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Last updated: October 09, 2021

Fresh Roast SR540 Review: Incredibly Compact and Mighty

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By
Reviewed by
Reviewed by
Last updated: October 09, 2021
Coffee Statistics is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
What's special about it:
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and compact
  • A clear and bright temperature display
Highlights:
  • Glass roasting chamber
  • Simple user interface
  • 9 different heat settings
Editor's Rating
?
CoffeeScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
9
out of 10
  • Performance 9.5
  • Ease of use 9.0
  • Durability 8.9
  • Portability 8.6
Users’ Rating
4.2
out of 5
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    4.2
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    139 Users’ Ratings
    • 5 stars
      32%
    • 4 stars
      61%
    • 3 stars
      6%
    • 2 stars
      1%
    • 1 stars
      0%
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Coffee lovers everywhere would enjoy roasting their own coffee beans with the Fresh Roast SR540 coffee roaster. It's a simple machine that has all the features you need to start roasting your own coffee. And while it has a relatively small roasting chamber, it's perfect for roasting beans at home for that perfect cup of joe in the morning!

This roaster is an upgrade over the SR500, giving you more control over the roasting process. The SR540 is a great home roaster and could be just what you need to take your homebrew to the next level.

Keep on reading our Fresh Roast SR540 Review below to find out if you should make the upgrade.

Specifications

Capacity (oz.)
4-5
Roast time (min.)
10-20
Material
Stainless steel/BPA-free plastic
Dimensions (in.)
14.4x8.4x8.3
Weight (lbs.)
5.84
Heat settings
9
Fan settings
9
Warranty
1 year

Studies Trusted Source Drinking more coffee can lead to a longer life, new studies say - CNN People who drank two to four cups a day had an 18% lower risk of death compared with people who did not drink coffee, according to the study. edition.cnn.com have shown that coffee offers great health benefits, along with providing us with a tasty drink to kick start our mornings. And if you’re a coffee drinker looking to up your homebrewing game, you might want to start roasting your own coffee beans.

Roasting your beans basically means putting them in an oven to cook them. Roasting coffee beans gives them that signature flavor by releasing the different oils inside the bean. And luckily, you don't even need special equipment to roast your own coffee Trusted Source Coffee, Old-School: An Intro to Roasting Your Own - The Atlantic All the necessary equipment for effective coffee roasting resides in even the most Spartan of kitchens. Non-stick pan? Stovetop? Get ready to roast. www.theatlantic.com ! However, to have full control over the flavor and roast of your coffee, we highly recommend investing in roasters such as the Fresh Roast SR540.

The SR450 coffee roaster is a lightweight and efficient coffee roaster that’s very easy to use. It’s a great roaster for beginners and experienced coffee enthusiasts alike looking to take full control over their blends!

In this comprehensive review, we take a look at this roaster’s features, pros, and cons. And by the end of our SR540 coffee roaster review, you’ll have a vivid picture of the product to help you decide whether or not it belongs in your kitchen!

Overall Performance & Design

Fresh Roast SR540 Review: Incredibly Compact and Mighty

All adjustments are made by pushing the knob and turning to adjust the heat, fan, and time.

The Fresh Roast SR540 is a simple coffee roaster ideal for beginners. It’s easy to use, comes packed with essential features, and does a great job at roasting your beans. With nine different heat settings, a compact design, and a simple user interface, this is one of the best affordable coffee roasters on the market.

The SR540 is an improvement over the old SR500 model and boasts new features and settings. The most significant feature of the SR540 is that you have much more control over the heat of the oven, allowing you to roast your beans just how you like them perfectly.

Capacity

This coffee roaster has a maximum capacity of 120g of coffee beans. If you brew your cup of joe at a ratio of 55g per liter, then you can roast enough beans for two liters of coffee. While it may not fit restaurants and cafes, this is just right for anyone looking to roast coffee beans at home.

The SR540 boasts a bigger roasting chamber than its predecessor, but that doesn’t equal a larger capacity. Instead, the larger chamber allows the air to flow better while also allowing you to view the beans as they roast.

Material

One of the key features of this roaster is the glass roasting chamber. The chamber can hold a fair amount of beans while also allowing you to watch as they roast. The glass chamber adds a touch of class to the roaster while also being strong enough to withstand the high roasting heat.

However, aside from the chamber, the rest of the machine is made of plastic. This isn’t exactly a knock on the quality, especially since this is a fairly affordable model. While we may have enjoyed seeing more durable materials for the other components of this model, it can do the job exceptionally well.

Dimensions and Weight

Since the SR540 coffee roaster is designed for home use, it’s very compact. The entire machine only weighs around 5.8 lbs, so you can easily move it around the kitchen if needed. On top of that, this roaster measures in at 14.4 x 8.4 x 8.3 inches, which gives you enough room to efficiently brew your coffee while also taking up minimal space in the kitchen.

Main Features

As mentioned earlier, the SR540 is a definite improvement on the SR500. In this section, we dive into this machine’s main features and how they can greatly improve functionality in your kitchen.

Heat Settings

Fresh Roast SR540 Review: Incredibly Compact and Mighty

A quick turn of the knob to the right will display the current temperature.

The primary feature of the SR540 coffee roaster is the different heat settings. Fresh roast advertises this machine as having 9 different heat settings. And for the most part, this is true, but tweaking with the heat settings is different than how you might imagine.

This coffee roaster has three settings that you can tweak; fan speed, heat level, and time. Each of these controls can be set anywhere between 1-9. However, some customers complained that fan settings lower than 6 wouldn’t be strong enough to move the beans around, while heat settings below 8 won’t be enough to roast the beans. However, when you crank the heat up to the highest setting for around 9 minutes, you can achieve a nice medium-dark to dark roast.

You can accomplish lighter roasts with the weaker settings, though keep in mind that it might take some practice to figure out the right settings for different roasts.

Fan Settings

The fan on a coffee roaster is designed to move the beans around. When roasting, it’s very important that the beans get roasted evenly to produce a balanced and rich coffee flavor. As mentioned earlier, you can set the fan between 1-9. Any setting less than 6 won’t be strong enough to move the beans around at full capacity. So, if you want to experiment with lighter coffee roasts, then you might need to lower the number of beans you’re roasting so the fan can move it around.

Roast Time

You can roast your beans anywhere between 1-9 minutes. In most cases, this is more than enough to achieve a variety of roasts. For dark roasts, you need to keep the machine on for 9 minutes at full heat. If you want lighter roasts, you can experiment with the three different parameters until you find just the right setting for you.

Remember, it might take some time to get the hang of tweaking the settings to achieve the best roast possible, but that’s all part of the coffee roasting process.

How to Use the Fresh Roast SR540

The Fresh Roast SR540 coffee roaster is designed for beginners. It has a simple display on the machine, a button to start or stop roasting, an on/off button, and a dial to make adjustments. It’s very easy to use, even if you’ve never tried roasting coffee before.

When you take the roaster out of the box, expect to do some assembling. The SR540 comes with a manual, but some customers have reported that assembling the device can be fairly tricky. And since none of the different pieces lock in, you have to make sure to follow instructions carefully to get it to work.

Once you’ve assembled the machine, all you have to do is start roasting. To begin roasting, wipe the inside of the chamber with a damp cloth to clean it, then load it with your green coffee beans. The maximum capacity of the chamber is 120 grams, so make sure not to go over that. 

From there, turn on your machine. You can use the default factory settings for roasting, as this provides a nice roast and make the process much simpler. However, if you want to tweak the different settings, you can do that by adjusting the dial. After you input the right settings, simply press the start button, and the SR540 does the rest. 

Fresh Roast SR540 Review: Incredibly Compact and Mighty

Soon the beans will noticeably swell, and you’ll hear a popping sound. It sounds a lot like popcorn. You will also notice that there is more smoke, and the smell is different.

You can watch as your beans slowly start to roast, and if you notice that they darkened before the time expires, simply press the run/cool button to stop the process. The glass chamber allows you to watch in awe as the beans turn from green to a dark and rich color that you know will taste great in your cup of joe.

Cleaning

It’s very easy to clean the Fresh Roast SR540. All you really need is a damp cloth to wipe the chamber down after it cools. Some chaff, which is leftover skin on the coffee beans, may be left behind after roasting, but the cloth will remove that fairly quickly and without much of a fuss.

Ease of Maintenance

To maintain the machine and keep it running for years to come, you need to clean it regularly. As mentioned earlier, it’s really easy to clean the chamber. However, you also need to empty out the chaff collector on the top of the machine after every use. The SR540 also has a top-cap screen that you need to clean after using.

It doesn’t require much to maintain this machine, which is why it’s a great pick for beginners. As long as you clean the machine properly after every use, you won’t have to worry about it breaking down on you any time soon.

Warranty

The Fresh Roast SR540 coffee roaster comes with a 1-year warranty to protect against factory defects. This ensures that you receive a working and functional roaster that can do the job as advertised. However, this doesn’t cover damage due to misuse and abuse, which is about standard for coffee roasting machines.

Price

One of the reasons people are hesitant to get into roasting their own beans is that coffee roasters are expensive. However, the Fresh Roast SR540 offers a lot of value for the money. It’s one of the best coffee roasters under $200 on the market today and can keep up with machines in much more expensive price ranges.

Other Features

When it comes to extra features, the SR540 is lacking. Since it’s a beginner’s roaster available on a budget, you shouldn’t expect tons of extra features. This simple roaster with a basic design, simple settings, and a very intuitive design makes roasting coffee beans much easier.

PROS CONS
  • Great value for the money
  • Easy to use
  • Gives you decent control over the roasting process
  • The glass chamber allows you to watch the roasting process
  • Affordable and ideal for beginners
  • Relatively small roasting capacity
  • The design is lacking in some areas

 

Conclusion

Anybody looking to start roasting coffee at home would greatly enjoy the Fresh Roast SR540. It’s a basic coffee roaster that gives you a decent amount of control over the roasting process. The glass chamber allows you to watch the process, and it’s also very easy to clean.

If you need a simple machine to get you started in the roasting game, the Fresh Roast SR540 coffee roaster is the pick for you. This is a great pick for your first coffee roaster and comes with all the features you need to start learning how to roast your beans.

This roaster is worth every penny and every coffee enthusiast looking to take full control over their cup of joe should definitely check it out.

References

1.
Drinking more coffee can lead to a longer life, new studies say - CNN
People who drank two to four cups a day had an 18% lower risk of death compared with people who did not drink coffee, according to the study.
2.
Coffee, Old-School: An Intro to Roasting Your Own - The Atlantic
All the necessary equipment for effective coffee roasting resides in even the most Spartan of kitchens. Non-stick pan? Stovetop? Get ready to roast.
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