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Anyone switched from a Gene Cafe to a Behmor?
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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Anyone switched...  
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Senior Member

Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Posts: 10
Location: Oakland, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale V2 (finally!)
Grinder: La Cimbali Jr
Drip: cone
Roaster: Gene
Posted Tue Nov 5, 2013, 9:22pm
Subject: Anyone switched from a Gene Cafe to a Behmor?

My 6-year old Gene seems to be failing. I may get some parts and do some surgery, but am also thinking about the Behmor for the larger batch size.

Anyone made the switch?
Any benefits? Any downside?


Bryan in Oakland.
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Senior Member

Joined: 20 Jan 2012
Posts: 82
Location: Indiana, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cheap POS
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Vac Pot: Broken by the cats!
Drip: Pour Over, Brazen,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Nov 14, 2013, 3:37pm
Subject: Re: Anyone switched from a Gene Cafe to a Behmor?

I switched from a Gene to a Behmor.

Overall I like the Behmor better. They both have their quirks. It's MUCH easier to get replacement parts on the Behmor since Behmor has such great customer service.

In it's stock form I'd advise not doing 1 pound, but that's a personal opinion. I think it's a tad underpowered for a full pound. It can do it but I personally didn't like the results. It's great up to half a pound, and ok up to 3/4 a pound.

Overall I'm pleased with the Behmor and prefer it to the Gene.
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Senior Member

Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,683
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Thu Nov 14, 2013, 6:18pm
Subject: Re: Anyone switched from a Gene Cafe to a Behmor?

The Behmor is a solid, inexpensive roaster which allows the user to do a reasonably good roast up to about 300g; more than that and you start getting "baked" notes.    

The Behmor is a true, drum roaster.  It's characteristic taste is mellower and not quite as bright as the Gene.  Roasts of equivalent size, taken to equivalent levels of development take longer in a Behmor than in a Gene.  

The user can employ several different programmed profiles.  In addition, there are a few little tricks which allow some customization to the profiles.  However, the Behmor is nowhere nearly as versatile as the Gene.  The Gene isn't what you'd call really great in that respect either.  The question is whether you're willing to except less.  

It's very difficult, if not impossible, to get good, real-time temp information -- BT or ET -- from a Behmor.  That makes control more difficult than it might otherwise be.  

I understand that RoasterThing software adds a lot of functionality to the Behmor.  You might want to check it out.  

In my opinion, the natural step up from a Gene is a HotTop or Quest, because they're more easily probed and controlled; unless, that is, you need greater capacity.  And at the risk of repetition, the Behmor's true sweet-spot (not that you can't cram more beans in its basket) is the same as the Gene, HT or Quest.  

If you're looking for something which allows the consistency and control necessary for artisanal roasting, the best 500g, sub $2K, electric drum roaster on the market is either a probe-equipped Quest M3, or modded HotTop (had one) -- used twice.  I should say though, that one of the HT's weaknesses is the amount of cooling required between roasts.  It's not a true batch roaster, but the Quest is.  

After that you're looking at MUCH bigger money Chinese roasters like the Dalian Amazon 1kg or North TJ-067 Electric.

Dalian Amazon: It has a 600g sweet-spot, and lacks the power to do fast/bright roasts, but does an outstanding job of gentle, sweet roasting (aka "Latin" or "Central American" style).  In the senses that it's slow and doesn't do a good job of the advertised capacity you could compare it to a Behmor.   The difference is that the Amazon allows incredibly good control.  Another difference is price; the Amazon's retail is a bit under $3K.  

I own an Amazon, generally like it, but the power supply here (Monrovia, CA) is exceptionally unreliable made worse by the fact that the service to my house is inadequate.  Additionally, the roaster was a bit underpowered for the type of exploration into roasting profiles which interests me.  I replaced it with a more versatile, and vastly more expensive USRC Sample Roaster.  I don't have room for both roasters.  If you're interested in the Amazon, mine's in excellent condition, has less than 50kg on it, for sale at less than half the US price, and includes a 20A Variac.  Local pick up only.

North TJ-067 Electric:  It goes for a bit over a bit over $3K, and requires you to add a special, heavy duty circuit to your household.  But it does everything a roaster should, at least pretty well, including a true 1kg capacity.

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