Don't deal with Hearthware. Even the i-Roast II has poorly put together parts and others are not happy with it.
Positive Product Points
Flashy programmable roast profile with display. Seemed sturdy but is actually not.
Negative Product Points
Hearthware i-Roast is a very poorly designed and implemented product. The company knows it and has concurrently marketed a Model II at a higher price. The Modlel II fixes some of the problems inherent in the design. As an owner of the i-Roast, I paid good money for an item that was designed poorly and was improperly implemented. I expect the manufacturer to deliver a working product. Don't expect any help from Hearthware. These people are totally uncooperative. This company deserves to go out of business based on their poor products and even worse customer service.
At first, I was impressed by the flashy display and programmable roast profile. After using this roaster the first couple of times, I noticed that the top lid and the twist and lock body would shake themselves loose. I asked for a replacement lid and found that it also comes loose easily. Now I read from Sweet Maria's that Hearthware admits that the i-Roast was improperly implemented and claims that the model II has solved some of these problems. I hear a fair bit of complaints of the model II at various forums also. When I contacted Hearthware about the problems I have had with my unit, I received no reply. As a result of the frequent coming apart of the lid and the main body while roasting, a number of roasts were ruined. Also, I cannot come up with any profile for roasting because the blowing off of the lid causes the temperature to fluctuate widely. It is not easy to program this unit either and that has added to the frustration. I have used this item no more than 10 times and have reverted back to using my trusty Fresh Raost Plus. I can consistently roast much better coffees with the Fresh Roast Plus, which costs about half the price. I think the owners of the original i-Roast should band together to sue the manufacturer for making a product that DOES NOT WORK. Hearthware does not deserve to continue to be in business considering how poorly it has treated its customers!!!
I purchased from Greenbeanery which is a fine company. They tried to help me by replacing the lid. Unfortunately, the replacement did not work any better. My buying experience is ruined by Hearthware, which knows that they have come up with a poorly designed and poorly implemented product. When a replacement model was made shortly after, there is no attempt by Hearthware to help the earlier owners of their products. Not only did Heathware, the manufacturer made my buying experience unpleasant, this company had made coffee roasting an unrewarding hobby for awhile. My love for a better brew has caused me to investigate further, and now, I am happy roasting again with the Gene Cafe roaster.
Three Month Followup
Hearthware i-Roast parts keeps shaking loose while roasting. As a result, I have not been able to get any consistency in roasting. It had bummed me out so much for a while that I wasn't interested in roasting green beans anymore. Now, the Hearthware i-Roast sits idle and sooner than later, will be trashed. I wouldn't want to wish this product onto anyone. Hearthware is uncooperative and is unwilling to help. I have replaced the i-Roast with a Gene Cafe roaster and what a difference! Despite not having any of the i-Roast useless programming features, I am getting consistent roasts every time. The Gene Cafe has brought back the joy of roasting green coffee beans again. Save your money, don't buy anything from Hearthware, get a Fresh Roast Plus or a Gene Cafe and be HAPPY!
One Year Followup
I have since given up on the Hearthware i-Roast. I gave it away but warned the person getting it that he should consider getting a better designed roaster. I have since been using a Gene Cafe and am a very happy camper. I find that all the presets that the i-Roast Plus had are very inaccurate. It really depends on the ambient tempurature and whether one has warmed up by having used the roaster for awhile. Although the Cafe Gene is a manual one, I have no problems with it at all. The nicest thing is it works and roasts consistently well larger batches.