Newby looking to buy a home roaster - preference is for dark french roast. Stovetop ventilation is fairly weak. Would Frech Roast Plus 8 be OK, or should I look at the Nesco?
Any other recommendations?
The FreshRoast Plus 8 works OK, especially if you're roasting dark, making precise control less important.
I'd encourage you to experiment with roasting lighter, by the way. Don't judge lighter roasts by supermarket coffees. Once you get your hands on some good green beans you'll find a lot of nuances in a lighter roast.
If you're ventilation is poor, I think you'll be roasting outdoors (or in the garage if you have one) no matter what sort of roaster you buy.
I'm currently using a 14\" perforated pizza pan and my good ol' electric oven. As long as I preheat the thing to 400 F (pan included) and be careful to keep the beans only 1 layer high and leave a tiny bit of space around each, I can get surprisingly even roasting results for up to about 250g. I start off at about 400 F and then turn on the element until 1st crack (which occurs at about 8 to 10 min). Then I turn off the element and open the door for about 1/2 a minute to slow the roast. After about a couple of minutes I resume heating, with 2nd crack starting at about 13 to 14 min.
The little variation in roast I do get with this method adds a bit to the range of the complexity in the cup - which is a good thing for certain beans.
I do have my eye on one of those new Gene Caffes though...
Having a bit of trouble with the authenticaiotn on this site... Anyhow - would love to afford a Gene, but at 560 its more than I want to spend for a 1st try.Has anyone tried the Nesco Roaster (formerly Zach and Dani's) ?