Great roaster, great price, built like a tank and fun to watch!
Positive Product Points
- Great price for a commercial roaster - Fluid bed, gas heat, makes an even roast - Produces a brighter cup with more aroma - Watch the roast up close and personal - Auto roasting so I can multi-task - Able to roast 24/7 - Great on gas! Propane model only cost me $0.06 for a roast.
Negative Product Points
- No custom profiling. (yet)
I have wanted one of these roasters since I stumbled across them 2 years ago. I found a good deal on a used one here at CG and made the transaction. I haven't regretted it since! 1. The price for a 1 lb commercial roaster starts at $5,000. This one is half price. 2. Build quality once I received it surprised me. It's all metal and steel, heavier than I thought. Like any roaster smaller parts are built well but will have to be replaced from time to time. 4. Roasting. Limited to the 1-9 settings but still produce good coffee at any roast temp I desire. BTW! Sonofresco is coming out with a new board in 2014 that will allow USB input for custom roasting profiles via PC or laptop! I plan to implement several into a cafe in the future so this mod came at the best time! 5. Easy cleaning and no chaff in the chamber.
If your wondering if the Sono can roast dark regardless of bean. Yes it can. 9 Settings, 9 different roast temps. :) Cinnamon - Spanish roasts. If I need to kill the heat early for a specific roast temp I just set a timer to repeat the roast to the second and flip the switch. Obviously depending on the bean this may change temp wise but dark roasts are doable. Sonofresco's customer service was great also. They answered all of my questions before and after purchasing privately.
TIPS: Add a vent or small tube to the top of the roaster for accurate temp reading. Also Clean the probe every time like they say. Don't get lazy. Simple Green 1 spray on a paper towel to wipe the chamber keeps it shiny. Takes 10 sec.
Three Month Followup
The Sonofresco is still working great. I have converted to natural gas which was also pretty easy. Now vented outside I Have the roaster installed in my home. It allows for just a bit of roasting aroma which is perfect. People waiting for there order love the smell and can watch roast process. I have noticed that the coffee bean can that comes with it holds about 570 g of green but the machine can actually roast 666 g (1.4 lb) beautifully. I've roasted City, Full City, Vienna and French roasts and all of them hit directly on target cleaning during roasts do only take less than a minute as Sonofresco stated. I'm loving it and plan to buy several 1 kg models. :) The only thing I am not the happiest about is when you assemble the chaff collector before roasting if it's off at all it will allow a tad bit of chaff and hot air to escape which will read on the sensor that the temp isn't rising fast enough and error code 3 will go off but you can keep roasting manually even with E3 flashing.
One Year Followup
It's still running like the day I bought it. It's been getting light commercial use. I've done 4 back to back roasts and it handles it like a champ. Can do 1650 g roasted in about an hour. Sonofresco wasn't kidding about it's daily roast capacity. According to my calculations if I were to roast at a Full City and I don't usually go any darker I could actually roast approx 30 lb in an 8 hour stretch back to back. This is a kick a$$ auto roaster! As long as they are around I'm sticking with Sonofresco. Next will be the new 1 lb with sample and ADR.