N

New Fresh Roast models: SR 500 and SR 300

The new Fresh Roast models are available...both machines feature a larger capacity, more stable build, and quieter fan than the FR+8. The Fresh Roast is an easy-to-use, quiet, quick roaster, a great value for the price. It's the ideal roaster for a 1-person coffee drinking household (okay ...there's enough for two folks). If you are new to roasting, this is a great place to start, and if you move up to a larger machine, people have found the Freshroast to be a great back-up machine. The roast time is about 7 minutes for a Full City (medium-dark) roast, with a 3 minute cool-down cycle. It is easy to use so doing a few batches in a row is not a big chore. (It is recommended to wait 15-20 minutes between batches). The timer is a simple digital display. The chaff collector is simple yet effective. This machine has a jump on the Hearthwares in one respect: it is much quieter! The small glass roast chamber doesn't need the higher volumes of air pushed through it as the wide Hearthware ones do, so the fan and fan motor don't have to be as large. Over time, you will appreciate the quietness since it makes it a lot easier to sense what is happening with the roast. Please check out our details page for more information.

  • One year manufacturer warranty from FreshBeans Inc. covering defects in the base, six month warr. on the top end
  • Operating Instructions and tips included...
  • Sweet Maria's FreshRoast tip sheet is updated and includes the helpful tips located on the details page in a pdf form. Check it out!
  • See www.freshbeansinc.com for spare parts and an online copy of the manual.
We offer both models of the Fresh Roast with or without our Coffee Samplers - the 4 Pound Sampler for just $10 more (it costs $17 a la carte) or $20 for the 8 Pound Sampler ($32 ala carte). This includes 4 or 8 types of green coffees, 1 pound of each, and your choice of a Brewed Coffee Sampler, Espresso Sampler, Half Decaf-Half Regular, or All Decaf selection. There is a slight surcharge for all Decaf samplers - since these coffees are a bit more expensive . I encourage you to get the roaster with a sampler, since it will allow you to enjoy a range of the best quality coffees (Central American, South American, African, Indonesian, wet-processed, dry-processed, etc).


Fresh Roast SR 500 demo unit

The SR500 model has a rheostat to adjust fan speed (+/- 10%), a digital timer and three heat settings.

Fresh Roast SR 500

The Fresh Roast SR 500 uses the body of the new SR 300 and adds in some much appreciated controls: a simple mechanism for setting low, medium or high heat, and a rheostat for adjusting fan speed (+/- 10%), as well as a digital timer. I like the general design concept because it doesn't try to automate anything, but allows direct user control. My understanding is that in future months there will be a model with a USB input, and roasting software for those who want automation.

I like the upward facing controls; I don't like the heat switch; I think it would be better as a knob switch with 4 positions but maybe that will change with future iterations. Temperature settings for the three settings:

  • High temp. = 490 degrees
  • Medium temp. = 455 degrees
  • Low temp. = 390 degrees

The manufacturer lists the batch size at 120 grams - but I tested it with 100 grams and I felt that was a bit too much. Ninety (90) grams is more likely the best batch size. That is about 1/3 a cup. To have a nice slow heat warmup I liked HIGHEST possible air flow early in the roast, no matter the heat setting (I used both medium and low heat settings throughout the roast.)

The cooling cycle blows some pretty hot air, but is good enough, though it would probably be best to cool outside the roast chamber - in a tray or collander. The motor is nice and quiet so hearing the cracks is no problem.

In terms of price and control over the roast, the SR500 is in line with the Hearthware iRoast2. The SR500 has a more intuitive interface and a quieter fan, but the iRoast2 has the ability to save and repeat profiles. The SR500 does a much better job of agitating the beans than the SR300 - see the details page for a discussion of these issues. I used the highest fan speed and got an acceptably even roast with the SR500. If you add a bit of stirring to the beans, or switching to cool to extend the roast, it becomes a great little roaster. In my opinion - the SR500 is a better roaster than the SR300, and worth the extra money.

Fresh Roast SR500 Home Coffee Roaster with the 8 Pound Sampler: our selection of 8 lbs. of coffee (8 different 1 lb. types) - $179 add to cart

Fresh Roast SR500 Home Coffee Roaster with the 4 Pound Sampler: our selection of 4 lbs. of coffee (4 different 1 lb. types) - $169 add to cart

Fresh Roast SR500 Home Coffee Roaster - $159 add to cart

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Roast SR 300

The Fresh Roast SR 300 is essentially an improved model of the Fresh Roast +8 roaster that we've sold for years. It has a 1/2 cup capacity (roughly double that of the older FR+8 roasters) though we found for the most even roast it is better to use less than than. The SR300 has a more stable base than older models. Roasts take about 6.5 to 7 minutes to get to a City+ roast level. You can control roast time, but, as with older Fresh Roast models, you have no control over the heating element or fan. The SR300 essentially is the SR500, running on high heat and the medium fan setting. With the SR300 you can not control the heat or fan setting, there is just one preset.

To be totally honest, I have a few problems with this roaster: the fan doesn't move the coffee well at the beginning stages of the roast, so roasts can end up with scorched beans if you don't take care to prevent them. These problems existed with the Fresh Roast +8 - so it is not new. Nonetheless, this machine can produce great roasted coffee with the right technique. I've detailed my thoughts on how to best use the roaster here on the details page. If you don't mind doing some extra work, the SR300 is $50 cheaper than the SR 500 which we feel is the better machine.

Fresh Roast SR300 Home Coffee Roaster with the 8 Pound Sampler: our selection of 8 lbs. of coffee (8 different 1 lb. types) - $129add to cart

Fresh Roast SR300 Home Coffee Roaster with the 4 Pound Sampler: our selection of 4 lbs. of coffee (4 different 1 lb. types) - $119 add to cart

Fresh Roast SR300 Home Coffee Roaster - $109 add to cart