Excellent roaster for single coffee drinker home, or many variety roasts!
Positive Product Points
I like the quick roast time I have had with the FR PLUS. I can do a small number of batches in a decent amount of time. The l batch size is small but this is a plus if you like roasting many different varieties. I really enjoy having a quiet motor as it makes it easy to hear the cracks as well as not disturb my entire household. I personally like the simple mechanical dial
Negative Product Points
The small batch size can be a disadvantage as well. If you are someone who likes to drink on type of variety frequently you will have to do many batches to reach your quota. The roaster is also plastic, so the coffee oils build up easily on the roaster lid. It does not feel cheap when using it, but it does not have that "professional feel" when your roasting. You do not have any pre-set roast profiles so this is not a set and forget machine.
I am pretty much the only coffee drinker in my household. My wife enjoys a macchiato somewhat frequently but not a daily drinker. I roast about 3-4 batches a week. 2 for my morning vac-pot and 2 for my Silvia espresso machine. I am one who always is trying new varieties so I rarely roast two batches of the same coffee. I also love to blend (sounds spiritual doesn't it...). I can make a 3 post-roast blend without having even a half pound roasted (no stale coffee for me!). I would not recommend this machine to families with more than 2 coffee drinkers or to even a single coffee drinker who has a heavy consumption level. People who have to roast 6-8 batches a week with this thing should upgrade to a Rosto or Alpenroast (or go with the Gourmet if the MUST). I am somwhat worried about the long term value of this machine. Will I have to replace it in a year or two? If so, the low cost of this machine would not make it to expensive to be replaced. Also, I have heard that Tim gives excellent customer support for the FR. It took me about 1 pound of coffee to get somewhat decent results. I bought a scale and weight 75-80 grams per batch. When I was doing 2 scoops I noticed it would sometimes stall before second crack or not all the way through first crack (BAD!). I tired 70 thinking less beans were better but quickly learned that larger batch sizes keep in heat (DING!). Once I had that settled I really got into the groove.
Got the 8 pack sampler with the F.R. I ordered it right around Christmas and just as the FR plus was being released. Tom was still able to get it shipped out to me by Christmas!