A good buddy of mine, Brendan Ptolemy got me going on roasting my own coffee. He was gracious enough to lend me his roaster (which I ended up having for 9 months due to our crazy travel schedules and the business of life) and after my first few roasts, I was hooked. Then my sweet wife bought me a roaster for my birthday last.
Greenbeanery.ca is where my wife bought the roaster from and where I buy a lot of my beans. I also usually pick up a few pounds from Passport Coffee every time I make a trip to Phoenix.
Roasting coffee is surprisingly easy, and for the effort is well worth it. I originally thought it might be one of those DIY things that is just a whole lot of work to say you did it yourself but it's surprisingly easy. I usually roast up enough coffee for the coming week in about 20 minutes every friday evening. Yup, Friday night is coffee roasting night in the Goertz household. I'm a party animal.
There is also a way that you can roast coffee on a cookie sheet in the oven (youtube will teach you) but I've never tried it. It looks like a lot more work and if you're not careful, the results can be quite varied.
With the SR500 that I use, it's pretty much just a high temperature air popcorn popper. I did try using a popcorn air-popper, but the temperature just isn't high enough to get much of a roast on the beans. This SR500 is really just as easy as turn it on, adjust the roast you want, and let it do it's thing.
One note though; the smell is very strong and not all that pleasant. I thought I'd love the smell of coffee roasting but it's quite different than the smell of roasted coffee. Now I've come to a place where I actually enjoy the smell of the coffee being roasted but I still roast in my garage. The whole house will be filled with a strong smokey smell if roasted inside. And I mean the whole house.
Seriously, this is incredible coffee. I'm such a coffee snob now that I'll bypass Starbucks if I'm close to home because it just doesn't compare with the coffee that I roast and brew at home. Win.
Here's a little video of the process.