I want to upgrade from my hot air popper to a dedicated roaster. The Gene roaster sounds good on paper and is in my price range, but I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has experience with the Gene. I probably will be doing only 2 or 3 roasts a month with the roaster. My main goal is to have a roaster than does a longer roast than the hot air popper and gets more flavors out of the beans.
I used a fresh roast for about a year or so....purchased a gene cafe ...been using for 1 1/2 years...roast 4 times a month.....works great for me.....easy to hear 1st and 2nd crack on most beans....easy to maintain
The Gene needs some cool down time between roasts, and doesn't work well as a batch roaster. You may not roast enough coffee per "session," for this to matter;
The new Gene Cafe distributor doesn't sell parts for DIY repair. When your machine needs work, you'll have to send it to them for servicing. It may not matter to you, but it would end my interest; and
If you want to do accurate BT and ET telemetry to feed real time plotting -- darn near a necessity for sophisticated profiling -- the Gene isn't a great candidate. Another deal killer, as far as I'm concerned -- but something else which you may not find important.
In my opinion -- and it's just an opinion -- the Gene is good, but the HotTop "B" (also not perfect) is a better roaster in most respects; and well worth the price difference.
The best source -- by far!!! -- about Hot Tops is Randy Glass's site, Esspresso My Espresso. It's not a balanced evaluation but an ultimate how to, which will tell you everything about what the HT can and can't do; and what you can and can't do with it.
It's also one of the best espresso and roasting sites for people who want to do both things better.
Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014, 7:42am Subject: Re: Gene Cafe 1/2 Pound Roaster
Two things to add to the great advice you already got-- first is I read that Batch Coffee very recently announced they will be selling parts so you can repair the roaster yourself- that's kind of a big deal. Second thing-- the Gene is more for people that want to just press a button let the machine take over. If you want to be able to control the various stages of the roast, make small adjustments to get a specific profile- you'd be better off with the Hottop. The Hottop allows for little or no user input too though. So it really comes down to how want to get your beans roasted.
Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014, 10:35am Subject: Re: Gene Cafe 1/2 Pound Roaster
Many thanks to everyone for the tips on roasters. I'm now leaning toward the Hot Top. Fortunately, the price difference between the Gene and the Hot Top fits within my budget. I've viewed You Tube videos on both roasters. It's helpful to see both in operation. Now, all I have to do is buy the roaster and start roasting.
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