An excellent machine, keeping the roasting process simple and easy for a beginner or novice.
Positive Product Points
Ridiculously easy to roast your own beans. I was a bit apprehensive about the process, never having roasted beans before, and had heard the rave reviews for the flavor of fresh beans. I am now a convert!! I can't think of how the process could be any easier than using this machine.
Negative Product Points
Just the size, I suppose. Yes, you do have to roast multiple batches to get any type of quantity of beans, but you shouldn't be roasting that many to begin with unless you're going to make all of the coffee within a few days anyway.
This machine is so easy to set up, and the clean up is so easy that I don't know why I didn't try it before. From the get go, the very first batch I made was excellent. I use one of the tricks learned from this website - at the end of first crack put the machine into cooling mode for around 30 seconds for reg coffee, and about only 15 seconds for decaf, so that you can increase the roasting time from 1st to 2nd crack. That's all there is to it to make an excellent batch.
I have done multiple batches, and let the components of the machine cool down between batches. You do have to keep your eye on the roaster as it passes 1st crack and gets to 2nd, as the beans will roast fairly quickly once you hit 2nd crack. Even at 2nd crack and beyond I have not found smoke to be an issue at all. I simply roast under my range hood, which exhausts any smoke/odors outside of my house.
All in all, this is one of the easiest things I have done in my kitchen. The clean up is a snap.
First time purchasing from Sweet Maria's and did not have any problems at all.