The FreshRoast+ is small, but efficient and seems to be heavy-duty enough to stand up to multiple roasts.
Positive Product Points
It seems to be durable. The glass roasting container is thick, and the chaff collector, heating lement, and motor are efficient. It's strong enough to roast several times in a row. Cracks are easy to hear.
Negative Product Points
Times are inconsistent on roasts, so you must stay and listen for the cracks. The capacity is 75 grams of green coffee beans maximum. The timer only goes up to 5 minutes, and my Full City roasts generally take 6 minutes or so (not really a problem - see below).
Forget the scoop that comes with the machine, and ignore the fill line. I know of two satisfactory ways to figure out the proper amount of coffee beans to roast. If you have a digital scale (HIGHLY recommended), simply scoop out 70 to 75 grams of greean coffee beans into the roasting chamber. If you don't have a scale, look for a small sliver of space between the top of the beans and the metal band representing the fill line. Don't go al the way to the fill line.
Temperature, humidity, type of beans, voltage, and maybe even the number of visible stars in the sky have an effect on the roasting times so this is not a "set it and forget it" setup. Fortunately, the unit is not so noisy that one can't hear the cracks very easily even above the motor of your stove's exhaust fan.
The timer is mechanical so it's a simple task to turn it back for a couple of extra minutes if you need to while it's roasting. As soon as I hear an active second crack, I advance the 5-minute dial to the cooling cycle and get a good Full City roast. I have a small battery operated fan I use to cool the beans a little more after I pour them out of the roasting chamber into my coffee bean container.
Sweetmarias.com is always a pleasure to work with.
Three Month Followup
This is a great roaster to learn on because you can see the beans and hear the cracks easily.
One Year Followup
As the first crack is gettiung started, I generally turn the machine off for 30 to 60 seconds, then start it up again. This extends the roast time a bit and evens out the roast a bit better. I understand that recent updated models have a lower bean capacity because there was some concern about the fan blowing some beans into the chaff collector at the top. I never found this to be a problem.