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FreshRoast Roaster - Charles Gardner's Review
Posted: June 25, 2002, 7:50pm
review rating: 7.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
FreshRoast Roaster
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Arrow The FreshRoast Roaster has 68 Reviews
Arrow The FreshRoast Roaster has been rated 8.29 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow FreshRoast Roaster reviews have been viewed 310,673 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Jon Stout 9.50
Arnie Quinn 9.00
Steve Pacenka 9.00
Jerry Kalpin 9.00
Joseph Hession 8.75

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.0
Manufacturer: Fresh Beans Inc. Quality: 9
Average Price: $75.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $72.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: SweetMarias.com Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 3 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Air popper
Bottom Line: Drop the air popper or the pre-roast.  Get a FR+ and find the next level.
Positive Product Points

The FreshRoast Plus is extremely easy to use and produces very repeatable results.  Through a little less than 10 lbs of roasts so far, the unit has fared very well and gives every sign of a long future.

Negative Product Points

The timer dial only runs to 5 minutes, and I generally roast between 5 1/2 and 7 minutes depending on the bean; an 8 or 10 minute timer would be an improvement.

The roasting chamber and lid only rest on the base.  I would worry far less about an accidental chamber breakage if the chamber had a locking mechanism to hold it to the base (some sort of retaining clip).

Detailed Commentary

My first roasts were on an old air popper.  It took me nearly a pound of green beans to even get in the ballpark of where I wanted to be.  Even after a few pounds, I still found the process of roasting to be very tedious.

The FR+ has changed my outlook on roasting; now, I look forward to roasting up a new batch.  Basically, I plug the unit in on the back porch and turn it on for a couple minutes.  Go inside and fetch the measured beans and come back outside to a warmed up roaster.  Dump the beans and turn the timer.  Come back in a couple minutes and dial another 1 to 2 minutes to the timer and wait.  The FR+ dutifully roasts along, showing the roast progress easily through the glass roasting chamber.  It progresses on its own to a sufficiently long cool down cycle and turns itself off.  Dump beans and repeat.

I've done as many as four roasts back-to-back, and others have reported doing more consecutively.  It seems to handle the repeated roasts without a problem.

While the bean capacity is not enormous, I have no complaint with it.  I roast for two people drinking one or two doubles a day.  My normal roast is SM Monkey blend 80/20 with a robusta.  I run two batches of that and one batch of a rotating variety for experimentation.  Three batches every four to five days, and life is good.

Having never owned a drum roaster, I can't compare the FR+ to them, but I do highly recommend it as a step up from the air popper.  The ease of use and repeatability of roasts is worth the $70.

Buying Experience

From the FR+ to green beans, Sweet Maria's has always been excellent.  I would highly recommend buying from them.  Don't miss out on the sampler pack with the FR+; the variety provides a good learning tool both for bean tastes and roast behavior.

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review rating: 7.0
Posted: June 25, 2002, 7:50pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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