Need advice on first roaster.


New member
Jul 19, 2007
Raleigh, NC
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Hello all,
I could use some advice on what type of roaster you recomend me get for my first. I have been doing a lot of reading on it and I know I can use popcorn poppers, cast iron, grill units, indoor home units, etc, etc, etc. I would like to spend no more than $200.00 right now on my first roaster. I would really like to find a roaster that would give me some flexibility in how I roast. I like the fact that a master roaster can affect the final product through temp ramp up time, roasting time, airflow, and I''m sure much more. Are there any small inexpensive units out there that allow the home roaster to do all that? Any advice to get me started on the right path to great home roasted coffee would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


Super Moderator
Feb 16, 2007
Clemmons, NC
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Fresh Roast 8 Plus

I am a first time roaster also and I bought the Fresh Roast 8 Plus. It doesn't allow you to change the temperature but if you watch it when it is roasting, which is a lot of fun, you can change the time up or down depending on the roast you want and how it is roasting.


New member
Aug 11, 2004
North Georgia, USA
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Trust me...don't rely on an electric roaster. Don't buy a fluid bed (air) roaster. Buy a drum roaster with natural or propane gas burners. Thousands of roasters have made their mark on the coffee industry by slow roasting over a live flame. Electric and air roasters don't give you the depth and dimension of flavor that can only be had from a gas heated drum roaster.

I'm speaking from years of research and personal experience. True coffee afficianados will walk away from anything less. If you are going to do it, do it right.

I know this post will draw some serious criticism, but I am confident in the information I am giving you and there are a LOT of professional roasters in this forum (intended for professional roasters) who will stand by this.

Deidrich, Ambex, Probat, Toper, Ozturk...they all have their unique features and peculiarities, but they are all good and you should waste no time in buying one. Used is fine...just be sure it is in good condition.

Good luck - happy roasting



New member
Oct 18, 2006
Old England (UK)
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Beangrinder....this is not criticism, but I think he is in a different ballpark in roaster terms, I think perchance looking for something a little smaller and possibly just a tad cheaper :)

I would recommend spending more than $200 on a roaster, for this sort of money, you tend to get roasters like the I-roar and similar. Possibly the best bang for your buck will be the "Gene Cafe" roaster....its a hybrid roaster and is extremely controllable and gives very good results (but you do have to work at it a little). The Hottop (basic model costs quite a bit more and contrary to what you might read, is not better than the Gene Cafe (that's being kind, as I think it's way inferior to a Gene Cafe). It also needs filters every 20-30 roasts which the Gene does not.

Spend less now and regret more later.....

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
Seattle,Washington USA
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I agree with everyone here regarding the purchase price of a roaster. You just won't find anything in the $200 range that will produce the same quality as a commercial roaster. Unless you plan to roast commercially, I would not concern myself with the commercial type roaster, but instead find something that will satisfy you personally. I would follow ElPugDiablo's lead and check out the Behmor 1600.