Adventures in coffee roasting
We had a discussion a while ago on coffee that I thought I'd revisit after a new purchase.
I short while ago my iRoast2 failed on me as for some reason it stopped reaching a sufficient heat level. It was unfortunate because this unit did a decent job and was pretty easy to operate. It lasted a bit over a year but the warranty was for a year so I had to find a new roaster.
I went back to my first roaster the Fresh Roast Plus but this was smaller and it was showing signs of age too. It works fine but it has a crack in the base and I think it's on its way out. So I went searching for another option.
In an effort to save money I bought a $15 popcorn air popper at my local Target. I watched a few YouTube videos and read a bit on the topic and gave it a try. I should have saved my money. It works but my popper gets real hot real fast. I suppose this is a decent method if you want to save money but the chaff went all over the place and you could easily over roast and the beans were not even at all. What I should have tried is a manual whirly pop type roaster but after going cheap once I decided this was foolish.
So I went with the Nesco roaster which is reasonably priced around $150. So far I'm pleased. I think the auger design is a great way to get an even roast. The controls are very simple so my better half should be able to use it. Cleaning isn't too hard as the chaff is contained pretty well by the collector and the screen. And it handles just over 4 oz of beans per roast which lasts a decent amount of time in our house.
This unit has a catalytic converter which is supposed to eliminate the smoke. While this does a very good job it doesn't eliminate the smoke. We tried it inside and the smoke wasn't as bad as the other units but it was still noticeable. All that means is we roast outside just like with the other units.
If the economy picks up I might look at getting a Gene Cafe Roaster but at near $500 it's hard to justify right now. I watched a video on how this thing works and it seems to be a smart design. I really like it's very basic and very simple manual control knobs.
But the Nesco is working well and producing some very even roasts. I still need to watch each roast but that's true of any roaster really. The mistakes with a roast are pretty much my fault and not the machine, but it's harder to make a mistake than with the air popper. Now I just have to hope this unit lasts me a longer while.
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