This machine roasts perfectly each and every time. Very easy to use, fun to watch, an awesome investment and well worth the cost.
Positive Product Points
Larger (1/2 lb.) batch size. Even roast. Easy to operate. Very unique design and operation...fun to watch my beauties getting tumbled and roasted.
Negative Product Points
The price is a little high for a home coffee roasting machine. The "necessary" roast time increased about 20% after about 100 roast cycles (maybe I should clean it???).
I purchased this machine to increase my batch size from the 1/4 lb. (Zack and Dani's) to this machines 1/2 lb. capacity. I love the tumbling feature of this machine. It 'rolls' the beans in a twisting motion which allows for a very even and accurate roast. The beans are consistenly roasted perfectly (as long as I set the time correctly). I have roasted decaf's, Panama's, Ethiopian, Kona's, Blue Mountains, Mexican, Peru, Kenya's, Sumatran, Yemen, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Costa Rican, Sulawesi, Bolivia, Papua NG's and many other coffee's in this machine, and it has yet to let me down.
The chaff collector is easy to empty also. I don't wash the collector or the chamber. I wipe them, but I don't submerse them or wash them. (and I learned my lesson from not doing it). Update 7/2/2009: I did wash my chaff collector but I did not take it apart and scrub the screens the way I should have (about once every 2 months or so). The oils and residue must have clogged the screens somewhat, causing the machine to run too hot. I burned about $45 worth of beans in 3 batches of Jamaican Blue Mountain and a Mexican decaf. I learned from this mistake and now I clean the chaff collector by disassembling it every few months. I have also purchased the larger chaff collector which also has a 3" vent port that you can attach a hose to and vent the smoke/heat away from the machine, or out the room in which it is roasting....a great idea.
I keep this machine in an enclosed cabinet and bring it out to use it and then put it away. I produces a small amount of smoke, much less than others that I have seen. I like the audible alarm when the roast is complete, it gets your attention and you can remove the beans quickly to aid in the cooling down process.
This machine can produce a lot of coffee in a short time, it may not be a commercial size roaster, but it can keep me and my coffee friends supplied with great fresh roasted coffee. This is a great started roaster for the novice or curious roaster....and it's also a great machine to 'move up too' if you have started with a popcorn popper or something more basic. I highly recommend this machine.
In the event you need warranty work etc. on it, contact Tim Skaling at www.freshbeansinccom. He is very helpful and full of knowledge.
Purchased from Sweetmaria's. Once again, I'm a very happy SM's customer. Their reviews are accurate, honest and very detailed. This company is A+++ in all that they do. Their coffee is the best quality in the WORLD, period.