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  • Home roasters

    I want to learn to roast coffee (if I can master roasting then maybe I could start a small business). Can anyone recommend a good home roaster to learn on, preferably one I could source second hand? And who runs the best roasting courses? I'm in country NSW so Sydney, Melbourne or Canberra are in my range.
    Thanks for reading!

  • #2
    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs!

    Depending on your budget there are a few options for home roasters;

    1. Behmor 1600 Plus - Retails around $500 but currently out of production waiting on certification for the new model. Roast up to 400 gram of green beans. Best option here is second hand (once your post count is up you could post a wanted to buy ad on here) or wait for the new model. Behmor is about the size and shape of a microwave and uses electric heaters/fans and a wire bean drum.
    2. Gene Cafe - Retails at about $850 can be found from a number of CoffeeSnobs sponsors. You could use the quote form on the website. Roasts up to about 300 grams. Gene Cafe uses an electric element which blows hot air over the beans in a plastic drum.
    3. Hottop - These have different models and start at about $1,800. Hottop is getting towards a commercial roaster in design and has a metal drum and electric heating.
    4. KaffeLogic Nano - This is a small batch (about 200 grams) fluid bed (beans are roasted in hot air stream) roaster which retails for $1700.
    5. DIY - You can have a look on here for Popcorn roaster, Coretto roaster or Breadmaker roaster and depending on how handy you are you could build a DIY roaster for much less than the above.

    Various of the above can be connected to PC via USB to log heat probe temperatures to save/view roast profiles.

    In terms of roasting courses can't help you there as I don't know of but when you select a machine there are heaps on threads on here.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by roosterben View Post
      2. Gene Cafe - Retails at about $850 can be found from a number of CoffeeSnobs sponsors. You could use the quote form on the website. Roasts up to about 300 grams. Gene Cafe uses an electric element which blows hot air over the beans in a plastic drum.
      The Gene Cafe is also available right here on CoffeeSnobs


      Java "Roast 'em up!" phile
      Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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      • #4
        Welcome Naam. I recommend a Corretto (breadmaker+heatgun) roaster to learn on due to the low intial setup cost. You can get the hang of manipulating temps and observing how it affects the roast as well as see, hear and smell different phases such as drying, cracking etc all for under $100.

        However, if you seriously plan to start roasting as a small business you may want to get a roaster that has more similarities/crossover with the style of roaster you will end up using in that setting.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by roosterben View Post
          4. KaffeLogic Nano - This is a small batch (about 200 grams) fluid bed (beans are roasted in hot air stream) roaster which retails for $1700.
          The Kaffelogic is a full profiling roaster, making it an excellent choice for learning on. Price is under $1600.

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          • #6
            Anyone know about the Gene Cafe 1kg roaster

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            • #7
              We are the official distributor of the AU certified smaller Gene Cafe.

              The 1kg is not certified for AU and I won't be importing them (or certifying them). I saw it working overseas (some pics on CoffeeSnobs somewhere), it's pretty expensive and doesn't run on a standard powerpoint so the market for them will be tiny here after someone drops a bundle of cash on getting certification done. We just don't have the market size to make it worthwhile.

              Drop a "quote form" query to the site sponsors, a couple of them have other 1kg roasters (but not the Gene).

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              • #8
                It's a bit of a shame it won't come in Andy, a 1kg roaster would be perfect for what I need if the price was right....

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                • #9
                  The Behmor Jake will be a more suitable 1kg roaster when it exists.
                  https://beanbay.coffeesnobs.com.au/V...coffee-roaster

                  It will be Australian certified and will run on a standard powerpoint.

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                  • #10
                    Gene

                    I just had my first double espresso from some Monsooned Malabar roasted in my new Gene which arrived on Monday. The Gene replaced my decade old Behmor which gave me fantastic service over the years with an upgraded panel and a few repairs and parts suggested and supplied by Andy. The result was excellent and the Gene is a big step up.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Great first roast!
                      The (baby) Gene Cafe is really easy to see what's going on and as you found, you can get up to speed fast.

                      Like all roasters, you still need to anticipate the end as the bean-mass keeps roasting when the heater stops but that's certainly made easier with good vision and low noise.

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                      • #12
                        Have many people who started doing their own home roast have later made the attempt at selling their beans and scaling up and selling their own? COuld be a little hobby up to one point I guess, but surely a saturated market to break out into?

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                        • #13
                          Most home roasters end-up roasting for friends, family and workmates even if they only charge about cost price to replace the beans. It gives them higher volumes and more chance to play with different varieties while learning the craft. Becomes a self funding hobby for most.

                          Many of Australia's small commercial roasters started out here too.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hm520 View Post
                            Have many people who started doing their own home roast have later made the attempt at selling their beans and scaling up and selling their own? COuld be a little hobby up to one point I guess, but surely a saturated market to break out into?
                            My 4c worth:

                            Scaling up to a more commercial level is a big investment in essential reliable equipment such as commercial roasters, Destoners, Bag Grinders etc just to start with. Competing against the saturated (and extremely cut throat) market will be a whole different ball game. Do-able with the right people and investment, but not to be taken lightly. At that level, much like a Cafe, it's about the business itself, with the coffee merely being one of the commodities you are selling. You can hire passionate people to take care of the coffee side, or of course, hire the right people to take care of the business side, if the coffee is your passion.

                            But as Andy says breaking even or at least having it pay for your own coffee is a good start for experimenting and green bean throughput and so keeping them fresh and good coffee on tap. And you never know, you might just have what it takes after that.

                            GrahamK
                            Last edited by GrahamK; 13 April 2020, 09:47 AM.

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                            • #15
                              definitely - plus I guess with the scale of tastes, flogging off your own vs others would be tough. Would be a great little hobby though. I don't have any commercial desires really, but are planning to try my hand at it with a popcorn machine and experiment with flavours etc.

                              EDIT: Curiously, what is the agreed storage life of green beans and best way to store them?

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