A coffeegeek's dream: Use the basic settings and get better and fresher roasts than you're used to, or fiddle endlessly in persuit of perfection.
Positive Product Points
Great tasting roasted beans produced easily, first time, by a complete novice. Solid and professional looking machine. Highly satisfying!!
Negative Product Points
Noisy. Quite smoky smells hang around for a long time afterwards. Costs more in Britain!
Bought for my birthday last week after solid hinting for the past month. It is a great looking machine that looks the business on the kitchen counter. With it came 3 samples of green beans.
The operation couldn't be simpler - simply twist open and remove the top chaff holder and fill the bowl with 2 scoops (supplied) of beans. Twist the top on and press the roast button. Watch in fascination as the beans yellow, swell and then darken. Hear the fine cracking and, when the beans are just about dark enough ( they continue to roast for a short while afterwards) press the "cool" button. 4 minutes later the warm beans can then be removed.
If anyone at that time can then wait the minimum 4 hours for degassing they need either a medal or a mental assessment. In went the beans into the Rocky and then the Brikka stove top.
Result: the thickest crema I've ever had and a very good tasting brew, albeit slightly over-roasted. By the next morning they were even better.
Now I can start the learning curve: the 3 roasting times can be adjusted by time and temperature and the forums are full of suggestions as to the best settings. Doing the settings is a little fiddly but hey, why else are we on this forum.
The main problem is the smell. It is an acrid/burnt smell leaving a haze in the kitchen even though I used it under the fan/hood. There is a fitting to add an extractor hose but this would look very Heath Robinson and I'm unsure how to add this and still have it acceptable to my better half in our new kitchen. Apparently the roaster is sensitive to external temperature so roasting in the garage during winter is not a option. So far though the family haven't complained so I'm staying in the kitchen.
I now have a store of green beans that will be fine for weeks/months and access to beans roasted no more than 3 days ago - wonderful. The satisfaction of drinking great tasting beans that you have roasted yourself is huge. What has suprised me is how much better the coffee is. It has significantly improved the flavour both in depth and duration.
Though the net using HasBean: I think it's the only UK supplier. No problems: it came 3 days after ordering with 3 125g samples of green beans.