Roaster coffee VS supermarket coffee

Making good coffees is expensive. You may have had to ask yourself, too, “Why buy coffee beans from a coffee roaster while there are some in supermarkets?” This is a question I will try to answer in my article.

Does roaster coffee come from the same source as a supermarket?

It is possible to find similarities in the provenance of coffee between a supermarket and a roaster. For example, in relation to the region where coffee is grown. However, they will never have the same provenance. For several reasons :

  • Roasters often go to look for coffees grown on a small farm. Supermarkets market roasted coffee by large manufacturers. These will have the total exclusivity of the producers where they buy their coffee.
  • You can find great wines at roasters. It is unthinkable to find coffee of this quality in supermarkets.

The land on which coffee is grown has a huge impact on its quality. It’s a bit like wine.

Is coffee roasted the same way at a roaster and in a supermarket?

No, the traditional torrefaction of a roaster and the roasting methods of an industrialist are not the same. Beware, it is not impossible to find traditional roasted coffee in a supermarket. It must be indicated on the package.

Here are some general features of the different roasting methods that exist on the market.

Traditional roasting

Roasters roast their coffee traditionally with gas or (more rarely) with a wood fire. The coffee is placed in a large drum so as to have a homogeneous cooking. The art of roasting requires a good control of the temperature, the roasting time … For a better reproducibility, the technology allows them to record profiles of temperature gradients.

  • Traditional roasting takes about 20 minutes.
  • Temperature used is 180 to 200 °C.
  • The yield is a few tens of kg per machine per hour.
  • The weight loss of coffee is 17% on average.

A traditional roasting (thus slow, included at a temperature of 180 to 200°C) will allow the establishment of several physicochemical reactions on coffee. Well mastered, these will develop the best aromas.

In this source, several of these methods are described. Without quoting them all, here are the main ones:

  • The water of the coffee bean is almost completely evacuated from 17% of the mass to 2%.
  • The sugars of the bean are partially degraded and turn brown by giving color to the coffee.
  • Depending on the type of coffee and the territory on which it is grown, the coffee bean can grow from 40 to 100%.
  • The average weight loss of coffee is 17% and can vary from 12 to 23% depending on roasting.
  • Aromatic compounds develop thanks to the Maillard reaction.

Industrial roasting

Large manufacturers use other technologies than traditional roasting ensuring optimal performance. They will be able to roast hundreds to see tons of coffee on time.

Saturn” roasting system from Probat. Roasting capacity: 2500 to 4000 kg / h. Roasting time: 1.5 to 12 minutes. I recommend you to see the video of its operation, it’s interesting if like me you like the technical side of things.

There are two types of industrial roasting. Both rely on a hot air flow.

  • Rapid roasting: The principle of this method is to blow air at very high temperature. This pulsating air whirls the coffee in giant drums.
    • Yield: several hundred kg per hour.
    • Temperature: 800 ° C pulsating air.
    • Roasting time: between 4 and 6 minutes.
    • Weight loss: about 12%.
  • Flash roasting: This method of roasting is very fast. The machine operates at a high temperature and is reserved for roasting a coffee of poor quality. Once roasted, the coffee is used to make instant coffee or ordinary robustas. The speed of this operation does not make it possible to roast the coffee evenly.
    • Yield: several tons per hour.
    • Temperature: forced air of 880 ° C.
    • Roasting time: 1 to 5 minutes.
    • Weight loss: about 12%.

If you want more details on industrial roasting machines, here is a link that might interest you.

By being faster and at much higher temperatures, industrial roasting methods naturally have an impact on the development of coffee flavors. “Grand cru” coffees are not suitable for this method of roasting.

Is the freshness of roasting different?

Yes, totally.

A local roaster adapts its production according to demand and is committed to freshly roasted coffee. A coffee sold “freshly roasted” was not roasted during the day, because it can not be consumed immediately a roasting. It is necessary to wait 10 to 15 days before consuming it. This waiting time is called “degassing”. During this time, the coffee beans will release CO2 and continue to develop aromas.

For coffee sold in the supermarket, it’s more random. It may happen to have a “fresh” coffee in the supermarket if it has managed to make all the way from the factory to the shelves quickly. You will understand, it is rare and it will not be possible to have a pledge of equivalent freshness between a roaster and a supermarket.

Who makes the most crema between coffee roaster and supermarket?

The quality of the cream depends on the variety of coffee (a robusta makes more cream than arabica) and its freshness. As such, a coffee roaster will logically more cream than a supermarket coffee.

A coffee I made myself with my machine. I love to see the coffee flow with his cream. It is very beautiful.

Roaster coffee is expensive. Can we roast coffee even?

Yes, it is possible to roast even coffee at home. It can be done with small roasting machines. I know several people who have bought one and they are very happy. I will write an article soon to get into the details and compare what is being done on the market.

Here are two, which I found on Amazon. These are two devices that have a good reputation based on user feedback. If you buy anything through one of these links, the site will make a small contribution, which will help me pay for its hosting :).


Although coffee roaster is more expensive, ie 2 to 3 times more expensive than in the trade, it meets a large number of quality pledges. He will be :

  • Roasting day known (coffee freshness assured).
  • Better roasting quality.
  • Roasting really adapted according to the origin of the coffee.
  • Better development of aromas.
  • Better tracking of the origin of the coffee.
  • More crema.
  • A better taste.

1 comment

  1. Hi,
    FYI – the above roasting machines images don’t load at
    Great articles – am still new to this and struggling a bit with going over 10s extraction time on my La Pavoni Esperto Abile (upgraded to brass group sleeve + a digital group thermometer) and their Cylindro grinder (really nice and outputs 17.1g from 17g of coffee without suffering any retention issues found in Mazzer!).

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