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Date: 22 Sep 2006 23:36:23
From:
Subject: iRoast 2

I've read the reviews for the iRoast 2 on Coffee Geek and some other
sites. Has anyone here had any hands-on experience with it? Comments,
complaints or suggestions? Thanks.





 
Date: 26 Sep 2006 12:58:28
From: fmfmfm
Subject: Re: iRoast 2
I've had the iRoast2 for about 9 months now and it works just great,
some people here can be very picky, for 95% of people it's is great.

Pro's
- Roasts 150g of coffee enough for 1-2 people for a week or so
- You can see the roast, and usually hear the cracks
- Simple, and portable, and YES programmable
Con's
- Loud (so what?)
- must wait 2hrs between roasts
- The programming is not precise, but close enough for us

I have never had a bad batch of coffee with this machine unless it was
MY OWN FAULT.
You should keep an eye on the coffee beans during the last few minutes
of roast and watch for slight sheen on the beans, that's when I hit the
COOL button.

One last thing, I had some Quality Control problems with it but iRoast
was great and sent me a new part right away.

Enjoy!


choffman@austin.rr.com wrote:
> I've read the reviews for the iRoast 2 on Coffee Geek and some other
> sites. Has anyone here had any hands-on experience with it? Comments,
> complaints or suggestions? Thanks.



 
Date: 26 Sep 2006 00:22:48
From: CrackAddict
Subject: Re: iRoast 2
Just a slip of the keyboard, I'm sure, but never make the mistake of
confusing the absolutely unacceptable iRoast with the iRoast2, which
followed it immediately - so embarrassingly soon in fact that a better
company would have simply replaced the miserable iRoasts with the new
unit.

We all know you can use a pan on the fire to roast coffee, so it
doesn't take much to make a coffee roaster. I have a Precision (nice,
simple sample roaster these days) a Z&D (another gimmicky device that
also produces an OK roast), an iRoast (tried to give it away) and a
Hottop.

The Hottop comes closest to traditional boutique roasting - it's a
shame no one has taken the obvious and easy (?) step of giving it full
manual controls over temp and time. It's all I need.


Trevor Morris wrote:
> With the research you've done, you undoubtedly now know that there is no
> single home roaster on the ket that qualifies as ideal. With that said,
> I've had my iRoast 2 for about 6 months.<snip> I'm a firm supporter of the iRoast, and even
> better it has introduced me to the "hobby" of coffee. I undoubtedly will
> upgrade when newer machines with all the attributes we all wish for become
> available in a device under $200 - IMHO for now this is the only game in
> town (warts and all) at that price point.
>
>
>
> <choffman@austin.rr.com> wrote in message
> news:lps8h293nik80he0i9hu52rr7p0k0v3cp6@4ax.com...
> >
> > I've read the reviews for the iRoast 2 on Coffee Geek and some other
> > sites. Has anyone here had any hands-on experience with it? Comments,
> > complaints or suggestions? Thanks.
> >



 
Date: 25 Sep 2006 14:18:49
From: Trevor Morris
Subject: Re: iRoast 2
With the research you've done, you undoubtedly now know that there is no
single home roaster on the ket that qualifies as ideal. With that said,
I've had my iRoast 2 for about 6 months. Yes, it does sound like a shop vac.
Yes, each one seems to have it's own unique personality in that you can't
reliably share profiles. Yes, you can only roast 150gm at a time, and yes,
you're not supposed to use it more than 7 times per week (serious - there's
a bright yellow sticker on the unit that warns you!). BUT, for the money,
you can't go wrong. Us coffee roasters are tinkerers, so don't even consider
buying one if you initially want a "set and forget" appliance (although this
is attainable once you have fine-tuned your parameters and settings). But,
if you reward it with a little patience, experimenting and trial and error,
you'll quickly see that there's no turning back. Getting to know this baby
is somewhat of a journey through the entire coffee roasting process itself.
Once you have determined how external variables such as ambient temperature,
line voltage and the green beans themselves affect the roast, you have
basically blueprinted the device - consistent roasts are then a breeze and
you won't be disappointed. I'm a firm supporter of the iRoast, and even
better it has introduced me to the "hobby" of coffee. I undoubtedly will
upgrade when newer machines with all the attributes we all wish for become
available in a device under $200 - IMHO for now this is the only game in
town (warts and all) at that price point.



<choffman@austin.rr.com > wrote in message
news:lps8h293nik80he0i9hu52rr7p0k0v3cp6@4ax.com...
>
> I've read the reviews for the iRoast 2 on Coffee Geek and some other
> sites. Has anyone here had any hands-on experience with it? Comments,
> complaints or suggestions? Thanks.
>




 
Date: 24 Sep 2006 11:38:01
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: iRoast 2
I- >Ian ranted at some length, including:
> I take umbrage at your impuning poster's integrity. I


Impugn...



 
Date: 24 Sep 2006 06:29:32
From:
Subject: Re: iRoast 2
Humm... Interesting !

I just purchased a iRoast2. I read all reviews and threads about it on
the Net before I made my choice. As it is always the case with the
Net, only part of it is credible and it is difficult to make the
difference. Here is what I found:

1- Some opinions are only word of mouth written by people that don't
even own a iRoast2.

2- Some comments apply only to the iRoast, not to the iRoast2 and a lot
of people don't seem to make the difference. There is a reference in
this thread to the 8 rules described here:
http://www.coffeegeek.com/files/242/
This article was written by DJW on 02/15/05, long before the iRoast2
was released.

3- Some of the design flaws that are reported are really meaningless.
For example, who cares if it is impossible to correct a program. It
takes the same time to write a new one over the old one.

4- There are many positive reviews about the iRoast2 written by
valuable sources. Here are a few:
Sweet ia's : http://sweetias.com/prod.hearthwareiRoast2.shtml
Randy G.: http://www.espressomyespresso.com/
CoffeeGEEK : http://www.coffeegeek.com/proreviews/firstlook/iroast2

Anyway, I just purchased one and I don't have enough experience with it
to venture a review. However, I have used it twice so far, with
different beans, and the results exceeded my expectations.

Of course, you can also buy a 20$ popper. We don't read negative
comments about them and you can add butter when you are finished...
Just joking of course :-) Some people report having excellent results
with this non programmable machine designed for popcorn.



  
Date: 24 Sep 2006 10:22:29
From: Mike Hartigan
Subject: Re: iRoast 2
In article <1159104571.935724.320190@i42g2000cwa.googlegroups.com >,
jules.gobeil@videotron.ca says...
> [...]
>
> 3- Some of the design flaws that are reported are really meaningless.
> For example, who cares if it is impossible to correct a program. It
> takes the same time to write a new one over the old one.

I cited that as a flaw in one of my posts. I admit, it's nit-picky,
and I didn't intend to suggest that this was a biggie. It's
certainly not, by itself, a reason to take a pass on this machine.
That said, my ideal roaster would not have nit-picky problems.

> [...]
> Anyway, I just purchased one and I don't have enough experience with it
> to venture a review. However, I have used it twice so far, with
> different beans, and the results exceeded my expectations.

(Hopefully, with that comment, you won't be accused of simply not
knowing what you're talking about)

> Of course, you can also buy a 20$ popper. We don't read negative
> comments about them and you can add butter when you are finished...
> Just joking of course :-) Some people report having excellent results
> with this non programmable machine designed for popcorn.

Indeed!

--
-Mike


 
Date: 23 Sep 2006 18:08:04
From:
Subject: Re: iRoast 2

choffman@austin.rr.com wrote:
> I've read the reviews for the iRoast 2 on Coffee Geek and some other
> sites. Has anyone here had any hands-on experience with it? Comments,
> complaints or suggestions? Thanks.

I've had an I Roast 2 for about a year with no problems other than
having to lube up the fan shaft recently when it started sticking.

The programmable temps and the curves you can get do make a difference
in roast flavour profiles for me. How can they not? If you ramp up to
450F in the first 5 minutes and get the sugars caramelizing and burning
early, ramp down to keep from cremating your beans before the end of
1st crack, you'll get a smokier roast than if you started at 325F and
ramped up slowly to 440-450F over 12+ minutes. I watch the beans roast
and stop them when they're roasted the way I like them so I don't find
the I Roast inconsistent. Any roaster will be only as consistent as
the current draw anyway and when other things like environmental temp
can affect a roast getting dead on consistency isn't something that's
likely with a roaster in the I Roast 2 price range, IMHO.

The Gene Cafe roaster looks like a good roaster. I'd consider it as a
good alternative to a fluid bed roaster like the I Roast 2.
http://sweetias.com/prod.genecafe.shtml



 
Date: 23 Sep 2006 11:54:27
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: iRoast 2
choffman@austin.rr.com wrote:

>
>I've read the reviews for the iRoast 2 on Coffee Geek and some other
>sites. Has anyone here had any hands-on experience with it? Comments,
>complaints or suggestions? Thanks.
>

I wish there was a really GREAT, affordable, home roasting device, but
at this time it just does not seem to exist. "What _would_ be a great
device?" you ask-
-affordable. Something in the less than $400 range would be nice, but
a bit more would be understandable if it was to supply the level of
quality and the functions listed below.
-programmable. True programmability (with safety controls, of course)
If I want to roast at 400 for five minutes, or 250 for thirty, I
should be able to do it, even if the coffee tastes disgusting. It is
up to ME what taste I like- not for someone else to decide.
-ROM memory with included profiles. A few included profiles ready to
go if I choose to use them
-Easy to use and modify programming interface. It should allow easy
modification of my programmed profiles.
-Capacity of up to about 1/2 pound. Using less should be no problem.
-Control that compensates for variables. Varying amounts of coffee,
varying ambient temps, etc. should not affect the roast by much at
all.
-Interface for using a computer or laptop to control and monitor the
roasting process (optional).

Something like this exists- the CCR roaster (a highly modified
Hottop): http://www.pawlan.com/ccr.html
but the price puts it in the category of a professional tool and not a
home appliance.

The Hottop from the factory comes close but offers no real user
control. The "programmability" is a timing function that cuts off the
one, pre-programmed profile at various points. A shame, really.

So with all that said, I still really like the coffee that the Hottop
can produce. The machine has a very good track record, and if you
carefully monitor it when roasting and not just walk away and allow it
to ignite the beans, it is quite capable of roasting excellent coffee.
If you know how to roast coffee (that is to say that you understand
the process), then the best return for the investment is probably a
coffee-roasting drum for a BBQ. Not everyone lives in a place or
climate that allows the use of a BBQ though.


Randy "where are the magic beans when you need them, Jack?" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com




 
Date: 23 Sep 2006 09:09:28
From: Mike Hartigan
Subject: Re: iRoast 2
In article <lps8h293nik80he0i9hu52rr7p0k0v3cp6@4ax.com >,
choffman@austin.rr.com says...
>
> I've read the reviews for the iRoast 2 on Coffee Geek and some other
> sites. Has anyone here had any hands-on experience with it? Comments,
> complaints or suggestions? Thanks.

While its design leaves something to be desired, it is a fine machine
in terms of repeatability, which, to me, is of paramount importance -
once I find a profile that works for me, I can simply add the beans,
turn it on, and walk away, confident in what the resulting roast will
taste like. Others may disagree, but I suspect that they either got
a defective unit (I'm returning mine for the second time for warranty
repair/replacement due to what appears to be a faulty temp sensor -
second crack occurs at the lowest temp setting), or they're simply
parroting what they've read elsewhere.

Among my gripes with this machine:

1. completely non-intuitive programming and roasting - for
example, to select a programmed profile, press 'Cool'.
2. there's no way to review a profile once you've entered it.
3. There's no way to change a profile - you must start over.
4. Temperature display is not accurate. But it's consistent,
which means that once you are familiar with your machine's display,
you're fine. It makes it difficult to share profiles with others,
however.

Among my likes:

1. Repeatable roasts.
2. Profiles are truly programmable.
3. I'm able to roast some knock your (my) socks off coffee.
4. It looks, sounds, and feels like a durable machine (my two
returns notwithstanding)
5. Nice chaff collection
6. Dryer hose attachment (!!!)

If my gripes are addessed in the I-Roast3 (?), I'll probably buy one
when this one dies. I'll flip a coin for another I-Roast2.

--
-Mike


  
Date: 23 Sep 2006 23:21:28
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: iRoast 2
On Sat, 23 Sep 2006 09:09:28 -0500, Mike Hartigan
<mike@hartigan.dot.com > wrote:

Sorry, Mike but I always assume that one so quick to accuse is
probably guilty of the same sin:

> simply parroting what they've read elsewhere.

I take umbrage at your impuning poster's integrity. I had two iRoars
and of the 6 makes of 'home' roasters I've used, it is tied for
bottom of the cup. The design is fatally flawed and it impossible to
produce a consistent or repeatable roast, at least within meaningful
limits.

> 2. Profiles are truly programmable.

The profile numbers are essentially meaningless in terms of what the
iRoar is actually doing.

Prove it!
Put two thermocouples in the roast chamber : one in the middle of the
chimney and the other about 1cm from the edge of the chamber. The
temperature differences are all over the map and neither relate to the
'profile'. Every damn bean has it's own profile!

> 3. I'm able to roast some knock your (my) socks off coffee.

Compared to what? 6 week old superket? And who is the judge?

No response required!


   
Date: 24 Sep 2006 06:19:12
From: Mike Hartigan
Subject: Re: iRoast 2
In article <erdbh2t155344c12he2e54o96gb4q8g9t9@4ax.com >,
someone@nowhere.com says...
> On Sat, 23 Sep 2006 09:09:28 -0500, Mike Hartigan
> <mike@hartigan.dot.com> wrote:
>
> Sorry, Mike but I always assume that one so quick to accuse is
> probably guilty of the same sin:
>
> > simply parroting what they've read elsewhere.

If someone says that their machine doesn't work as designed, their
observation is either accurate or it's not. Do you disagree?

> I take umbrage at your impuning poster's integrity.

This is usenet. Bandwagons tend to be very popular here. One must
allow for that possibility.

> I had two iRoars
> and of the 6 makes of 'home' roasters I've used, it is tied for
> bottom of the cup. The design is fatally flawed and it impossible to
> produce a consistent or repeatable roast, at least within meaningful
> limits.

Then my first suggestion holds - that you probably got a defective
unit. Don't misunderstand - comments from owners suggest that
defective units may be more common than good ones. I was fortunate
enough to have gotten one of the good ones that are very consistent
from one roast to the next - this appears to be what it was designed
to do. It's the execution of the design (QC, actually) that is
flawed. But since this is only my 4th roaster, you have the
advantage.

> > 2. Profiles are truly programmable.
>
> The profile numbers are essentially meaningless in terms of what the
> iRoar is actually doing.

That's what I said. If you use the programmed/displayed temps as
guides rather than temps, then you can make it work for you, as long
as the machine works properly otherwise.

> Prove it!
> Put two thermocouples in the roast chamber : one in the middle of the
> chimney and the other about 1cm from the edge of the chamber. The
> temperature differences are all over the map and neither relate to the
> 'profile'. Every damn bean has it's own profile!
>
> > 3. I'm able to roast some knock your (my) socks off coffee.
>
> Compared to what? 6 week old superket? And who is the judge?

As I said, this is only my 4th roaster in 8 years. In that time,
I've gone through, maybe, 800 lbs of coffee. Perhaps it's simply
that my palate is not yet sufficiently developed to know what I'm
supposed to like. (But since I'm enjoying the hell out of what I've
got, I hope I never find out!)

> No response required!

--
-Mike


    
Date: 26 Sep 2006 22:54:41
From: Tony Verhulst
Subject: Re: iRoast 2

>> I had two iRoars
>> and of the 6 makes of 'home' roasters I've used, it is tied for
>> bottom of the cup. The design is fatally flawed and it impossible to
>> produce a consistent or repeatable roast, at least within meaningful
>> limits.

Fully understanding that you can tell the pioneers by the arrows in
their backs, I pre-ordered an i-Roast 1 from Hearthware before
production started and so got one of the first units. So that was close
to 3 years ago. I have not regretted the decision.

Yes, the user interface sucks. I avoid it by simply hitting profile 1
and adjusting the time to what I know works for me and my unit and the
particular bean. I get repeatable results and I like the results. For
the money, it's hard to do better, IMHO. Also, for my consumption rate,
the 1 cup capacity is perfect and I roast every 5 days or so.

I understand that the i-Roast 2 is slightly better, but don't know that
personally. The i-Roast 1 was a step up from the Precision I had before
- I understand that some will disagree with that statement.

That said, I'm contemplating getting a HotTop or a Gene Cafe just to see
what the fuss is all about.

cheers,

Tony V.



 
Date: 23 Sep 2006 00:44:29
From: CrackAddict
Subject: Re: iRoast 2
I'd say don't bother. While a big improvement over the disastrous
iRoast 1, it's noisy, finnicky, messy and gimmicky. The LCD is hard to
read or use unless you happen to be three feet tall or roast on a shelf
five feet tall. I remain unconvinced you can actually use its
programmable options in a repeatable fashion. Get a HotTop or a Cafe
Genie.


choffman@austin.rr.com wrote:
> I've read the reviews for the iRoast 2 on Coffee Geek and some other
> sites. Has anyone here had any hands-on experience with it? Comments,
> complaints or suggestions? Thanks.



 
Date: 23 Sep 2006 01:18:47
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: iRoast 2
On Fri, 22 Sep 2006 23:36:23 GMT, choffman@austin.rr.com wrote:

>
>I've read the reviews for the iRoast 2 on Coffee Geek and some other
>sites. Has anyone here had any hands-on experience with it? Comments,
>complaints or suggestions? Thanks.

Read this.
http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/homeroast/255892
and this
http://www.coffeegeek.com/files/242/

It's LOUD. It's variable from unit to unit. It's NOT repeatable [very]


 
Date: 22 Sep 2006 18:14:44
From: Erik Groomer
Subject: Re: iRoast 2
I haven't read Randy's review, but my major complaint is that however
you program a profile it doesn't really matter because you cannot
control fan speed. For whatever reason the fan speed is modulated
during the roast, sometimes oscillating high and low every few seconds.
Even if the temp control was good enough to keep the air temp constant
the air speed change affects heat transfer negatively. I haven't been
able to develop a consistent aroma profile on it for any given bean. It
is really too bad, I wanted to like it...

Erik Groomer
Coffee Neophite

choffman@austin.rr.com wrote:
> I've read the reviews for the iRoast 2 on Coffee Geek and some other
> sites. Has anyone here had any hands-on experience with it? Comments,
> complaints or suggestions? Thanks.



 
Date: 22 Sep 2006 17:47:08
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: iRoast 2
choffman@austin.rr.com wrote:

>
>I've read the reviews for the iRoast 2 on Coffee Geek and some other
>sites. Has anyone here had any hands-on experience with it? Comments,
>complaints or suggestions? Thanks.

Read my review. On my website, in the right-hand column, under
"reviews."


Randy "where else?" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com