HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Gene Cafe sudden problem (15 msgs / 259 lines)
1) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Has anyone seen this happen?
I have an 11-month-old Gene Cafe with only 26 roasts, all of them normal.
Today I plugged the machine in, hit the power button, as usual. The 
displays lit up and worked normally (I could set time and temp), but 
the machine did not cycle the drum to position it. And when I hit 
start (I'm an optimist!), nothing happened.
I reset the drum, just to be sure it wasn't out of alignment, turned 
the machine's power off and back on, then unplugged it, waited 30 
seconds and plugged it back in (twice), all with no luck.
I examined the filter on the bottom as best I could -- it does not 
appear to be clogged. I recleaned the chaff catcher, thinking its 
filter might be clogged (but I can see through it when I hold the 
thing up to the light, so it too does not seem to be clogged).
My husband is fearless about taking things apart, and I did look at 
the German site that shows the GC disassembled. But I would rather 
wait until it is out of warranty to do that (I have less than a month 
left in the original warranty).
I will call Fresh Beans tomorrow, but am curious to know if anyone 
else has seen this and, if so, knows how to fix it.
Meanwhile I guess I will try to coax a desperation roast out of the 
old Alp, or dig up the Fresh Roast. Sigh. Not happy about this. :-(
Any advice appreciated.

2) From: Brett Mason
Get a popper tomorrow morning to eliminate headaches...
Buy another to back it up.
Now you're ready to work through the joys of specialty home roasters....
$6 and now you're happy again...
On 6/24/07, Kathleen Tinkel  wrote:

3) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Thanks, but I tried a popper way back when and wasn't happy at all!
I was happy with the Gene Cafe, until yesterday!

4) From: Bailey Blanchette
Is there an error code displayed on the LED readout?
On 6/25/07, Kathleen Tinkel  wrote:

5) From: Kathleen Tinkel
No. When I turn on the power, the upper display shows the ambient 
temp briefly, then jumps to 482 and stays steady. The lower display 
shows 0 but allows me to set the time.
I was thinking there should be some sort of error indication, but no such luck.

6) From: Derek Bradford
It's still under warranty.  Contact whoever handles it wherever you are and
they'll fix it for you.  I've had mine in for a rebuild once, and the
service was great.  Unfortunately, it's going in for its second rebuild
sometime in the next short while, which doesn't say a whole lot for the
lifespan of these things.  I'll be happy to be rid of mine when I get around
to selling it.  How's that for a sales pitch?
Seriously--they're good about covering the warranty.  Get a heat gun to hold
you over while it's getting fixed...
Every path but your own is the path of fate.  --Thoreau

7) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Thanks, Derek. I have heard that they are responsive and helpful.
I e-mailed the Fresh Beans people yesterday. If they don't reply by 
mid-afternoon here, I'll call and check.

8) From: Bailey Blanchette
My first Gene Cafe arrived with a bad reed switch, wouldn't cool on its
own.  Fresh Beans support and serice were top notch and I had a new Gene
Cafe within a week.  Hope they're good to you, too.
On 6/25/07, Kathleen Tinkel  wrote:

9) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Bailey --
Having it arrive broken would be really discouraging. Until this 
problem, my machine was perfect. More stable than the Alp ever was.
I spoke with Tim at Fresh Beans, and shipped my roaster off half an 
hour ago. He won't get it until Thursday, but promises to turn it 
around quickly.
Still, looks as if I will be without coffee for a week or two; need 
to figure out what to do about that. (I am really spoiled.)

10) From: Bailey Blanchette
yeah, it was a bummer, but I have my iRoast2 to fall back on.  Overall the
Gene has performed very well since I got mine fixed. I feel that I j=have
much more control than I did with the iRoast2.
On 6/25/07, Kathleen Tinkel  wrote:

11) From: Steve
On Jun 25, 3:59 pm, Kathleen Tinkel 
Tom sells his coffees roasted.  Perhaps this is an excuse to buy some
of it?
P.S.  Could someone reply to this off-list so I know the list received
this message?

12) From: Kathleen Tinkel
I know, but think I need someone closer. I read that Shaw's (local 
supermarket) is carrying Peets coffee. Hard to believe that it will 
be fresh enough, but I am going to look into it, anyway.
If nothing else, I can complain to Peets if the quality is not being 
properly managed (I bought Peets coffee for something like 20 years 
before really committing to home roasting).
P.S.  I just sent you a direct e-mail, but as you can see, your 
message was received at the list.

13) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Thanks, Robert.
I know Peets coffee well, and while I agree that it is usually 
over-roasted, it is also usually sold at the right time, something 
that other coffees are not. And I may be able to have it today, when 
I need it. (I really, really hate stale coffee, which is all too 
Or I can try coffee from Trader Joe's. The one time I tried that, 
years ago, it was disappointing. On the other hand, it was better 
than the coffee at Balducci's, which people rave about.
I am spoiled -- I've figured out how to roast coffee I like, and 
everything else tastes wrong. (For all I know, I roast lousy coffee! 
But *my* lousy coffee!)
But you're right; I should order some from Tom as well. It might 
arrive in time to save me when all else fails.

14) From: raymanowen
If Peet's is over-roasted but fresh, Trader Joe's is disappointing and
Balducci''s was worse, I suggest you continue with roasting and learning
like the rest of us Proles.
To avoid handing over roasting control to a "You can tell it's swell- It's
Mattell" roaster with obscure push butons, keep a training/spare roaster
handy. A popper or HG/ DB that will serve as your high-capacity spare part
when the 1000 bean toaster fails. The side benefit is that the spare part
can handle large batches and teach you what the push buttons are doing to
I wouldn't presume to speak for anyone but myself, but for the price of a
gas fill-up, I can have the spare part HG/DB or HG/BM twice over. Training
and spares- you can have it all and save Wampum too.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Ladies and Gentlemen, Start your Grinders!

15) From: Kathleen Tinkel
For those of you who have been following my Gene Cafe problem tale:
I got a call from the helpful Tim Skaling at Fresh Beans today. He 
said he had found the problem -- a defective thermal sensor -- and 
fixed it. It may have been flaky from the beginning; I will have to 
compare my notes to new roasts when I get it back.
He was to ship my roaster today (Thursday) and I should have it 
Monday or Tuesday, in time for me to do some roasting before our 
guests arrive on the 4th. Whew.
I took the opportunity to order a second glass drum, which he can 
ship in the box with the roaster.
Thanks for all your encouragement.

HomeRoast Digest