Marshall wrote:I voted "no." This will come as no surprise to anyone who has read my responses to home roasting evangelists on alt.coffee.
I think the proportion of home roasters who really know how to roast and have the equipment, real estate and patience to do it right is quite small.
Based upon what statistics? If it's all about what you "feel" as opposed to facts, then certainly no one can argue with you. I only personally know two people who roast coffee at home - both are dedicated, have the equipment, and spend the time to learn how to roast properly.
More than that, what is your definition of doing it "right"? Why do you even care if someone wants to home roast? Some people bake, others garden, etc. - and some people like to roast coffee. Why is it any of your business what they do in their free time for enjoyment?
What I see over and over again are people whose only reference points have been mummified supermarket beans, then buy a little air roaster, enjoy their first fresh beans and conclude that their four-minute roasts are the pinnacle of the roasters' art.
You're awfully arrogant in your assumptions. I have several friends who go out of their way to purchase beans from two local coffee roasters. We give them home roasted coffee every so often, and by consensus, here's the facts bucko - our single origin roasted coffees hold up and compare equally to ANYTHING they get from the local roasters.
I will never forget the SCAA Homecoming a couple of years ago, where a new home roaster from San Diego with a Fresh Roast flew into a tizzy, because Marty Curtis dared suggest professionals with commercial equipment might do a better job of roasting.
They can also do a worse job of roasting. I've had really stinky coffee on more than one occasion from a "professional" roaster. Over roasted, dark, dripping with oil, etc. - yeah, that'll prove what you can do with commercial equipment - ruin large batches of beans faster. A stunning accomplishment by any measure.
You see it over and over again on alt.coffee, where some beginner asks where he can buy great coffee, and the missionaries immediately jump in to tell him he won't really experience good coffee until he home roasts.
And this makes all home roasting people over bearing jerks?
I have the utmost respect for people like Ken Fox and Jim Schulman, who have devoted serious time, thought and money to putting out a professional-level roast. But, frankly, I am wary of anything that might encourage more novices to home roast before they experience great professional coffees.
Yeah, novices at anything should quit first and not try something new...