Roasts coffees in all amounts up to and including a full pound with no problems; sturdy construction, versatility, reasonable cost
Negative Product Points
Bulky, high amp requirement
The Behmor 1600 is an electric drum roaster that will roast up to 1 full pound of caffeinated or decaf coffee with excellent results and minimal smoke.
I was greatly dissatisfied with my prior iRoast and air popcorn roasters that all eventually melted down (despite careful use and the addition of several air popper modifications. What I wanted was a dedicated electric coffee roaster that could roast up to a pound of coffee at a time while delivering excellent results. I also needed a powerful, well-built machine that was versatile enough to use for all kinds and types of roasts, sturdy enough to use every few days, and reliable enough to last for several years of regular use.
After two and a half years of use I can say that the Behmore 1600 has fulfilled all these requirements so far, and is still going strong. In fact, I like it more today than when I first began using it.
It roasts well and hearing the 1st and 2nd crack is not a problem. I found the programmed roast profiles sufficient to roast all kinds of green coffees, from decaf Brazilian to Ethiopian Yrgacheffe, including blends, and bring them to any required roast level (City, Full City, French, etc.) I have no troubles getting great roasts with a full pound of coffee that are fully equivalent in both aroma, color consistency, and taste to 1/2 pound and smaller batches. In fact, I usually roast a full pound at a time. You just need to get some experience with the machine and practice.
Another bonus is that the Behmor is much quieter than most electric roasters, particularly the air popcorn poppers. It has a muted "rom, rom, rom" noise that isn't any louder than the sound of the beans revolving in the drum. You can roast in the kitchen or outdoors and easily maintain a conversation while monitoring the machine.
The coffee bean chaff is largely contained in the chaff collector screen; roasted beans emerge from the basket clean and ready for use. The basket and removable chaff collector screen can be washed with soap and water, while the interior of the Behmor cleans up easy with the (included) brush and the use of the self-cleaning feature. No sweat. After some use a bit of Simple Green will remove oil buildup from the interor. That's about it.
Once you read the manual and complete a few roasts, getting the roast profiles correct becomes a lot easier. You must still monitor the machine, and the profile adjusted or corrected accordingly for the desired results. This may involve adding a bit of incremental time, or hitting the COOL button early.
At 1630 watts it draws nearly 14 amps at 120 volts. You're well-advised to use the Behmor 1600 on a dedicated 15-amp or (even better), a 20-amp circuit, with nothing else plugged into the circuit. If you use it outdoors, plug it directly into an outlet, and don't use an extension cord. I have fairly 'hot' house wiring at 121-122 volts, and have never experienced a reduction in roasting power, dimming, shutoff, or other signs of inadequate electrical supply.
Bought online from www.burmancoffee.com for $299; that price included free shipping, a second (small-grid) roasting drum, and five pounds of Ethiopian green coffee beans, all included at no extra charge.