 3. Roast Quality, Roast Curves 4. Maintenance, Longevity 5. Summary

Behmor 1600 Coffee Roaster, Latest Model - Now ships with small grid drum and redesigned chaff tray
with 8 Pound Green Coffee Sampler
(32 Lbs. Ship Weight). add to cart

The 8 Pound Green Coffee Sampler is 8 types of coffee, 1 Lb. each. The selection includes coffee from each major coffee-producing meta-region; Central America, South America, Africa, Indonesia, etc. It also includes both wet-processed and dry-processed coffees. It is ideal for testing a roaster, and familiarizing yourself with the vast array of coffee types.

Behmor 1600 Coffee Roaster - No Coffee- Now ships with small grid drum and redesigned chaff tray
(24 Lbs. Ship Weight). add to cart
This is offered primarily for our international customers who are not able to receive green coffee, at the same price (due to minimum pricing). You should really choose the option WITH the sampler unless you absolutely cannot receive green coffee.

Behmor Small Grid Drum
This drum for the Behmor 1600 roaster is made with just a slightly smaller grid size to make it easier to roast small bean coffees and blends with small beans. With the standard drum, these beans can fall through the grid. The grid is just a tiny bit smaller - just enough to make a difference. With this smaller grid drum, that problem is alleviated. It does mean that there will be more chaff caught in the drum with the roasted beans. Chaff is essentially flavor-neutral - so it is not a problem to grind up chaff with the coffee - or you can blow off the chaff. We recommend purchasing this small drum if you have the older standard larger drum for coffees such as Yemen, and even longberry Harar types that tend to get stuck in the wire grid of the older, larger stock Behmor drum. But these are both high-chaff coffees, so you will have a lot of chaff in the drum when the roast is done. You can easily winnow out this chaff, or use a shop vac to clean it up, if you are so inclined.

The Behmor roaster now ships with the Small Grid Drum. So this is only for folks who want to upgrade their older roaster.
(1 Lb. Ship Weight) add to cart

NB - It is very difficult to tell the two drums apart visually - you have to measure them. The small grid drum has 11 wires in 2 inches. The regular drum has 10 wires in 2 inches. Roughly, the small grid drum has just more than 5 wires per inch, the regular drum just less than 5 wires per inch (measuring 4 inches is more reliable). Here is a photo of the small grid drum so you can see how it ought to look, should you have any doubt which drum you have.

Behmor Low Profile Chaff Tray

As of November 2009, Behmor roasts also now ship with a "low profile" chaff tray. The re-designed chaff tray improves visibility, so you can see into the roaster much more easily. It has louvers that may or may not catch more chaff. In our experience using both chaff trays, there is a definite trade off with using the new low profile tray. Yes, visibility is enhanced, and that is good. But It is harder to maneuver in and out of the roaster, harder to clean, and with rivets and springs added to it, there is more to break. It seems to catch more chaff, but it is not safer in our experience. You can still have a chaff fire with the new tray; we did. You definitely want to read the PDF that Joe Behm has written about the new chaff tray - as it is trickier to insert and remove from the roaster. Also: Remember to remove the protective film covering on the new chaff tray if you have it, as noted in the Chaff Tray Instructions PDF above.
(1.5 Lb. Ship Weight) add to cart

Roaster dimensions (inches) 17.5Lx10.5Hx12.5D Cubic inches approx. 1850/218 sq. in foot print Link for online warranty registration:

Here are a few PDF documents written by Behmor that might interest you: Safety Safeguards, Warranty, and the latest Manual.