Fresh Roast Plus 8 - First Impressions

dspender

New member
Aug 4, 2003
16
0
I just received a Fresh Roast Plus 8 as a (solicited) gift. :D Perhaps these impressions will help someone looking to get into roasting for the first time.

Background - I have been thinking about roasting my own beans for awhile but don't need to roast all my beans and don't have a ton of time to put into it. I have roasted with an Air Popper and in the Oven before so I know some basics of roasting. I read about the Fresh Roast Plus 8 and thought I would try it.

Out of the Box - At first look the unit is very simple. A cup to hold green beans, a chaff collector on the top, and a timer knob. I almost was wondering where the rest of it was!

Trying it Out - I thought it would take a while to figure out how to roast beans but it was very simple and straightforward. Just measure the correct amount of beans (two scoops using provided measure) and turn the dial to 6. Watch and listen for popping and speed up the dial if the beans look like the color you want.

First Roast - I turned it to 6 and let it go with some green coffee from Bolivia. It roasted at close to Full City in about 6 minutes and smelled great.

Highlights - It produced very little smoke outside - I did the next few batches inside at a medium roast under an oven hood. It didn't produce much noticeable smoke inside - but with Full City+ roasts it would produce a lot of smoke I think. It seemed to do a great job evenly roasting the beans. The unit seems to be very solidly built and looks like it would hold up for many roasting cycles.

Concerns - The resulting batch was fairly small. Smaller than I expected. It was about enough to brew 6 cups in my Bunn Home Brewer. Now the Bunn takes way more coffee than other autodrips, but it was still sort of depressing to learn that each batch I roasted would only make so little. Since then I've upped the batch size by using rounded scoops. It makes a bit more and now I can get two 4 cup pots in my Bunn but that is less than ideal since I like to brew 6 cups minimum to get consistent flavor.
You really do have to wait 15-20 minutes between batches - the unit gets VERY hot and I'm sure that constant roasting would break it very soon. It does not cool down very quickly either.

Final Thoughts - A good home roaster for occasional roasting. Great for the first time roaster looking to see what its all about. I've been very happy with the resulting beans and they taste so different from anything I've had before. I think my adventure is just starting!
 

jlyon10

Super Moderator
Feb 16, 2007
436
1
Clemmons, NC
Roasting

I really enjoy my Fresh Roast Plus 8. I roast all my coffee on the week-end for the whole week. I think it is very easy to use and works great. My wife made me take it outside because of the smoke and the smell, evidently she doesn't like the smell. I on the other hand love the smell. I have had mine a year and I only wait about 2-4 minutes between roasts and it doesn't seem to affected the roaster. I love it so much I bought another one so now I have 2 of them going at the same time. I even started my own website to sell green coffee beans and I also hav roasters for sale as well as roasted beans. Check it out.
 

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