Horror stories!!


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Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
Boca Raton
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I was hoping to hear some horror stories on scary experiences you have encountered roasting coffee...like this one..
I was about to drop the batch of French roast into the cooling bin when the power went out. I had to run to the other side of the building to find the reset switch. We were in a building that we shared with another company. (Turns out their business was repackaging high performance oil) I ran as fast as I could in the dark and found the breaker box. I went to grab the huge handle to reset the switch and that was when my heart sunk....the handle was broken. I looked at the guy from the oil place and he said, "oh yeah that broke a week ago". I ran back to my roastery and grabbed a pipe wrench. I then had to run back through the dark and reset the switch... unbelievably the coffee did not catch on fire...it was ruined though :( I have some better horror stories I will save for later...lets hear yours!


New member
Nov 8, 2004
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I have a few too!

Here is a light weight one for starters.

My UPS rep called while I was roasting on a new roaster. I had a batch in the cooling bin and another in the roaster, I wanted to pull the sample trowel but I opened the door on the roasting drum! I was only a pound or so of yellow beans that got mixed in with the beans in the cooler but it took 30 minutes or so to seperate them. The good thing is my UPS rep didn't call for almost 2 weeks! I think I must have cussed a little and he got it all over the phone. I do get great rates now though.


New member
half way through roasting a full batch on my ir12 the pin that held the shaft and drum broke so the shaft is turning but not the drum. I dumped the beans immediately, but because the drum is not turning, not all of the beans were out. I shut off gas and airflow to drum but the temperature went up and up. I got my water hose ready and sweat it out until the temperature finally started to drop. I think there should have been two pins holding the drum to the shaft, but the bastard who sold me the roaster only had one in. The worst part was I was out of roasted coffee until the it was repaired which took about 3 days of begging to get the repair guy rescheduled his route, and I had to buy beans from my old roasters in Minnesota with next day UPS delivery.


New member
Aug 11, 2004
North Georgia, USA
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The ultimate horror story....

My mother-in-law came into town for a visit and insisted on taking me to Starbucks for a latte. It was like a really bad M. Knight Shyamalan movie! I would have kissed Rosie O'Donnell's buttocks to get out of that hell!

I've been going to church every Sunday since then.


New member
Jul 17, 2009
Kennett Square, PA
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A short but sweet one. Was doing a roast the other evening, after a few refreshments. When I dumped from the hopper, my wife came in to ask me a questions. 10 minutes into the roast, after seeing chaff flying around in the drum and my exhaust pipes smoking, I realized I left the hopper door open. The shame is it took me 10 minutes to figure out. Spent the next day doing a full outage on the roaster, shines like Fort Knox gold now!!