Great for ligher and medium roasts. You will earn your money back on this machine within 6 months of roasting.
Positive Product Points
Wonderfully designed product and I can actually converse with Joe Behm and give him feedback. The machine performs very well but as most of you know, doing really dark roasts are not this machines forte. I have recently been playing with the double roast concept and if done within a well watched profile so you can force the cool mode, you can retain the flavor of the bean. My real positive has been roasting KONA at P3 and taking it into cool during the latter part of 1C. I know I am doing well with it because I am having no problem selling it for $25.00 per pound.
Negative Product Points
Must religiously follow all guidelines for this product such as keeping it clean, using simple green and doing a clean cycle every 5 roasts. Make sure line voltage is good and never ever let it be by itself. This isn't really a negative but for some people, being vigilant might be a problem. Keeping and eye on your roast also helps you learn the machine better. I have never done Roast Profile 5.
The Behmor coffee roaster is an engineer's dream made into a very useful product. What makes it equally attractive is the price point of $299.99. I bought mine from Sweet Maria's and even drove down to get it but there are other online places you can also get one. It's a great roaster and comes with well documented RTFM (Read the F-- Manual) kind of instructions. The roast profiles are preprogrammed but you can learn how to cheat and do other creative things with it. Just be careful not to go 10 seconds past 2C or you will VOID your warranty.
This is not the machine for French Roast. You can achieve a City to Full City Plus with this machine and if you allow your beans to off gas, for 48-96 hours, you will achieve some amazing results. I allow my espresso to off gas for 9-14 days before grinding and drinking. Kona I allow 7-9 days of off-gassing before drinking.
I love the cool mode and often open the door to cool even faster. You will get chaff flying around but its easy to clean. I prefer to give the chaff to my plants and it really ammends soil well. So, while you can use a shop vac, consider also using the chaff to be a nice additive to house plant soil. Kind of keeps you in the food chain cycle and makes you feel closer to our farmer friends in other countries who worked hard to bring you their bean.
The Behmor may look like a toaster oven but being able to roast in a drum based on Quartz heating elements works well. I admit I want to be able to roast to deeper levels but there are ways to cheat the machine..roast 1/2 pound but set it to 1lb is one such way. Sweet Marias has documented this too. You MUST be at the machine and be ready to hit cool and if you get into heavy smoke, you will soon have a fire.
Learn the difference between an ENDOTHERMIC reaction and an EXOTHERMIC. Soon after 1c, the beans have their own heat going on and they can very quickly coast into an over roast if you are not paying attention.
Like any wonderful hobby, the more you learn and immerse yourself, the more you can do and understand.
What I like best about the Behmor is you can successfully get into coffee roasting without breaking the bank and you can learn a lot by playing with the profiles preprogrammed within the machine.
If you want to try your hand at coffee roasting, you should start with a Behmor 1600! :)
Joe Behm and staff at Behmor are super friendly and love coffee. His love of coffee drove him to his making the Behmor and I want to do my best to support this venture by buying his products and esteeming him and his Behmor 1600 every chance I get. It's been a great roaster and I plan to buy another!