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So, you are into home coffee roasting, and tired of roasting a few ounces at a time every day -- or, you are new to home roasting, and want to start with a larger roaster -- but you don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a tabletop commercial roaster? Well, then this roaster is for you. Welcome to the Gene Cafe coffee roaster, which allows you to roast any amount from 3 to 8.75 ounces at one time --a whole week's worth! The Gene Cafe is the only home coffee roaster that allows you to roast variable amounts of coffee, rather than a pre-set amounts.
Moreover, it now comes standard with a ventable chaff collector, that easily connects to a 3" vent pipe. The large chaff collector allows better air circulation, so that the roaster can breathe easier. More importantly, it gives the customer the ability to direct the smoke in any direction (outside!) with a flexible 3-inch dryer- type aluminum vent pipe, available at any hardware store.
Free Coffee Samples: We will include, at no extra cost, three samples (one pound each, three pounds total) of high quality green coffee beans to get you started on roasting, as soon as you open the box! These beans are 100% Arabica. You will receive samples from Bolivia, Brazil, Burundi, Colombia or Costa Rica (our choice). However, if you have a preference (Decaf for examples, please let us know). If you prefer (custom regulations, lower shipment costs, etc), we can also ship the roaster without the coffee.
Above: One of our test machines. The small "box" to the left is the medium-size chaff collector. It is very efficient and easy to clean, and the best chaff collector we know of.
Above: The Gene Cafe ready to start a roasting cycle. The amount of green beans is 2.5 scoops, 8.75 oz (250g).
The Gene Cafe with the protective glass cover ready to accept the roasting chamber. You can roast from 1.8oz (50 g) to 8.75 oz and anything in between. This feature is unique among home roasters; others only allow a set amount per batch.
Glass roasting chamber (on the neat stand) with 8.75 oz (250 g) of green coffee just prior to roasting.
This roaster was introduced in the US in April of 2006. It was an instant hit in Europe and Asia, where it was introduced in 2005. That is kind of unusual, as products are usually first introduced in the US, and then in Europe. At any rate, it has also become a runaway success in the US. We have tested it and used it extensively and are quite impressed. This roaster is a winner!
This large, drum/fluid bed coffee roaster is designed and manufactured in South Korea. It has both temperature and time knobs allowing for infinite combinations of both variables (within safety limits!) During our tests we found that the default settings (440 F and 15 minutes) roasted very light (cinnamon level). We like moderately dark roasts, which we were able to obtain at 449 F and 19 minutes roast time. However, you need to try both settings until you find the ones you like. Many factors (ambient temperature, bean size and density and electrical load on your circuit) affect the overall performance of this nifty large coffee roaster, or any coffee roaster for that matter! We even had a little chaff fire when we pushed the time to 22 minutes. However, we were impressed by how the fire was contained and eventually extinguished within the medium size chaff collector. We didn't need to panic. However, only use the chaff collector provided. Using other "home-made" alternatives (such as, plates, wire mesh cages, etc) will generate a fire!
The best feature of this roaster is that you have total control over roast temperature and time. The time knob adjusts (up and down) by a tenth of a minute by a simple turn of the large blue knob. You can add (or subtract) roasting time anytime. Throughout the roasting process, and at any time, you can also adjust (up or down, by 2 F) the roast temperature by turning the large red knob. As the roast progresses, the temperature sensor alternates between the temperature you set and the actual roasting temperature in its digital display. The digital time display shows the minutes left on the roast. Quite simple, elegant and efficient!
Cooling time takes about between 4 to 12 minutes, depending on how much coffee you have roasted. The Gene Cafe will stop automatically when the temperature drops to 140 F and the buzzer goes off. This is another unique feature of this roaster. Other rosters simply give you a pre-determined cooling time, regardless of bean temperature. It is better to end the cooling phase when the beans reach that temperature. Always empty the chaff between roasts. Thoroughly clean, with dish liquid soap, brush and sponge the roasting chamber and chaff collector after 30 roasts. If you plan to use this roaster repeatedly, the manufacturer recommends no more than eight roasts per day. In our tests, we tried roasting 14 times in one day. As long as we cleaned after each roast, there was no problem. However, we recommend following the manufacturer's recommendations.
Cleaning the glass roasting chamber proves to be a bit of challenge because of the metal divider placed in the middle of it. We have discovered that by removing the metal divider inside the roasting chamber, cleaning becomes much easier and better. The metallic divider just snaps in and out. You may need to use a small flat screw driver. To wash the unit, just use any dishwashing liquid and hot water. The coffee oils and stains will come off easily. Make sure the roasting chamber is dry before using it again.
You may also notice that the flapping "mini door" inside the chamber (a very ingenious and clever device to push out the chaff on to the chaff collector) has a double-sided rubber stopper to soften the knock when bouncing on the glass surface. Unfortunately, and we think this is a minor design flaw that needs correcting, the rubber stopper, which is black, looks like a roasted coffee bean if it comes out. It happened to us once. At the very least, the rubber stopper should be bright orange to stand out from the roasted coffee beans. Make sure the rubber stopper is always in place. If not, look inside your roasted coffee beans an find it! You do not want to grind your coffee with some rubber in it.
INVALSA GUIDE TO ROAST LEVELS
|| Strong acid, yellowish brown color.
Grainy smell (weak flavor). Dry surface.
|| Slightly acid, cinnamon color.
New England style. Light brown , dry surface.
|| Acid and sweat flavors, nut color
American style. Medium brown, dry surface.
|| Acid is stronger than bitter. American norm.
Medium dark brown, possibly flecks of oil on surface.
|| Standard taste. Slightly darker than norm.
Taste and flavor from New York City, hence the name..
|Full city Roast
|| Bitter is stronger than acid. Used for iced coffee.
Definitely darker than norm, patches of oil on surface.
|| Strong bitter, little acidity lots of body, French
style. Dark brown , shiny surface. Espresso.
|| Strong bitter without acid, black Italian or Spanish.
Espresso. Very dark brown, almost black, very oily.
Roasting Tips: Make sure the roaster is on a flat, level surface; otherwise you will get uneven roasts. Use high-quality graded green coffee beans (like ours!) The difference in cost will not be worth the disappointment. This roaster will generate lots of smoke unless you roast only very light or very small coffee quantities (1.8 oz). You can't get away from it. Any roaster that roasts this much green coffee beans per batch will generate smoke. There is no way out of it! So you will need to place the roaster underneath an exhaust, kitchen fan or near an open window. Although the manufacturer does not recommend it, you can also roast outside. However, the roaster will not provide consistent, even roasts at ambient temperatures outside the 65 to 80 F degree range. We tried at outside temperatures of 67-75 F and it worked fine.
Three different roasts by the Gene Cafe: dark, medium, and light, using the same beans.
A nice, even roast at 18 minutes and 440 °F
- Removable Roasting Chamber for easy filling and emptying, as well as convenient cleaning.
- Roasting Chamber is made out of heat-resistant tempered glass (PYREX), for excellent visual check.
- Temperature control of roasting temperature.
- Timer to adjust roasting time.
- Quick cooling system following roasting.
- Temperature overheat safety switch.
- Efficient collection of coffee bean chaff.
- Indirect heating system encourages even roasting of the bean, from the inside out.
- Patented Vortex mixing method thoroughly mixes beans during roasting.
- Large capacity chamber allow roasting batches as large as 8.75 oz. (250 grams) and as small as 1.8oz (50 grams).
- Noise reducing design provides quiet operation (65 db).
- Voltage: available in 110-120 or 220-240 volts, 50/60 Hz.
- Wattage: 1,300 watts.
Coffee Geek Review: (by Jay Millar): "The Gene Cafe is not too heavy, fairly quiet, and heaps of fun to use - add to that it's easy to use. It seems to be very well built out of a modern Bakelite type of plastic, the drum and clear guard allow an excellent view of the roast in-process. I was about to get a Hottop when I was told about this machine, and overall I'm very pleased with my decision, but I'm sure that is a great roaster too."
For a very detailed and technical review of the Gene Cafe, see here.
This is the unique, patented, 3-D Vortex mixing method in action.
The large, easy-to-use, clear, in-front control knobs for time & temperature. The red display is the roast temperature (in °C in this case) and the green display is the minutes left to roast. Simple & elegant.
Description of Parts:
Warranty and Repair Info: This roaster is covered by the manufacturer for one year from the date of purchase. For any warranty issues, please contact the importer directly at 508-503-1699. The importer will repair or replace the defective part. The importer is very good in repairing and/or replacing defective units. If after trying with the importer in good faith, you receive no satisfaction, please contact us, we will intercede for you and make things right.
Tech & After Sale Support: Feel free to contact us if you have questions, service issues, or need some advice on coffee roasting in general or how to use this roaster in particular.
PLEASE NOTE that we strongly recommend purchasing shipping insurance on this item. It is a valuable item, and waiving insurance means that you will bear all of the risk of loss or damage after we ship this item to you.