Quiet, Good looking machine that is right at home in the kitchen. I just love the ability to see the roast in action and it's quiet enough that hearing first and second crack isn't a problem. Great chaff collection and easy to clean.
Negative Product Points
Roast chamber is a little difficult to insert into the machine unless you orient it just right. This is a fairly large machine and takes up quite a bit of counter space. Somewhat larger than an Alpenrost. Cooldown is a little slow and when it finishes the roast chamber still has some spots that are a little hot to handle so care is required.
Iíve been roasting my own coffee now for about six years. Over that time Iíve used a hot air popper, a six quart pot over a Coleman stove (the cheapest set up by far), an Alpenrost, a barbeque grill drum (Ron Kyle) and an iRoast. I used to mostly roast for drip coffee but these days roast for espresso from my Isomac Tea. What I need is a roaster that roasts a reasonable amount of coffee because I go thru a lot of coffee in a week and donít want to be roasting every day. The grill drum does a wonderful job of making coffee in a good amount with the only downside being that you have to go outside. Now maybe outside is ok for you but outside in southern Missouri is not always pleasant, particularly in the summer. So as summer is coming on I began to look for a roaster that could be used inside. The Alpenrost is a good choice as it roasts a reasonable amount, if it had a better build, mine is long gone. The iRoast2 is sitting downstairs on a shelf. It roasts well but only in small amounts and as I said before, I go thru a lot of coffee in a week. That seemed to pretty much confine me to a Hot TopÖ..untill I saw the Gene reviews here. Read the review at Sweet Marias and just knew I had to have that roaster. Ordered and delivered within a week, it comes nicely packed with lots of form fitting styofoam to keep it safe. Set up is a breeze. The manual is a hoot with the odd English from someone with only a nodding acquaintance with the language. But after all there are only two controls, Time and Temp, so how hard can it be? The Time and Temp dials do dual duty as the On/Off switch and the Start/Stop roast by pressing down on them. Two LED displays show you the Time set which counts down after the roast is started and the Temp set which alternates with the current temp of the outlet air. Time countdown switches to countup after the cooling cycle starts and the Temp shows you the current temp so you can watch the cooling progress to 140 F where the machine shuts itself down. Now you might think that makes this a very limiting roaster but thatís not the case, as the temp and the time can be adjusted freely during the roast. Thus, you can make pretty much any kind of a profile youíd like, although you must do so manually. Me I just run the temp up to the max of the machine, wait for the beginnings of second crack and let it go to cool. Iím a simple kind of guy. But Iíve found that that is precisely the roast I like for my Malobar Gold. Like others have said you have to switch to cooldown early because the cooldown is slow and the beans continue to roast for just a bit longer. This simple profile and timing results in beans with occasional spots of oil as they come from the machine with the oil disappearing after the beans have rested for a few hours. Fair warning. There are suggested times and temps in the manual but if you set those and walk away youíll probably have beans that are nearly *bucks burnít, leastwise my machine would have burned them. They suggested max Temp for 15 min for full city and I had to start cooldown at 13 min which resulted in beans with an oily surface even after resting. Two more min. would have given charcoal. Smoke during roast is light, but you do need a vent hood that goes to the outside. The chaff collector works perfectly and is a breeze to empty after the roast. While this is not a cheap roaster, I think itís worth every dollar for the very robust yet elegant design.
Bought this from Sweet Marias and they shipped it promptly with 8 One pound bags of green coffee from a variety of sources. They have always done me right over the years.