We've used the Gene Cafe roaster for several years, and it's rotating, angled drum action results in fantastically even roasts.
This year, a new N. American importer has come on scene, and is really pushing hard to establish the Gene Cafe roaster as the go-to coffee roaster for home enthusiasts. They've also been doing some serious factory refurbishing of Gene Cafe CBR-101 models and are selling them at the great price of $395.
These roasters are virtually indistinguishable from the new $515 models; they have the same warranty and the same build quality, etc. You can roast up to 12oz of coffee at a time in them (though I recommend 8 to 10oz), and you can fine tune the roast profiles to your heart's content.
Keep in mind two caveats: this roaster is extremely sensitive to surrounding temperatures so don't use it in too cold a spot, and note - it produces a hella lotta smoke - so use it in a well ventilated (outdoor?) area.
Column Description Whether it's up to the minute, happening this day, this week, or in the recent past, this column's goal is to present coffee and attempts to make the experience truly culinary. You'll find short reviews about past events, interesting coffees coming on the market, new and different ways to enjoy espresso and other brewing methods, and give an insight into efforts around the globe to make coffee a truly culinary thing. Column written by Mark Prince.