It seems to me that pooh-pooh-ing home roasting is just another aspect of a much wider misapprehension that doing something yourself necessarily results in an inferior product as compared to the commercial equivalent.
Music is another example. Just a generation ago not only could most people play an instrument, they frequently did for their own amusement. Now music is just something you buy on CDs. People have bought into the lie that only big record labels produce music, and have simply given up.
Maybe my home roasted blends will never match the subtlety of the best commerical blends, but they're a darned sight better than the majority of commercial blends, and are invariably fresher.
So take heart home roasters! Trust your tastebuds and you'll soon realize that you don't have to have a 'big rig' to produce good coffee.
Thank you so much for this article. I live in California and enjoy the dark roasted coffee from Peet's Coffee and Tea only because it is the best roast I have encountered (I would gladly partake in a cup of lighter roasted coffee if I found one I liked). Anyway, I got a iroast2 from Hearthware for Christmas 2007 and I am afraid to use it!? I have no idea why, maybe I am caught in the loop that zaz is talking about (a commercial competition complex). Anyway I am awaiting the following article and I will head to the bookstore in search of the aforementioned book. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.