Hi Steve, I am pretty new to this too. You can get started with a hot air pop corn popper & a long stemmed high temp thermometer. I almost bought a roaster, but after reading a LOT of post, here & elsewhere, I am glad I didn't. A lot of folks seem to think the poppers are as good and better than what is available ot home roasters. I am roasting consistantly great beans. Pam Hello everybody, Well after getting a catalog (beer making) and seeing my first home coffee roaster (the Alpine), I have gone nuts looking at all the good coffee that I am missing. So, I have gone thru some of the archives and all thru Tom and Maria's web site and some others and I got one question: Where in tarnation do you start? When I approached my finer half with a hottop, scale and some green coffee, totaling around 700$, lets just say I should have approached her a little differently, Oh ya she's a tea girl to boot. Maria/Tom, Do you have a starter set? I want to roast my own on a weekly basis. I like blends and different roasts, I currently mix my (commercially roasted) beans darker with a lighter to try and get a coffee I like, nothing consistent. So how did you burn your first bean? Should I buy good expensive equipment like the hottop? or waste a buck or 2 on something smaller/cheaper? I do have a cast iron pan, should I just buy some beans and start the fire and BBQ them babies up? Sure hoping this is new and not a waste of your mind space. Steve Wilson not yet, but soon to roast. P.S. We need a search engine in the archives, DOH! like they need more work.