Here's a passage from the website of coffee expert Kenneth Davids on why on earth anyone would be interested in roasting their own:
\"Why Home Roasting?
A few minutes ago I roasted several days' supply of coffee in a stove-top popcorn popper. The whole process took about ten minutes. The popper can be purchased for about twenty to twenty-five dollars. The retail price of the coffee I roasted (a fancy Sumatra) might cost anywhere from five to six dollars a pound green. The same coffee purchased roasted at the corner coffee store would cost eight to ten dollars a pound. The coffee I produced was fresher than almost any I could have bought, and its freshness by far compensated for any small failings in roasting procedure. Green coffee beans keep well without special handling, so the modest effort required to acquire them doesn't need to be undertaken often.
Nor was the stove-top popper my only option. I could have chosen to roast the coffee in a gas oven, for example, or in one of a certain design of hot-air corn popper, or in a device specially designed for home roasting.
Given its simplicity -- once you know what you're doing basic home coffee roasting ranks in difficulty somewhere between boiling an egg and making a good white sauce -- why don't more people do it? Why isn't home coffee roasting already as popular as home baking, for example, or home pasta-making, or -- for that matter -- home corn popping?
First, because most people simply don't know how vibrant truly fresh coffee tastes when compared to the partly-staled version we usually drink. Almost everyone knows how exquisite fresh bread is, or how much better home-popped popcorn is than the chewy, rubbery stuff that comes in bags. But the fragrance of coffee a day out of the roaster is a virtually forgotten pleasure.
Second, people don't know that roasting coffee at home is easy, fun, and something that everyone did before the victory of advertising and convenience foods.\"
There ya' go. Roasters of the world, unite!!!
You can buy the book via Amazon.com
for about 12$.
If you have any intention of tackling the home roasting experience, pick up a copy.
There does appear to be a better selection of home coffee roasters than ever before. My opinion remains: Go buy a corn popper for 9$ and modify it. A few hand tools and you are done - and it is no more dangerous than all other methods.
That said, Green Beanery in Toronto, Canada has a remarkable selection of home roasters - and everything else. Look
for their selection -- and DO shop and compare prices. Canadian prices on most coffee equipment is still unusually high relative to our American counterparts.