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Thread: Roasting advice or adise a new roaster

  1. #1
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    Roasting advice or adise a new roaster

    Total newbie question - which must have been answered many, many times but all references Iíve found seem to be old threads and refer to equipment no longer available, so please excuse me.

    Iíve decided to pursue a lifelong mild interest in coffee and develop it into a hobby. Mainly because I keep upgrading machines that seem OK for a while but then arenít quite good enough. And also because I suspect that it could become much more than a mild interest verging into an obsession!

    Iíd like to set myself up with reasonable equipment so I can learn the art, but I want to start slowly (i.e. not fork out too much before I know what Iím doing) and to that end Iím searching for a coffee roaster which I will use, initially, with my Jura whilst I undertake a Barista course and decide on which manual coffee machine and grinder to purchase.

    A browse through this site keeps coming up with the Behmor 1600 Plus but Iíve also seen references to the Corretto and KKTO. The KKTO seems to be no longer available; I canít find anywhere to purchase a Corretto and the Behmor is a bit pricey considering that I also need to purchase a reasonable manual coffee machine and grinder. For a peaceful home life, I really should keep the total outlay on my start-up to between $2,500 - $3,500.

    Iím in the fortunate position of being able to afford the Behmor should it be suitable. But is this the best way to start? Should I learn a bit more first with something cheaper? Import a Nesco from the USA for example. Or would this turn out to be a false economy and biting the bullet now will prove to be the cheapest and best course over time?

    Whatever the outcome of using a decent coffee machine (and I have already learnt that this requires dedication), I can see that being able to roast my own beans will always be an advantage. It seems like a good place to start so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member noonar's Avatar
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    Hi Ghilkie,

    A Corretto is a home made coffee bean roaster created using a combination of a (usually a second hand cheapy) Bread making machine (for agitating beans at high temps), a Heat Gun (for heat source) and a temperature probe/s (for accurate temp readings). A KKTO is also a home made roaster using a Turbo Oven or similar. Both are very cheap and acceptable options for getting into home roasting, both are named after their respective first adopters/inventors. There are many pictures here and elsewhere of these types of set ups- and other home alternatives. Good Luck.

  3. #3
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    Why not pan-roast? It's the cheapest of all the options, and there are so many variables you'll face just the steep learning curve you need to really appreciate anything else. I initially bought mine to bridge until I found an appropriate popcorn roaster, but it's so much fun that I don't think I'll buy anything else for a while.

    As an additional bonus, you can turn your pan roasting into a sort of show - how much fun is it for your customers to watch the barista roast the beans the most traditional way? I've never seen it done anywhere in the world. It could be a differentiator for your cafe.

    The downsides are that some beans (small, round, dense ones especially, and anything badly sorted) are very hard to roast that way, it's generally hard physical work to avoid scorching, and you're limited in the size of the batches (also true for the popcorn makers).

  4. #4
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    Hi Ghilkie, reading between the lines you don't want to be upgrading real soon. So starting from the top ($3500) Behmor roaster $500, a good basic grinder Macap M2m around $500, and a heat exchanger Bezzera BZ10 around $2200. Buy them all from one shop preferably a site sponsor and you may get a discount or a jug/tamper/scales thrown in or a bit cheaper. If you are a tinkerer try a correto, with a new heat-gun and temperature probe (heatsnob with 100 mm probe from this site} for $200 or less. Put the extra money into the grinder or coffee machine maybe a Quamar grinder or a Bezzera magica Coffee machine. The possibilities are endless, so hard to advise. Maybe you would like to purchase Used, good gear comes up on this site all the time.
    The Behmor is not as messy as the correto if that is important to you.
    There are several heat exchange coffee machines around this price point, so look around till you find one you like. The BZ10 has knobs on the steam and water wands the Magica has levers.
    The M2m grinder is very good for the price (I have one and an M4d which is better but pricier) it will last for years till Upgraditis strikes. Having said that I believe any coffee machine in Magica range deserves a better grinder. But this puts you over-budget, Best to get a good machine and basic grinder and upgrade the grinder later on if necessary. Hope this isn't too confusing. Good luck. Chippy

  5. #5
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Go the Behmor 1600+. Of the options suggested, it will give you the best results with the minimum hassle (and I've used all the methods: popper, pan, corretto, KKTO and Behmor). The Behmor doesn't require any DIY construction and has the advantage of both preset programs and manual mode.
    I wouldn't bother about a barista course until you have the equipment so you can practice your newly acquired skills. Assuming you will have about $3K to lash out on espresso gear, fill out the QUOTE FORM to see what kit the site sponsors can offer (you will also need accessories such as tamper, milk jugs, machine cleaning gear). Alternatively, go to a shop where they stock a large range of equipment.
    Be warned: it can be quite addictive, you will probably be afflicted with upgraditis and you may never be able to drink substandard coffee again - you will evolve into a CoffeeSnob.
    Last edited by flynnaus; 5th September 2017 at 07:03 AM.
    Dimal and chokkidog like this.

  6. #6
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    Thanks noonar, I’m such a novice here that I hadn’t realised these were homemade devices. No wonder I couldn’t find one for sale! I’ll go look for some of those pictures.

    Thanks apicius, I’ll take this on board especially the ‘…steep learning curve you need to really appreciate anything else’ and it may well be how I start. It’s not a commercial situation though – simply me at home and my wife doesn’t even like coffee so I’m not sure how she’ll handle the roasting coffee smells. At the moment I’m intending to do it outside.

    Thanks chippy, this gives me a lot to go on. Reading between the lines, you’ve given me not only some good names to research but also, I assume, the relative importance of where I should allocate the budget. I note that about $1,000 spent on the roaster and grinder with the remainder on a good ‘heat exchanger’ coffee machine (a term I’ve not come across until now). Your tip to spend more on the coffee machine now and upgrade the grinder later is noted and sounds like a good strategy. By the way, I’ve not heard of Upgraditis before but I am very familiar with the term Shiniitis – the alluring and strangely compelling desire to buy new gadgets, in a different hobby. You’ve given me lots of leads – thanks again.

    Thanks flynnaus. I was firming up on the Behmor as I’d like to move things along a little faster than the alternatives and hope I’m not running before I can walk. I have noticed the Quote Form thread and this is a good reminder to make use of it. After reading half way through ‘Expresso! My Expresso!’, I have an impression that not all tampers are made equal so I’ll keep a little budget back for the accessories. Unfortunately shops aren’t an option as I live in a regional area but I’m quite used to sourcing gear on the internet – one of the reasons I’m asking here before I do so.

  7. #7
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    Ghilkie, I would also put a vote in for the Behmor if you are not a tinkerer. I am on my second breadmaker and will likely knock something up instead, wouldn't be for everyone. I would aslo look at the Behmor as cheaper if you don't like roasting, easy to resell and get $340 for an almost new one, a Corretto is a give away after use in reality.

  8. #8
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    Go the Gene Cafe if you want absolute simplicity and predictable roasts. I've never used the Behmor so can't comment on its usage.

  9. #9
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    PS to replies above....A Water Filter matters
    Happy Days in the Land of Espresso!

  10. #10
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    I'd suggest pan frying or roasting in a $15 popper from Kmart for at least a month. Getting up close and personal with the beans is priceless. I have a Behmor and recommend it, but if you go straight there then you'll miss out on a rite of passage.

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