Doesn't roast a lot of beans, but it does the job right.
Positive Product Points
Customized roasting profiles. Onboard temp readout. Easy to clean.
Negative Product Points
Noisy. Took about a month to break it in and get consistent results. Only does small batches.
I don't regret this purchase at all. Home roasting gives you the best cup of coffee you can get. If you have a bit of time and patience, you will be well rewarded. Since this is my first roaster, I cannot provide comparisons, but I can relate my experience as a newbie.
Home roasting is more an art than a science. The IR2 just makes the process more flexible for each user. The unit's results vary greatly because each house has a slightly different electrical current.
I ruined the first batch by using one of the presets. It burnt my beans to a crisp. Then I tried programming a roasting curve. The manual was very straight-forward, and it was pretty easy to program when you have the manual right in front of you as you go.
The next few batches came out a bit better. I erred on the side of caution and hit the cool button just past 'city roast.' I had trouble hearing the first crack, and could not hear the second crack at all becasue of the noise. The IR2 generates a lot of smoke, especially if you want darker roasts. It is not a nice smelling smoke. If at all possible, roast outside.
ONCE IT IS BROKEN IN
After using the IR2 about six weeks, the results got A LOT better. I could hear the first crack and second crack clearly over the noise, and I was getting consistent results. Roasts were coming out even and I learned to control the roast quite well. I could hear better over the noise and I also checked the onboard temp to make sure it was reaching 450F at the end of the roast.
You can use the IR2 more than once per day, but you have to wait a good two hours at least between roasts. I wait three hours. Batch size is around 130-140 grams. That's around four ounces. You may want to start with 100-110 grams, and then work up from there.
Since I live in Utah, it gets cold and I have to adjust for outside temperatures. If it is warmer than 43-50F outside, I use the following settings:
Below 40F, I roast in my basement, and vent the smoke out of a window using an aluminum dryer hose and a wood plank with a hole for the hose. The IR2 has an adapter that is included to hook up the hose. For the basement I use the '43 - 50 F' settings shown above. Keep in mind these settings may not work for you, unless you have identical electrical current and temperatures. Even if they are the same, I wouldn't assume you will get the same result.
Cleaning is pretty easy. You just empty the chaff collector and 'dust out' the top casing where the collector sits. I wipe out the glass bowl with a damp paper towel about every four-five roasts. The whole cleaning takes less than five minutes.
Home roasting is an investment of time, but with the IR2 and a little practice, it's easy to do. The whole process of roasting and cleaning takes around 15-20 minute, and it is well worth it for the coffe you get. I wish it would do larger batches, but it is still a great applicance for home use.
Sweet Marias is excellent. They are fast everything arrived without a problem. Price paid included their 8 Pack Sampler. You can buy the unit for less without the samples, if you prefer.
Three Month Followup
This is actually a follow-up 8 months after purchase. It worked fine until today when it 'died' near the end of a roast. It didn't actually die, but it cannot handle even a little over 150 grams. It will just shut down.