A good simple and reliable roaster for begginners through to more experienced
Positive Product Points
NOTE: This particular machine is Australian Spec 240v and titile Imex Cr-100 A solid roaster for begginers through to the more experienced. Happy to roast from 3/4 of a cup (provided with machine) to 1 1/3 cups (or about 80gms - 140gms) Good vision of bean movement and stage of roast through glass top. All roast levels can be achieved. Relatively cheap compared to other machines that operate to the same level.
Negative Product Points
Quite noisy making it sometimes difficult to hear "cracks" You will lose skin when learning that the top of this machine, both metal and glass, gets extremely hot! The cooling cycle is a little inneffective IMO as the unit retains too much heat It is a little tricky emptying the beans at the completion of the roast without chaff going everywhere
NOTE: This product is the Australian Spec 240V machine - this may effect outcomes/conclusions. Its is called the Imex Cr-100 in Australia
Overall this is a good machine for a begginer through to a more experienced user.
All roast levels are achievable, however it does suffer when voltage is low, or air temperature is low, necessitating some creativity with recircling warm air towards the intake or slowing the airflow slightly.
I bought this roaster from Cafe Bianchi in Sydneys Leichardt for $220. I would only reccomend them for the price as it was the cheapest I could find. I cant say much for the service or the unfriendly sales staff. (I have since bought a second roaster described in the followup section from http://www.greenbeans.com.au for $175)
The roaster is quite noisy making it difficult but not impossible to hear "cracks". This factor is negated by the great view of bean movemet and level of roast that is given by the clear glass top.
The top of the roaster, both glass and metal sections gets very very hot, but of course this is not a childrens toy so I suppose that must be accepted.
The cooling cycle of the Rosto/Imex Cr-100 is inneficient in my view. The roaster tends to hold too much heat and thus durig cooling, hot air is travelling over the beans at a time when they are supposed to be coolig down. Generally I let the machine do its cooling cycle for about 1 minute, then armed with oven mits, empty the beans into a collander and go manual from there.
Emptying the beans can be difficult because of the location of the chaff collector which must be removed (or covered) during bean dump. I use an oven mit to cover it and then let the machines cooling cycle continue for another minute or two, before emptying the chaff collector.
Overall a good solid machine, apparently without the manufacturing weaknesses of the US model. Ive had the machine for 6 months and probably done 75+ roasts without a problem.
A good step up from your popcorn popper.
I bought this roaster from Cafe Bianchi in Sydney's Leichardt for $220. I would only recommend them for the price as it was the cheapest I could find. I cant say much for the service or the unfriendly sales staff.
Three Month Followup
I'm pretty happy with this machine still. Ok it doesnt get quite hot enough on its own, at least not within a rasonable time frame of about 12 minutes. I have gotten around this very simply by putting a tea towel orflat peice of towel underneath the roaster from the beginning of the roast. After about 4-5 minutes, the heat starts to level out, so i scrucnh up the towel a little, reduce the airflow slightly to the underside of the roatser, and thus increase the heat. Im always sure to be carefull not to leave the roaster in this state whilts it is going, as it can go to the famous 3rd crack (ie flames) fairly quickly. I have maged to get up to a 120gm batch, simply by tilting the roaster away from the chaff filter side and gently rocking it back and forward - This has been termed by others in the home roasting community as The "Rockin' Rosto" Method :o) All in all a good machine but the 120gms just wasnt enough for me - I went and bought what I thought was going to be an identical machine, which ended up being sufficiently different for me to feel the need to write a whole new review (but coffeegeek wont seem to allow me) ROSTO2 (www.greenbeans.com.au) AUS$175 (US$132) The AUS$ has risen 30% since my first purchase - so the price of the new machine has fallen nicely by $AUS45 My new Rosto has various improvements, the most noticeable of which is the smaller opening at the back heading towards the chaff filter, which helps to allow a larger batch size (the beans no longer get through into the chaff filter so easily). Also the chaff filter has been made larger which is handy for either larger roasts or those particularly "chaffy" beans. Finally the new machine gets a LOT hotter, a LOT faster. The first roast I did was a lovely 6 minutes from go to choking smoke. They always say you should season the roaster with a trial roast first :o) I have now got the new roaster settled into about 9-11 minute roasts, not including the cooling cycle. In my opinion, they took a great little machine and made it better. (note we are still talking about the Australia 240v version that may differ significantly from US and Euro versions)