A couple years ago I started roasting my own coffee, using an old popcorn popper and some green coffee beans I picked up online.
A year later, I graduated to a little coffee roaster especially designed for home use. It usually did a great job of dissipating the smoke, which allowed me to keep it in the basement, but when I left it unattended one night, some of the beans jammed the agitator, causing the roaster to melt down and the basement to fill with smoke. After a couple months of repeated requests to the company’s customer service department, I got my money back.
My current roaster is a significant upgrade from the cute little pre-packaged roaster that nearly burned down my house. Sure, I’m back in the garage with it, but now I can roast 4 pounds at a time instead of just four ounces.
So far I’ve been pleased with how quickly I can roast a large quantity of premium beans. I still haven’t managed to get all the beans to roast to a consistent level within a batch, but I’m working on it. Doesn’t matter anyway, because the lattes I’m able to make from those beans are heavenly — much better than anything I’ve tasted in any coffee house anywhere. And that makes me very happy.