Bagpu55 I keep going round in little circles in my mind that I need a coffee roaster. I like the idea of roasting small 250g batches to keep me going with fresh beans and not having to freeze my bulk orders. Is it more hassle than is worth (looks fairly straight forward from what I have watched), and is it worth the purchase from a financial long term saving sense. Are green beans readily available. Ideally I want to buy a second hand and see how I go. I was initially thinking a gene cafe so have been on the look out but nothing local to me yet (Manchester).
A resounding yes from me. Yes, I find it far more convenient to buy a large quantity of greens and roast when needed than to constantly juggle roasted beans purchases and use. Yes, for me it’s worth the hassle, which is minimal in my opinion. Yes, greens are readily available: I buy online and they arrive at my door. Yes, it saves me money over buying roasted (but that will depend of course on what you buy green and what roasted beans you compare to). I tend to pay around £10-15 for a kg of greens, for coffee that I reckon would be ~£20-30 per kg roasted (if not more).
I have had my Gene since around 2007 (if I remember correctly). I had to replace the heating element twice (the second time just recently, so hopefully it will last for a good few years. I roasted on lesser devices before that as well. A couple of years ago I took a break from roasting for a year to explore coffee from roasters, in order to learn and have a reference for my own roasts. This break only convinced my that roasting is the way for me (when I returned to roasting I also added the dimmer mod, which was a little fun project). I love that I can roast to the degree I like, and I enjoy the results I get. I prefer the coffee I roast to what I bought roasted.
I think that roasting might seem daunting before you try and see that there was nothing to be afraid of. However, some people tried and decided it’s not for them (e.g. @MediumRoastSteam), so I guess the only way for you to find out is to try for yourself. As you already have the itch, I say go for it.