Given the competition, this is the nachine to have unless you've lots of money to spend.
Positive Product Points
It does the job and is quite easy to use
Negative Product Points
Quite a bit of clean up afterwards.
The roast over runs and so stopping exactly when required is difficult.
The clasp on the basket can come off - iei it is not welded on sufficiently well or another method of mounting would be better.
I've used this machine for over 3 years.
The reason I home roast is two-fold. Firstly, cost as it ends up being just over half of what you pay for roasted beans and secondly because I cannot find a commercially available roasted coffee that suits my palate.
Over time I have pretty much kept to a regular blend that I use and roast it in pretty much the same way. If you are not a real coffeegeek you will probably end up doing the same and thus my review is aimed at such people.
Some points: firstly the machine will not roast sufficiently if you use the full weight. I usually roast my blend on the 1lb setting and generally use 15oz of green beans (on a hot summer's day it will do 1 lb but until you know the machine I would suggest 1oz of beans less than the setting). Secondly, when you stop the machine it continues to roast on the cool cycle because it takes quite a while to cool down. As the key levels of roast occur around the second crack within seconds it makes fine tuning the roast level quite difficult, and a bit random because factors such as humidity and ambient temperature have an affect. Having said that for the average user rather than real coffee geek this will make little difference in practise. Lastly the machine puts out quite a bit of very acrid smoke, this will set off smoke alarms and will get into your curtains, carpets, soft furnishings etc and will take days to come out. So choose your roasting location wisely and make sure it is well ventilated. You will need to be present at the final stages of the roast so you don't want to cause yourself asphyxiation!
What I do is to make my blend of green beans (usually 15oz) and roast this on the 1lb setting. I used to roast the components separately and blend after and end up with a larger quantity but the way I do it now makes the most sense for me.
After you put the green beans in the basket I recommend shaking it outside - this will get rid of dust and some chaff that you do not want to roast.
Whilst the machine has a number of options in practise I do not believe the average user will make use of them. I always use mode 2 (this brings the roast up to temperature, then backs off for a while near the end, then comes back on full right at the end) and a time setting of C. When the first crack starts I adjust the time so there is 1 min 30 secs left and let the machine auto stop. I remain present and if the 2nd crack starts I immediately set the machine to cool. I tend to like the flavours derived from a City roast rather than French or Italian and so other users may change these parameters.
With this method I achieve pretty consistent, really good coffee and it is easy.
The machine takes a bit of cleaning. There will be quite a bit of chaff to clean out and some will escape around the machine. Small amounts of dust size particles of chaff will exit from the exhaust.
After a roast, you clean out the machine and roast it empty on the 1/2 lb setting and every 6 or so times you need to clean with some food safe degreasing product.
I tend to do my roasting while I'm checking my email or something so I can keep an eye on the machine but not spend any real time on it. That way the overhead of doing it is quite low.
I bought in New Zealand which will have little relevance to most readers. Vendor Fresh Roast was excellent. and I've subsequently bought a second machine from him.