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Thread: Imex CR100 - Is the jury in or out?

  1. #1
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    Imex CR100 - Is the jury in or out?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    There has been a bit of light-hearted "discussion" about this product, which would appear to be for sale for a great price, relative to what people have paid elsewhere and at different times. My question is - What is it really like, and does the drop in price really just reflect a drop in demand for a particular reason?

    Alan Frew said some positive things about it in Coffeegeek (http://www.coffeegeek.com/opinions/alanfrew/12-15-2001) and hiker did a deatiled post on it here at CS.

    Is it really just a glorified popper, or is it a capapble and reliable machine? I know that many home roasters might be shying away from it because they want to take a bigger step forward in terms of volume. Many of us seem very happy with our HG and popper results - so what actually is this machines niche?

    I am sure that I am not the only one interested in some opinions from those who actually use one or have seen one used. Alan Frew is known for his objectivity and lack of bias, so in some ways, his review might be the "last word - but Im just wondering if there are any people who, for instance, went from a popper to the Imex and found the move positive or otherwise.




  2. #2
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    Re: Imex CR100 - Is the jury in or out?

    Hi,

    I think the Imex is quite a good little machine, with a few limitations....

    It is noisy, like all popper type machines, so you cant really hear first crack, and certainly not second crack...

    It is very susceptible to the ambient temperature....you need to adjust the timer accordingly...

    On the plus side, you can see the beans changing colour, and the unit seems very well constructed, though I have read some negative press on the quality control...maybe a bad batch?

    I think for the current price, it is a great little roaster...I paid $150 for mine on Ebay..second hand!

    Cheers...

  3. #3
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Imex CR100 - Is the jury in or out?

    I used the CR-100 for a long time prior to getting the BBQ drum.
    I still use it when weather precludes outdoor roasting (in the shed).

    I reckon it is a good unit.

    Pros:
    You can do ~180g at a time which isnt bad.
    The chaff collector works pretty well.
    Can see the roast progress.
    I think you can hear as much as you could with a popper.

    Cons:
    Chaff collector MUST be cleaned after every roast AND grill under collector basket needs to be swept with supplied brush as well (for best results).
    SS Metal on outside gets REALLY hot. OW OW OW OW.
    Glass lid gets REALLY hot.
    Cooldown mode is not really useful.
    Glass lid needs cleaning regularly (after each session if possible).

    The list of Cons might seem large, but Im sure many will agree, all roasters on the market currently have similar issues. I think the best home roasting appliance is still just an idea in someones head at present.

    Its a bit of an art form getting consistent roasts with this unit (but the same can be said for many methods). As Stratford said - ambiant temp is a big factor.

    I usually roast by sight with the CR-100. I turn the timer up to full, watch the roast and when I think the colour is a little lighter than I want, I dump and cool externally. The transfer process takes a small amount of time (power off, oven gloves on, remove lid, dump into sieve) so the beans will cook a bit more during this period. If I do it right, Im usually within a 15 second window each time. The timer will wind down without the power on.

    Subsequent roasts in the same session are also a bit faster as the unit is already hot.

    All things being said, I think $110 - $150 is a great price for one of these and they do a good job if you pay attention. They are not really a set and forget roaster in my opinion.

    Brett.

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    Re: Imex CR100 - Is the jury in or out?

    Ive also had an Imex for a long time...never used a popper or drum yet :(

    I second Bretts (Fatboy) comments....

    While the unit is quite noisy after spending some time getting to know it you learn to hear the 1st & 2nd cracks.

    Craig A

  5. #5
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    Re: Imex CR100 - Is the jury in or out?

    Well, OK, maybe Im a bit deaf then... :(

    I can certainly hear those Costa Rican beans cracking...they are like small explosives, but some of the others.....


    For $110, I think they are an excellent buy....

    Cheers..

  6. #6
    JR
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    Re: Imex CR100 - Is the jury in or out?

    I purchased one last week and have done a few roasts.

    I got it as a small batch unit to sample different roast levels and dial in new beans. With my HG the batch size was too large and by the time the optimum roast was found most of my stash was gone. :(

    The unit is quite loud but 1st crack is OK but I struggle with the 2nd to discern the difference between a crack and the beans hitting the side of the chamber as they whiz around.

    Like others have noted the ambient temperature makes a huge difference in roast time.

    I am happy with the unit and delighted with the price.

    Dan

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    Re: Imex CR100 - Is the jury in or out?

    Just ordered one of these today... never roasted a single bean in my life.... Im quite excited about getting my hands on my new roaster and roasting up a storm!! I will be sure to report back to this site as to how I go, and Im certian I will have a hundred annoying newbie questions for everyone too! ;D

    Let the adventure begin

    Mearesy

  8. #8
    cd
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    Re: Imex CR100 - Is the jury in or out?

    Has anyone seen the lot on ebay. it seems Vitali are trying to shift a lot of 6 of these for $600. Bidding closes on the 28th. It appears to me that they might be trying to get rid of existing stock either to make way for a new model or to get out of selling roasters all together!!!

    cd

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    Re: Imex CR100 - Is the jury in or out?

    Yep i bought on as well and found it to be pretty good after some modificatons
    i put a small peice of aliminiimumum on the inside of the back slots that could slide
    up and down.
    in the down position it covers none of the vents but slide it up to the up position and it covers about a third of the vents, i found ambient tempures wernt such a problem coz i was able to get the machine up to temp quicker, i know tyhis coz by drilling a small hole in the lid and inserting a thermocupling unit that i got from Dick smiths so i can monitor the temp
    so i can get it up to temp quickly then lower the vent to maintain temp
    With the vent closed ive got the unit up to 275 and with the vent open as in like it was from factory it was struggling to get to 180 with an abient temp at 14 and 200 with an ambient of 21.
    other than that its a good little machine

  10. #10
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    Re: Imex CR100 - Is the jury in or out?

    I have had 2 of these units quite some time ago (3 years?) and they both failed within weeks and even the supplier I got then off used one for small batch roast and they found the same thing and refused to sell them any more and as for warranty the item had to got to WA and took 4 weeks to get it back to Sydney. From my experience I would not wast my time but the some have used then and not had any problems.... :-/

  11. #11
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    Re: Imex CR100 - Is the jury in or out?

    my two bobs worth:

    ive had my imex for nearly a year now. it has done 4-6 roasts per week in this time. reliability hasnt been a problem for me.

    i graduated from heat gun roasting when i got it and found the biggest advantage was the lower labour input - you only have to supervise the roast and switch it to cool when it is done.

    i havent used a popper, but i imagine the imex is better by not having to manually cool the beans once the roast is done.

    i think fatboys comments are spot on, except that I think the cooldown function is excellent - just turn to cool a little earlier to allow for some further roasting as it cools. I disagree about not hearing 1st and 2nd crack - i can pick it easily enough, and if Im not sure, just switch it off for a few seconds and they come out loud and clear. There is a big variation in roast time depending on ambient temp - you have to watch and listen to avoid charcoal. No big deal though.

    I believe the aluminium strip mod is no longer needed - i understand they increased the power output on them a while back so any newer model hits second crack every time. someone correct me if im off track here.

    I think for $110 its pretty hard to beat - the next step up is a big one.

  12. #12
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    Re: Imex CR100 - Is the jury in or out?

    I bought an Imex from Vitali in the beginning of September this year. To date it has done 37 roasts.
    I experimented with various quantities until I came to the conclusion that 140g was the optimum. Some of the beans demand that I hold onto the bakelite base and rock the unit gently for a minute or so to ensure that the beans are mobile (and not getting scorched). They soon move independently and rapidly.
    The roasts are always even....and yes...ambient temperatures can vary the time taken to do the same amount of of the same type of beans.
    I brush and vacuum the internals of the unit after each roast and apply a solvent with a cloth to the internal stainless steel parts and the glass lid after every 3 roasts or so. It takes less than 2 minutes to get the unit ready for the next roast. It still looks brand new.

    In my opinion the $110 is a bargain. I have learnt heaps about the roasting process and it has become a favourite hobby...a passion.




    I roast and store a single variety of beans separately and do the blending just prior to grinding time, so 140g is a useable amount for two coffee drinkers. The best beans get roasted several times per week and they are always fresh.

    If you are thinking of taking the plunge into home roasting, grab one of these babies before they have all gone.

    Cheers,
    Paolo.

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    Re: Imex CR100 - Is the jury in or out?

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Hi .... me again!

    Im still using my Imex CR100 at least 3 times a week - really happy with it.

    Tips

    * Forget the timer - learn to watch, listen and smell the roast - flick off when ready
    * Have 2 oven gloves and 2 stainless steel colanders ready to empty the roasted beans into.
    * Clean the roaster filters each time
    * Ensure that the glass top is pristine by washing after roast - this allow good viewing (the sight factor) - I even have a small mirror to reflect sunlight into the roast.

    Value for money? Excellent !

    A great starter roaster.

    bye for now!

    hiker



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