Small scale home roasting doesn't get any easier than this.
Positive Product Points
I'm hooked on freshly roasted coffee with the precision roaster!
Negative Product Points
Although I am aware that some have had problems with this roaster, I have yet to have any.
It had never occured to me to roast my own beans before I subscribed to alt.coffee. Even when I first heard of it I thought it somewhat silly. To be totally honest, I said "never, no, not me, these guys are really over the edge!" You can guess what happened. It wasn't long before I realized there must be something to it if so many people are convinced it makes for the best cup of coffee. And after all, isn't that what we are after?
Well, after one month and 30+ roasts, I am a complete convert! For me, this roaster has been perfect. It has worked flawlessly through every roast and it is so simple to use. I am completely enjoying it. While I might like a larger capacity at some point, it is actually nice that it makes small amounts so easily. I am having a blast trying all kinds of coffee I'd never even heard of before this and since the green beans keep so well, I am not rushed to roast or finish a particular type.
As for the roast itself, I know that the best possible way is to sit there and watch for each phase, it is not practical for me. With this roaster, I have been able to set it and check it often and then adjust it if not right. I always roast two batches of each type and unless I really goofed one, they are pretty good when mixed. I keep detailed notes including the approx. temp of the garage because I found out quickly what a difference that can make. One thing that helped a lot was when I was able to buy pre-roasted beans and the same type in green. That helped me to see to some degree what I was trying to accomplish. I would roast mine and hold them side by side to the pre-roasted and see if I was light or dark etc. Then I would grind and brew the both and see what I liked taste wise.
After roasting, this machine is a cinch to clean and the chaff collector works extremely well. About the smoke etc. I always use it in the garage on a table in front of an open window with a fan. Even so, the garage smells like popcorn for several hours so I know I would never want to attempt it in the house.
When I think of how much I used to spend for a pound of so so coffee, this will pay for itself way before the year is up.
At this point, this is about all I can say other than how pleased I have been to be "over the edge"!
I bought this from Sweet Maria's and it was as easy as can be.