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All things aside, which home roaster produces better tasting coffee....?

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  • All things aside, which home roaster produces better tasting coffee....?

    Hi Guys and Gals,

    If cost and other factors were not an issue, which home roaster would you go for simply for quality and taste of the roast? Hottop, Gene, i-Roast, Behmor?

    I'm interested in the opinions of those who have tried several home roaster options....

    Thanks,
    Darren

    P.S. Give me YOUR opinion rather than "taste is such an individual thing..."

  • #2
    If cost wasn't a factor I'd be looking at a 1 or 2kg drum roaster. $5-10k or so.

    If cost was a factor I would probably go hottop.

    Honestly, you can get a great tasting and quality roast out of a home made setup (coretto). I roast regularly on mine and take samples to weekly cupping sessions, most of the time the results are good and people enjoy the samples. It's a little more effort than a commercially available domestic product however.

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    • #3
      For taste, the FZ-RR 700 Roaster. Hands down.
      Read this:
      http://coffeesnobs.com.au/roasters/2...y-roaster.html
      If you have not roasted before, buy a popper and roast a few batches, just to understand and see the process that the beans undergo.
      With the FZ-RR 700 Roaster you get more control and can produce excellent roasted coffee.
      If you do not believe me, call Mark from Coffee Roasters and talk to him, he also sells commercial roasting equipment.
      You must remember, there is no perfect home roaster, you just have to learn the limitations of whichever unit you choose. I own the one I recommended, have a good palate, and know what good coffee tastes like. If you think this unit would be too hard to use, then consider a KKTO. It also has the advantage of larger roast batches.
      Last edited by Bosco_Lever; 27 August 2012, 03:52 PM.

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      • #4
        A KKTO is the pick of the home roasters in my opinion, to get anything else that can roast the same or larger size batches you will be looking at many thousands of dollars for the smallest commercial roaster. I started with a Behmor and moved up to the KKTO after a year or so.

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        • #5
          I personally don't believe there is any such thing as a so-called Best Roaster, when discussing machinery.

          When talking about the person driving the Roaster, well, plenty of room for discussion there. It doesn't really matter which roaster you own, so long as it is capable of meeting the minimum criteria for roasting your preferred batch size within an acceptable time window. After that, it's all about learning to drive your roaster in order to get the best out of it.

          Mal.

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          • #6
            Dimal is right in large measure.....much depends on the individual using the roasting machine.

            I've roasted on three of the five previously mentioned roasters,probably with varying levels of proficiency. A key issue however is the ability to control temperatures throughout the roast and in this regard, the HottopB serves me well with delightful roasts time and again...Mostly.

            Cheers

            Juliet lima

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dimal View Post
              I personally don't believe there is any such thing as a so-called Best Roaster, when discussing machinery.

              When talking about the person driving the Roaster, well, plenty of room for discussion there. It doesn't really matter which roaster you own, so long as it is capable of meeting the minimum criteria for roasting your preferred batch size within an acceptable time window. After that, it's all about learning to drive your roaster in order to get the best out of it.

              Mal.
              I agree with Mal, each home roasting method has it's pros and cons but the main deciding factor is the person operating the roaster and his acquired knowledge which is gained from roasting, logging the results, cupping and sharing knowledge with like-minded fellow coffee lovers/geeks/enthusiasts!
              The Behmor, Hottop, Genecafe, KKTO, Corretto, modified popper and small drum roasters all produce great roasts for their owners--budget is always a consideration, go for what you are willing to outlay and then get the most out of that roaster--Happy Roasting
              cheers gman

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              • #8
                If you're asking for our opinion and judging from your post i can presume you are only just starting out on your coffee roasting journey, I have my own favourite, but my suggestion is still this. Get a popcorn maker, assemble a coretto or roast some beans in a dog bowl, whisk and heat gun to start off.

                You need to understand how and why about roasting. If you get something that requires you to press a button and let it do it's thing and don't understand why, you are missing out on the fundamentals and enjoyment of knowing how beans react to heat or why this does that and so on.

                Start with those, get a sample pack and get to know your roasting basics. Roast, taste and see how you can improve.

                Sure, this post may sound like a cop out but i'd prefer you turn into a coffee roasting enthusiast rather than a robotic machine operator.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sidewayss View Post
                  If you're asking for our opinion and judging from your post i can presume you are only just starting out on your coffee roasting journey, I have my own favourite, but my suggestion is still this. Get a popcorn maker, assemble a coretto or roast some beans in a dog bowl, whisk and heat gun to start off.

                  You need to understand how and why about roasting. If you get something that requires you to press a button and let it do it's thing and don't understand why, you are missing out on the fundamentals and enjoyment of knowing how beans react to heat or why this does that and so on.

                  Start with those, get a sample pack and get to know your roasting basics. Roast, taste and see how you can improve.

                  Sure, this post may sound like a cop out but i'd prefer you turn into a coffee roasting enthusiast rather than a robotic machine operator.
                  Great advice i totally agree with.

                  Example: My father has tasted the results and seen me roast on corretto setup, he wants to be able to roast his own and drink fresh coffee everyday. However when push came to shove he said he just wanted a machine where he could push a button and it would do it all for him...without having to bother to read up and experiment and understand how and why things are happening.

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                  • #10
                    To be honest, I been using a Genecafe for about 4 years and it blew up - my fault! I left it on the back verandah and we had an unexpected heavy rain storm... some water droplets got inside the machine! It was plugged in but not switched on. Anyhow, the water caused some sort of electrical short and it started smoking and literally blew up. Smelt bad too!

                    So I need to decide whether its worth getting my GeneCafe fixed, or buy something else. I was considering either a HotTop or Behmor. I just want something that is easy to use and will give great results. I know if I had the time, I could really get into the whole roasting process, but at the moment, I don't have the time and am not so much of an roasting enthusiast - even though I enjoy the quality of a fresh roast. The GeneCafe is easy to use and gives good even roasts, but I don't feel the taste is as bold and full-bodied as as the commercial roasts I buy. Maybe I'm suffering from "the grass may be greener on the other side of the fence"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jazzy_boy View Post
                      I know if I had the time, I could really get into the whole roasting process, but at the moment, I don't have the time and am not so much of an roasting enthusiast - even though I enjoy the quality of a fresh roast. The GeneCafe is easy to use and gives good even roasts, but I don't feel the taste is as bold and full-bodied as as the commercial roasts I buy. Maybe I'm suffering from "the grass may be greener on the other side of the fence"
                      Hi JB
                      While I haven't used any of the commercially bought options (I have a pretty modded Corretto, which gives great results now I know how to drive it!), what I've noticed is that most of the users on this site have all adjusted their technique (on any setup) to get their great results.

                      Sometimes this requires crazy electrical mods - sometimes just opening a door here & there. Most also require the Data Logger and probe too for repeatability. More than likely, if you're not happy with the results from the Gene - maybe reading up on this site how others have polished their Gene technique could improve the results you are getting? (if you decide to fix your machine). Read widely enough, I've seen that even no-expense setups need to be driven by a passionate user to get good results - otherwise its the old "which guitar do I have to buy so I can play like Slash!"

                      Having said that, my corretto is great for tweaking technique & profiles - every little input adjustment changes the flavour - allowing me to aim for what I like. And doesn't cost that much to setup. Also, time is not really an issue - they all take about the same. I can knock off a 350g batch in about 25 minutes…

                      But in the end - only a passionate roaster will end up get the best results, because its a long term learning process - like any other specialised skill. I suppose if you're not that enthusiastic & haven't got the time to invest in the learning process, then you'll either need to put up with a manufacturers 'ballpark best' taste, or buy browns from a passionate commercial roaster ;-)

                      My suggestion FWIW - turn this into a hobby - it is great fun!

                      Matt

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jazzy_boy View Post
                        So I need to decide whether its worth getting my GeneCafe fixed, or buy something else. I was considering either a HotTop or Behmor. I just want something that is easy to use and will give great results. I know if I had the time, I could really get into the whole roasting process, but at the moment, I don't have the time and am not so much of an roasting enthusiast - even though I enjoy the quality of a fresh roast. The GeneCafe is easy to use and gives good even roasts, but I don't feel the taste is as bold and full-bodied as as the commercial roasts I buy. Maybe I'm suffering from "the grass may be greener on the other side of the fence"
                        I started off with the Behmor, and it is definitely simpler to use than the HotTop. Part of that is the result of how little control you have. You are limited to opening the door to release heat, and not much else.

                        I used the Behmor for two years, and felt like I had hit a plateau in my learning. There were a few beans for which I could NOT get great results, so I succumbed to the "grass is greener" temptation.

                        I recently moved to a HotTop B-2K, and roasting is much more involved (hands-on). This is due to the high level of control you have. You can change the fan settings and the heat settings during the roast. Over the last three months, I have developed some complicated roast profiles (see atatched).
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          I'm considering a home roaster to fit my budget of $300 - $400.
                          What are people's recommendations, opinions & experiences with roasters in this price range?
                          Ideally I'd like something quick & easy to get out, use and put away that doesn't require a thousand accessories, stands, cupboards, switchboards.
                          The ability to control the temperature would be a plus.

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                          • #14
                            One option is the i-coffee, which is as simple as it gets and produces pretty fair results. Temperature control is limited though (basically a question of whether you reset the machine during roasting, but you can also manually initiate the cooling cycle). I enjoy mine, but will eventually upgrade. Available from Sorrentina Coffee. Also creates basically zero smoke so works well inside, and is smaller than a standard pressure cooker. Behmor is the obvious other option in this price range, and others highly rate the Baby Roaster.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Barry,
                              I've read a bit about the Behmor which has most of the features I'd like and seems to have fairly happy customers.
                              I don't know how long these things are likely to last as I've read about people talking about their 1st & 2nd machines.
                              The baby roaster has really got my attention though, I like the simplicity and way it heats the beans, not using hot air to do so.
                              I have some research still to do.

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