HomeRoast Digest


Topic: alpenroast??? comments (14 msgs / 390 lines)
1) From: Chris Lussier
So with the frustration level running high on the cafe rosto 120 I am
thinking of returning it for a different roaster.
I had tried an alpene roast which completely stopped working within 15
batches.  What is the general consensus on this machine.
My brief experience was that it had less flexibility and no view port to
determine where you were at in the roast cycle.  At least it was easy to
hear the cracking of the beans.  Roasts were longer but seems to be very
even.
What do people think of this machine?
Chris
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

2) From:
The new HotTop is supposed to be available in November if you can wait that
long. It's going to cost somewhere north of $450 but will roast about twice
what any of the current hot air roasters are capable of.

3) From: Irene and Lubos Palounek
Chris wrote:
"So with the frustration level running high on the cafe rosto 120 I am
thinking of returning it for a different roaster.... I had tried an alpene
roast which completely stopped working within 15 batches."
I would strongly suspect low voltage at your outlet.  Remember, low voltage
is not good for motors that are loaded and can cause the motor to fail.
If you have voltage within specification, and if you are willing to become
"an experienced operator", I would wait for the HotTop Bean Roaster. Seehttp://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.hottop.htmlfor details. As Tom says over
there:
" ...this machine will be available from Sweet Maria's."
"...I have enjoyed using the machine and think it is well-made and
well-designed in its own right. Once the cooling problem is addressed, it
will basically be a good machine for serious, experienced home roasters and
it will be the best home machine on the market for test roasting in a
professional setting."
"...you need to be a somewhat experienced operator, and have a scale ..."
---
However, if you don't have the correct voltage at your outlets, I am afraid
that the HotTop will not work properly at low voltage.
Regards, Lubos
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

4) From: Michael Rochman
Chris,
Had to return the original for exchange.
Am on our 4th machine.
This one has worked well for over a year.
We love it.
We have worked our way down to 5 varieties of beans.
We know where they are in the roast and the machine is
stable and consistant in our kitchen environment.
Thus, we roast "by the numbers" and get nearly identical
results each time. 
We drink a lot of coffee and would gladly pay double (or triple)
the price for the same machine with twice the capacity.
Mike
I had tried an alpene roast which completely stopped working within 15
batches.  What is the general consensus on this machine.
My brief experience was that it had less flexibility and no view port to
determine where you were at in the roast cycle.  At least it was easy to
hear the cracking of the beans.  Roasts were longer but seems to be very
even.
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

5) From: coffenut
Chris,
Mine is still running strong after 232 roasts (a May 2000 vintage
machine).  Yes, it has no view-port, but once you learn to use the Alp,
you don't really need a view port.  You can briefly peek anyway if you
want to without problem.  The roast cycle is longer than an air-roaster,
but you're also roasting more beans in one cycle.  I'd rather do one
roast on my Alp (avg 18 mins) that yields 1/2 lb than 3 back-to-back
roasts (avg 20 mins) with my Hearthware.  Being able to more easily hear
cracks is a definite plus of the Alpenrost.  I also prefer the slower
roast flavor that the Alp imparts versus the air-roaster fast-roast
profile.
On your CR120, unless you're experiencing a lot of machine/design
problems, I'd stick it out.  There have been times when people had the
same level of issues with the Alpenrost.  I could have gotten cold-feet
and exited use of the Alp too, but would have missed out on a truly
great roaster that suits my needs.
Coffenut  :^)

6) From: Michael Vanecek
I have two and am tickled by them. I innitially had problems with one 
being "hot", but Swissmar promptly replaced it. Once I stopped using 
those darned presets and started roasting based on the senses, 
consistency and quality of roast increased dramatically. There's a lot 
to be said for having a hands-on approach to roasting - I don't think 
any machine can do it quite the same. It's a very creative hobby with 
lots of variables to deal with. For our use, I roast once every 5 days. 
When guests are in town or customers want some, I'll roast more. I've 
been using the main roaster for over a year and a half now with no 
problems. The other is a backup. I also have an HWP and a WBII. :) There 
is a little adjustment to get used to when switching from an air roaster 
to a drum roaster - but once you've done a few roasts, you'll find 
yourself roasting as nimbly as you did with the air. Ignore the presets 
- I set mine on 14 and stop the roast manually when I determine it's 
done. Hearing and smell are my primary tools. On difficult coffees or 
new coffees, I'll also grab a flashlight and take a quick peek 
periodically after the coffee gets through first crack.
Other posts to this thread mentioned the http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.hottop.html- personally, I think it's 6 
one way and half-dozen the other - but I must say I'm drooling over this 
new toy too. I certainly hope they address the issues Tom brought up in 
the review...
Cheers,
Mike
Chris Lussier wrote:
<Snip>
-- http://dotfile.net/- Dedicated to Open Source Software
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

7) From: Michael Vanecek
Tom, do you think these HotTop guys will respond to your review and make 
alterations before releasing the final product? Have they made noises 
about doing so? If so, I may have to start begging my wife here pretty 
soon for yet another roaster... :)
Cheers,
Mike
Irene and Lubos Palounek wrote:
<Snip>
-- http://dotfile.net/- Dedicated to Open Source Software
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

8) From: kfarney
Seems like they are going to have to do something about their price 
point, too.  I seriously doubt that the Hottop will be 2.5 times better 
than the Alp., but I'm sure that some of us will spend that. :-)
-keith
Michael Vanecek wrote:
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

9) From: Dave Huddle
I was fortunate to find a NEW-old-stock Alpenrost for 1/2 price.
Couldn't pass it up!
So far I've only done about 11 roasts with it - I'm still learning.
I've been pleased with my Sulawesi Toraja roasts.
What beans do others on the list roast in the Alp?  
I've avoided some of the smaller bean varieties because of the size of
the openings in the Alp roast drum.
Dave    Westerville, OH
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

10) From: coffenut
Dave,
I roast just about anything Tom sells in the Alp (even some of those
where he gives the "Alpenrost warning").  If I can put the beans into
the drum, turn it by hand and not have a bunch of 'em fall through, I'm
good to go.  There are beans like the Harar Horse that are small enough
to stick in the drum and then eventually burn.  But in an 8oz batch of
Harar, there's only a few that stick and I just ignore those few and
their early 1st/2nc crack sounds.  I'm certainly not seeing much
restriction on the beans I can use.  I could give you a list of all the
different beans that I've roasted in the Alp, but it would be extensive
since I have little self control when it comes to purchasing variety.  
I bought a HWP (after the Alp) just to roast small beans, but really
don't prefer it, so the HWP is really more or less a backup roaster.  My
daughter borrows the HWP from time to time, so it get's some use.  But
for me, the Alp is "king-roaster" around my place and I'd buy another if
this one died and couldn't be repaired.
Coffenut  :^)

11) From: Michael Vanecek
I think the smallest bean I've tackled was the Eth. Harrar. There was 
also a Kenyan I got that had pretty small beans. I really didn't lose 
too many though - the holes may be of similar size, but the bean has to 
be just so to fall through, so I'll use 232 grams rather than 230 grams 
to make up for the slight loss. I just finished up some tasty Ugandan 
Budadiri and ordered some more Eth Yirg at my wife's request. And Kona 
is so mellow with this roaster you just want to kick back. :) Let's see, 
I've had it for nearly two years or more - Zimbabwe, Indonesian, 
Sumatran, Brazilian, oh heck, pretty much what Tom has. :) Well, not 
that much, but I've enjoyed a well rounded sampling from the different 
regions roasted in the Alp to great satisfaction. I think the latest 
Kenyan needed some tweaking - it's latitude was fairly narrow in the 
Full City range. They're not kidding when they say seconds count. Coulda 
gone darker, but I like the razor edge balancing act of roasting lighter 
to bring out the varietal characteristics. Can't remember which Kenyan 
though, I'll have to dig through my coffee bags...
Cheers,
Mike
Dave Huddle wrote:
<Snip>
-- http://dotfile.net/- Dedicated to Open Source Software
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

12) From: Dave Huddle
Coffenut,
Thanks for the response!  
Harar Horse has been one of my favorite beans in the HWP.  I'll give it
a shot in the Alp this weekend.   That 8 oz. capacity is a winning
point for the Alp.  There are 3 drinkers in my family, plus one of the
cats will sneak a sip if she get a chance!
Dave	
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

13) From: David Lewis
At 12:25 PM -0500 5/31/02, Michael Vanecek wrote:
<Snip>
I don't play Tom on TV (and I'm very sorry not to have managed to 
meet him at SCAA), but the folks at Baratza swear that the production 
versions will have a fan added to the cooling tray, and a different 
control panel. In general, the HotTop folks seem very open to 
suggestions from everybody who's tested their unit, so I'd go off 
someplace private and practice my groveling if I were you.
Best,
	David
-- 
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, 
signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are 
not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
	--Dwight D. Eisenhower
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

14) From: Mark Prince
At 07:47 AM 01/06/2002, you wrote:
<Snip>
heheh. But make sure you videotape the act and post it online :) I need 
grovelling tips for interacting with my s/o. :)
Mark
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast


HomeRoast Digest