coffee bean roaster.. what works the best?

lalala

New member
Aug 29, 2008
1
0
hi everyone,

I know nothing about coffee myself but my fiance is crazy about it. He has mentioned about start roasting his own beans at home and I would like to get him a roaster as a gift.

Since it is going to be a surprise, I really can''t ask for his opinion on which machine would work the best....

I found this on the internet made by a Japanese company called Hario. I know he would love the style and the concept of this machine but I just don''t know if this work well???

http://www.avenue18.ca/TEAPOT/Hario/cof ... oaster.htm

or should I be looking for something different??

Thank you in advance for helping me!

Rose
 
Jan 18, 2008
704
1
MASS.
Honestly, it might be fun for awhile, but I'd get tired of the 15 - 20 minutes of turning the glass barrel by hand for such a small batch.

You'd probably have to do this outside too, due to the smell of the burning alcohol and the smoke from the roasting beans.

CAD270.00 ? Is that to say $270? You could get a nice i-Roast 2 for under $200.

Here are a few i-Roast 2's to check out:
http://coffeegeek.com/proreviews/firstlook/iroast2
http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.hearthwareiRoast.shtml
http://astore.amazon.com/jimscofbea-20/ ... 76-4564662

Or for even less, a Fresh Roast Plus 8
http://ourcoffeebarn.com/estore/product ... cts_id=111

Let us know how you do with it.
 

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,222
6
Near Philadelphia, PA
Hello,

The roaster that you're considering looks pretty, but I have my doubts about how functional it will be.

Here is a link to a page that compares the features of other kinds of home roasters.

http://www.roastabean.com/items/roasters/list.htm?1=1

Maybe it would be a good idea to find out how serious your fiance is about roasting, and then you'll have an idea about how much use the roaster will get.

You may want to start out with a small roaster and graduate to a more expensive one if your fiance really likes roasting coffee.

I've also been considering getting a home roaster, and I'm a bit confused about all of the choices. It will take a great deal of thought and research before I make a decision. I wouldn't want the use the roaster a few times and then have it end up in the appliance graveyard that's in my basement.

Please let us know what you decide to get and how well it works for you.

Rose
 

Davec

New member
Oct 18, 2006
314
0
Old England (UK)
lalala said:
I found this on the internet made by a Japanese company called Hario. I know he would love the style and the concept of this machine but I just don''t know if this work well???

I wouldn't have thought it would work very well, or produce a very drinkable roast. However, even if it did, other factors would make it a buy to think hard about.

50g of coffee is not much and when roasted it will only weigh around 42g. If your other half is dosing around 10g per shot, then at best that's 4 single espressos (or americanos etc..). If he grinds out a portion of the stale beans from the grinder each time he prepares a shot (the beans go stale after grinding very quickly), then he may only get 2-3 shots from a single roast.

That's a great deal of effort for very little coffee!

I personally think this applies to any roaster with small batch sizes (work on approx 17% weight loss from roasting) and you can see that it can quickly become a real chore with any roaster that has a small batch size.....as you have to roast so often, for so little.

Even with my Gene I tend to do a minimum of 3 roasts and usually 5 roasts in a single roasting session. Each 270g charge delivers about 225g of roasted coffee.
 

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,222
6
Near Philadelphia, PA
Hi Davec,

Does your Gene Roaster make a lot of smoke? One of the main reasons why I hesitate about buying a roaster is that I'm worried about setting off the smoke detectors in my house. Even though I'd be roasting at a medium level, I'm afraid there may still be too much smoke.

I read that the Gene roaster now comes with an attachment where you can put a hose on the top and redirect the smoke out of the window. It's an alternative, rather than having to set up the roaster out on my porch in the dead of winter.

I like that it roasts up to 1/2 pound of beans. If I'm going to go through all of the trouble of roasting, I'd want enough roasted beans to last a couple of days.

Like I said earlier... I'm giving my coffee roaster purchase options a lot of thought.... :?

Have a nice Tuesday.

Rose
 

Davec

New member
Oct 18, 2006
314
0
Old England (UK)
Does your Gene Roaster make a lot of smoke? One of the main reasons why I hesitate about buying a roaster is that I'm worried about setting off the smoke detectors in my house. Even though I'd be roasting at a medium level, I'm afraid there may still be too much smoke.
Some people I know roast under an externally vented cooker hood and say it takes out most/all of the smoke....personally I find it hard to believe, but then again in the US you do have much better Kitchens and appliances than us.

I read that the Gene roaster now comes with an attachment where you can put a hose on the top and redirect the smoke out of the window. It's an alternative, rather than having to set up the roaster out on my porch in the dead of winter.
I think the large chaff collector is a much better option as it can then be vented out of a Window (I do this in my workshop). It has the added advantage of being able to see the smoke and get even better visual cues (because it's more concentrated at the end of the tube).


I like that it roasts up to 1/2 pound of beans. If I'm going to go through all of the trouble of roasting, I'd want enough roasted beans to last a couple of days.

I completely agree....I always roast minimum 250g (8.8 oz) in the Gene, regardless of the type of coffee (you can ignore the manufacturers warnings). The maximum capacity is stated as 300g (10.5 oz), but you can ignore that also. I don't generally get much success beyond 275g (which I will quite often use in warmer weather.

One of the huge advantages of the Gene is that you can back to back roast. I use the quick cool-down cycle, which takes around 4 minutes _16minutes or so for the roast....total 20 minutes.

As soon as the cool-down finishes, I empty the beans and immediately refill and start roasting another batch. In any 1 roasting session I do 3-5 batches (usually 5), to give me over a Kilo of roasted coffee.

I have used a 25kg commercial Probat, 1kg Toper Cafemino, the original Basic Hottop. In my personal opinion, the roasts from the Gene (if done properly) are far superior to that of the BASIC model hottop (I don't know about the others). The hottop will always turn your beans reliably brown, but there tends to be a baking and convergence of flavour I find not to my taste....with the Gene you can more clearly taste the variatels. With the Gene it's easier to screw up a roast until you get a bit of practice and you have to pay attention to get the best out of it.

With the basic hottop, i found roasts tended to be mediocre and your options to improve them are virtually nil as you don't have the controls. Perhaps the newer model hottops the B and P models are better as they have more control options...I don't know?

I have had my Gene for 18 months and roasted around 65kg (or 260 batches in it), it still works perfectly and still looks almost as new....no filters to buy and very minimal maintenance, no having to unscrew the front plate/drum and prod around for stuck beans like on the hottop (oh and you can't put a vent hose the hottop, no such attachment exists to the best of my knowledge).
 

jlyon10

Super Moderator
Feb 16, 2007
436
1
Clemmons, NC
Home roasting

I use 2 methods of roasting coffee, both are inexpensive. I like the way the Fresh Roast plus 8 roasts the coffee but it is in small batches usually enough for a pot of coffee. I used to do it inside with a window open and a fan on. My wife complained and occassionally set off the smoke detector so now I roast outside. The other method I use is a BBQ drum it will roast a pound at a time but you really don't get to see the coffee as it is roasting. What ever you chose I am positive your boy friend will enjoy roasting his own coffee. It is a lot of fun and great hobby. Have him check out my site for a great variety of green coffee beans.
 

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,222
6
Near Philadelphia, PA
Hello again,

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

Now I have a lot of options to consider.

I wonder which coffee roaster Mr. Cafe Biscotto will eventually buy.......I know he's been looking too. :)

Rose
 
Jan 18, 2008
704
1
MASS.
It will be a tough decision....
Not which home roaster to buy, but to roast my own coffee instead of leaving it to the professionals.

The roasters where I get my coffees do an excellent job at it already. :D
 
Jan 18, 2008
704
1
MASS.
To match the photos to the home roasters that have been discussed in this thread:

This is what lalala found @ $270 CAN
5126.jpg


iRoast 2 @ $150 US
iroast2.jpg


Fresh Roast Plus 8 @ $80 US
freshroast2.jpg


Gene Cafe Roaster @ $500 US
genecafeanglemed.sm.jpg


Behmor Drum Roaster @ $300 US
sm.behmor.jpg


Roasting capacities of these machines vary between 3oz to 16oz per roast. Many offers will include several pounds of green coffee beans with a machine purchase, to get you started.
 

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,222
6
Near Philadelphia, PA
Cafe Biscotto brought up a good point. I also have a very good local roaster where I get my roasted coffee. However, it's an hour round trip to go there, and it's not always convenient. My other alternative is to order the roasted beans through the Internet and pay shipping. From what I've been reading about home roasting, I can just buy a lot of green beans and roast them whenever I need them. Plus, it seems like it would be great fun to be able to roast my own coffee.

I just finished reading a very interesting book called Home Coffee Roasting: Romance and Revival by Kenneth Davids. It explains about the different ways to roast coffee and describes the characterisitics of coffees from all over the world.
Here is the link on the Amazon.com website:
http://www.amazon.com/Home-Coffee-Roast ... 0312312199

Rose
 

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,222
6
Near Philadelphia, PA
Thanks Davec,

I enjoyed checking out the Zoho.com site. There's quite a lot of useful information there. As I was reading some of the postings, I noticed that someone used the term "roastathon" to describe a roasting session. It's such a great sounding word! I'm looking forward to having my own roastathon some day.

If anyone is interested, here is the conversion method for converting degrees C to degrees F.

When you want to convert degrees Celsius (C) to degrees Fahrenheit (F) multiply by 1.8 and add 32 degrees.

When you want to convert degrees Fahrenheit (F) to degrees Celsius (C) subtract 32 degrees and divide by 1.8


Also, this is a link to a web site that can do the conversion for you:

http://www.sciencemadesimple.net/temperature.php


Rose
 
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