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Date: 22 May 2007 19:50:10
From: John Frank
Subject: Advice requested--Gene Cafe vs HotTop
Hello, I am looking to replace an iRoast 2 (that croaked today) with
either a Gene Cafe or a HotTop roaster and I am looking for your
advice.

I am usually the only coffee drinker in my household.

I drink a cup of french press in the morning and an espresso or a
cappa in the afternoon, if I'm not at work another one of these during
the day.

I like DP Ethiopian beans the best, the Harrar from CoffeeWholesalers
that Ken Fox and Jim S suggested was great, and I like to experiment
with the DP Yirgs and Sidamos from SM's, etc.

I have experience with a Freshroast Plus 8/Variac and the above
mentioned iRoast 2... which as others have stated many times was too
loud and just not a great product.

I am not a tinkerer in terms of the hardware, but I do attempt to find
the optimal profile for a given bean. I'm not a dark roast fan.
Depending on the bean, I roast to somewhere in the neighborhood of the
second crack, sometimes up to it, sometimes into it for a short
period... my beans only develop a sheen after a few days.

I want a machine that will deliver the best possible roast, that's
priority one. I would prefer to be able to monitor the roast and fine
tune it given the type of bean. I would also prefer to be able to
roast less than the maximum batch size from time to time. If the Gene
Cafe, which appears to offer more input into the roast process,
produces inferior results, I'd go with the HotTop. If the results are
comparable, I'd lean towards the Gene Cafe.

I roast outdoors (I live in Topanga Canyon and by law my house has
deafening smoke detectors in every room) so looks are not a big issue.

I've read the SM write-ups and I am not completely ignorant about
these machines. I am looking for the opinions of people who know the
machines and have something to share that might help me make my
decision.

Oh, Rocky and a PID'ed Silvia.

Thanks in advance!

John





 
Date: 24 May 2007 20:26:00
From: konapage
Subject: Re: Advice requested--Gene Cafe vs HotTop
On May 24, 3:10 pm, John Frank <johndfr...@excite.com > wrote:
> Thanks for all of the responses. I'm going to buy a new iRoast 2 for
> the time being and if the Behmor 1600 pans out I'll get one of those
> when they are available--no matter what happens the $180 for the
> iRoast won't break me. My dead iRoast lasted 18 months, there aren't
> many hobbies out there that cost $10/month.
>
> The deciding issue was the batch size, 150 gms/batch is perfect for my
> needs.
>
> Please keep writing about the Behmor as information becomes available,
> and thanks again.
>
> John



I purchased a Gene 4 months ago and have no complaints. If you want
more details email me.



 
Date: 24 May 2007 18:10:31
From: John Frank
Subject: Re: Advice requested--Gene Cafe vs HotTop
Thanks for all of the responses. I'm going to buy a new iRoast 2 for
the time being and if the Behmor 1600 pans out I'll get one of those
when they are available--no matter what happens the $180 for the
iRoast won't break me. My dead iRoast lasted 18 months, there aren't
many hobbies out there that cost $10/month.

The deciding issue was the batch size, 150 gms/batch is perfect for my
needs.

Please keep writing about the Behmor as information becomes available,
and thanks again.

John



 
Date: 24 May 2007 15:34:11
From:
Subject: Re: Advice requested--Gene Cafe vs HotTop
John et al re: Behmor 1600

Following is a short verbatum review of the roaster from a COE judge
who has extensively tested the roaster and had cuppings as well:

First impressions-
Looks good. Nice and quiet so you can hear cracks (probably the
quietest home roaster). Very little smoke aroma with no visible smoke
for a half pound roast! Did one roast of a benchmark Mexico. Good
roast time, even development, excellent bean movement, better cooling
time than existing home drum roasters. Used the simplest program-
enter weight and go (start) with the default of P1. My bad- I realised
that I had it plugged into the same outlet as the espresso machine, so
initially it was going a little slow. Turned off the espresso machine
and all was well.
You are right that the chaff tray needs work, some of the chaff was
left inside of the machine itself, which could be a potential fire
hazard if the consumer did not clean it out. Very little chaff
remained in the drum itself. The light could be a little brighter.
Geekier home roasters might like to see a temperature reading, but
honestly those have not proven very reliable in home roasters. I
assume that the instruction manual would show the different roast
profiles graphically, which would satiate the geekier roasters need
for info.
Did you send one of these to XYZ? What kind of retail price were you
thinking on these?
I think you have a winner. My initial impression is that it is the
best home roaster. I will let you know after I have tasted the coffee
and done a few more roasts.


More Observations...

Cupped the Mexican I roasted yesterday. As good as any production
roaster. None of the sharpness of the home air roasters, none of the
bake-y qualities of the home drum roasters.
So I decided to throw the worst at it this morning. A full pound of
natural Brazil (About as much chaff as you can get).
Once again, good movement and even roast development. Nice time on the
roast (P1 again).

No smoke at all during roasting!
Smoke leakage around the top of the door during cooling.

Chaff collector could not handle all the chaff. However, at least
very little was left in the drum.
Quality of the roast- once again, excellent.
Like I said, I threw the worst at it, it did well.
Will play with some of the profiles today and tomorrow. Next week will
just run a bunch of roasts to see how it does on longevity and safety.
I think XYZ should see this even if you do land it into Ronco. Should
I talk to him agaiin?

***

Since these reviews the chaff tray has been changed to better handle
the chaff and the lens cover for the light has been replaced with a
clear cover. The door issue has also been resolved for production by
adding an extar hinge to draw the door in tighter.

*** Only item removed was a name and replaced with XYZ.. otherwise
everything is as supplied to me..

The roaster has 5 pre set profiles that adjust to times entered. The
profiles were recommended to me by professionals including one by Ted
Lingle (P2).

At anytime during a roast you can adjust times up or down and/or begin
cooling at anytime..... and much more powerful cooling than the
genecafe... at 12 minutes 10 ounces on the gencafe hovers around
140... a full pound roast on the Behmor 1600 around 115-118 at 12
minutes w/ option available to the user for quicker cool downs.

Much more data will be up on the website on or about June 1.. www.behmor.com

Oh and the cost... huge savings over the others.....







 
Date: 24 May 2007 09:38:20
From: DavidMLewis
Subject: Re: Advice requested--Gene Cafe vs HotTop
On May 23, 12:17 pm, "I- >Ian" <some...@nowhere.com> wrote:
> On 23 May 2007 11:52:15 -0700, DavidMLewis <DavidMLe...@mac.com>
> wrote:
>
>
>
> >On May 22, 7:50 pm, John Frank <johndfr...@excite.com> wrote:
> >> Hello, I am looking to replace an iRoast 2 (that croaked today) with
> >> either a Gene Cafe or a HotTop roaster and I am looking for your
> >> advice.
>
> >Profiling, as you say you want to do, limits you to the Hottop
> >programmable model, which is much more expensive, or using a variac
> >and split-wiring. The Gene Cafe will allow you to do that out of the
> >box. Not to add to your decision, but having seen it at the SCAA show,
> >I'd probably wait a month or so and look at the Behmor as well. You
> >get multiple profiles, settings for 1/4, 1/2, and 1 lb. of green, as
> >well as smoke control that I think may actually allow you to roast
> >inside in your kitchen, as long as you don't do really dark roasts.
> >Joe was roasting in the booth with no fan nearby, and we could smell
> >it but not see any smoke. At $300 expected street, it's also cheaper
> >than the others.
>
> >Best,
> > David
>
> Coffee was not sampled, but the quality of the roast looked excellent:
> Good bean expansion, smooth skin, even color.
>
> As far profiles, I believe the unit is just time and temp. No user
> adjustable power control for profile slope variations.

I don't think there's any feedback in it, so if I'm right it will be
subject to voltage and ambient temperature variations, but it does
have five different profiles built in, including one that turns the
heater way down after first crack is expected to start. We'll all have
to wait and see, since as you noted none of us tasted the results, but
it's certainly not got anything obvious that would knock it out of
consideration.

Best,
David



 
Date: 23 May 2007 11:52:15
From: DavidMLewis
Subject: Re: Advice requested--Gene Cafe vs HotTop
On May 22, 7:50 pm, John Frank <johndfr...@excite.com > wrote:
> Hello, I am looking to replace an iRoast 2 (that croaked today) with
> either a Gene Cafe or a HotTop roaster and I am looking for your
> advice.
>
Profiling, as you say you want to do, limits you to the Hottop
programmable model, which is much more expensive, or using a variac
and split-wiring. The Gene Cafe will allow you to do that out of the
box. Not to add to your decision, but having seen it at the SCAA show,
I'd probably wait a month or so and look at the Behmor as well. You
get multiple profiles, settings for 1/4, 1/2, and 1 lb. of green, as
well as smoke control that I think may actually allow you to roast
inside in your kitchen, as long as you don't do really dark roasts.
Joe was roasting in the booth with no fan nearby, and we could smell
it but not see any smoke. At $300 expected street, it's also cheaper
than the others.

Best,
David



  
Date: 23 May 2007 12:17:01
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: Advice requested--Gene Cafe vs HotTop
On 23 May 2007 11:52:15 -0700, DavidMLewis <DavidMLewis@mac.com >
wrote:

>On May 22, 7:50 pm, John Frank <johndfr...@excite.com> wrote:
>> Hello, I am looking to replace an iRoast 2 (that croaked today) with
>> either a Gene Cafe or a HotTop roaster and I am looking for your
>> advice.
>>
>Profiling, as you say you want to do, limits you to the Hottop
>programmable model, which is much more expensive, or using a variac
>and split-wiring. The Gene Cafe will allow you to do that out of the
>box. Not to add to your decision, but having seen it at the SCAA show,
>I'd probably wait a month or so and look at the Behmor as well. You
>get multiple profiles, settings for 1/4, 1/2, and 1 lb. of green, as
>well as smoke control that I think may actually allow you to roast
>inside in your kitchen, as long as you don't do really dark roasts.
>Joe was roasting in the booth with no fan nearby, and we could smell
>it but not see any smoke. At $300 expected street, it's also cheaper
>than the others.
>
>Best,
> David

Coffee was not sampled, but the quality of the roast looked excellent:
Good bean expansion, smooth skin, even color.

As far profiles, I believe the unit is just time and temp. No user
adjustable power control for profile slope variations.


 
Date: 22 May 2007 22:12:35
From: abimer
Subject: Re: Advice requested--Gene Cafe vs HotTop
I haven't used a HotTop to compare, however I have found the Gene Cafe
to be absolutely fantastic, with results I would find hard to fault.

Although some people prefer the HotTop's roasts (search the
coffeegeek.com forums for some examples) I would say the only downside
to the Gene is the cooling, which has already been discussed here and
elsewhere extensively.

I have not found the roasts lacking at all - barring a few early ones
I did on max settings which were quite ashy. Lloyd's profiles that he
has posted on alt.coffee produce fine results. There is plenty of
discussion and support online for how to get the best from it.

So there. My vote is for the Gene. Others will no doubt disagree.

Paul M.



On May 23, 2:50 pm, John Frank <johndfr...@excite.com > wrote:
> Hello, I am looking to replace an iRoast 2 (that croaked today) with
> either a Gene Cafe or a HotTop roaster and I am looking for your
> advice.
>
> I am usually the only coffee drinker in my household.
>
> I drink a cup of french press in the morning and an espresso or a
> cappa in the afternoon, if I'm not at work another one of these during
> the day.
>
> I like DP Ethiopian beans the best, the Harrar from CoffeeWholesalers
> that Ken Fox and Jim S suggested was great, and I like to experiment
> with the DP Yirgs and Sidamos from SM's, etc.
>
> I have experience with a Freshroast Plus 8/Variac and the above
> mentioned iRoast 2... which as others have stated many times was too
> loud and just not a great product.
>
> I am not a tinkerer in terms of the hardware, but I do attempt to find
> the optimal profile for a given bean. I'm not a dark roast fan.
> Depending on the bean, I roast to somewhere in the neighborhood of the
> second crack, sometimes up to it, sometimes into it for a short
> period... my beans only develop a sheen after a few days.
>
> I want a machine that will deliver the best possible roast, that's
> priority one. I would prefer to be able to monitor the roast and fine
> tune it given the type of bean. I would also prefer to be able to
> roast less than the maximum batch size from time to time. If the Gene
> Cafe, which appears to offer more input into the roast process,
> produces inferior results, I'd go with the HotTop. If the results are
> comparable, I'd lean towards the Gene Cafe.
>
> I roast outdoors (I live in Topanga Canyon and by law my house has
> deafening smoke detectors in every room) so looks are not a big issue.
>
> I've read the SM write-ups and I am not completely ignorant about
> these machines. I am looking for the opinions of people who know the
> machines and have something to share that might help me make my
> decision.
>
> Oh, Rocky and a PID'ed Silvia.
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> John




  
Date: 23 May 2007 07:04:52
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Advice requested--Gene Cafe vs HotTop
add to that: the cost for the gene is hundreds less.

dave


"abimer" <paumcb12@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1179897155.158851.307900@m36g2000hse.googlegroups.com...
>I haven't used a HotTop to compare, however I have found the Gene Cafe
> to be absolutely fantastic, with results I would find hard to fault.
>
> Although some people prefer the HotTop's roasts (search the
> coffeegeek.com forums for some examples) I would say the only downside
> to the Gene is the cooling, which has already been discussed here and
> elsewhere extensively.
>
> I have not found the roasts lacking at all - barring a few early ones
> I did on max settings which were quite ashy. Lloyd's profiles that he
> has posted on alt.coffee produce fine results. There is plenty of
> discussion and support online for how to get the best from it.
>
> So there. My vote is for the Gene. Others will no doubt disagree.
>
> Paul M.
>
>
>
> On May 23, 2:50 pm, John Frank <johndfr...@excite.com> wrote:
>> Hello, I am looking to replace an iRoast 2 (that croaked today) with
>> either a Gene Cafe or a HotTop roaster and I am looking for your
>> advice.
>>
>> I am usually the only coffee drinker in my household.
>>
>> I drink a cup of french press in the morning and an espresso or a
>> cappa in the afternoon, if I'm not at work another one of these during
>> the day.
>>
>> I like DP Ethiopian beans the best, the Harrar from CoffeeWholesalers
>> that Ken Fox and Jim S suggested was great, and I like to experiment
>> with the DP Yirgs and Sidamos from SM's, etc.
>>
>> I have experience with a Freshroast Plus 8/Variac and the above
>> mentioned iRoast 2... which as others have stated many times was too
>> loud and just not a great product.
>>
>> I am not a tinkerer in terms of the hardware, but I do attempt to find
>> the optimal profile for a given bean. I'm not a dark roast fan.
>> Depending on the bean, I roast to somewhere in the neighborhood of the
>> second crack, sometimes up to it, sometimes into it for a short
>> period... my beans only develop a sheen after a few days.
>>
>> I want a machine that will deliver the best possible roast, that's
>> priority one. I would prefer to be able to monitor the roast and fine
>> tune it given the type of bean. I would also prefer to be able to
>> roast less than the maximum batch size from time to time. If the Gene
>> Cafe, which appears to offer more input into the roast process,
>> produces inferior results, I'd go with the HotTop. If the results are
>> comparable, I'd lean towards the Gene Cafe.
>>
>> I roast outdoors (I live in Topanga Canyon and by law my house has
>> deafening smoke detectors in every room) so looks are not a big issue.
>>
>> I've read the SM write-ups and I am not completely ignorant about
>> these machines. I am looking for the opinions of people who know the
>> machines and have something to share that might help me make my
>> decision.
>>
>> Oh, Rocky and a PID'ed Silvia.
>>
>> Thanks in advance!
>>
>> John
>
>