Well-built, $500, half pound capacity, consistent results. Nothing out there touches it.
Positive Product Points
Good looks backed up by a solid build. Controls are simple and functional. Very close to a "set it and forget it" roaster. Excellent results and consistency.
Negative Product Points
Small metal parts of handle remain hot and can burn when dumping beans. Loading and dumping beans is not as smooth as possible due to a poor design in the lid. No profiling, but this is to be addressed in the digital model. Cooling cycle and time between cycles keeps this roaster from cranking out 2-3 pounds per hour.
I waited for a long time. It was worth the wait.
It can be very consistent (if allowed to cool between roasts), and produces wonderful roasts. I have sold a BBQ drum and PID'd Poppery after having it for just 2 weeks. That is how much I like it. And at an 8 ounce finished batch size, most home roasters will find it adequate for personal use.
I would love to program profiles, but currently you can only give it a target time and target temp, and let it go. What is cool for those who like to really fine-tune their roasts, is the ability to change temp or time on the fly, but of course you need to be standing there to accomplish this. Hopefully the vaporware Digital verison of this roaster will address those concerns. As a side note, an accelerated cooling upgrade is in the works, but the cooling time does not bother me.
Loading or dumping the beans is akward at best. since the hinged lid does not lock and must be flipped back in order to get inside. Because of all the metal parts inside, they divert beans and usually you end up with a few beans splilling while loading or dumping. I would like to see the lid lock, and have a smaller hole on top that would make at least dumping less messy. The handle has a little metal part that stays quite hot, even after the cooling cycle is done. If not careful, it is easy to get burned.
Chaff collection is quite good, but sometimes the chaff screen inside the drum gets a little clogged and can be a fire hazard. This tends to happen with high-chaff beans. That is why they recommend a smaller batch for such beans. The efficiency of the little wiper mechanism that sort of smashes and pushes the chaff from the drum into the collection chamber, is sometimes suspect. I would think this is one improvement that the manufacturer needs to address.
If compared to most of the other roasters out there, this beats them all in this capacity/price range. The closest thing might be a Hottop, but this is sort of a hybrid drum/air roaster, so it is hard to really compare it to anything out there, including the Hottop. If the digital model comes along (even at a higher price point), I would say the perfect home roaster had arrived. As it stands, this is as close to perfect as we have.
Buying experience was very smooth. Shipped promptly and website ordering was very easy.