Well, I've been lurking for quite a while and learning a lot from all of you. I've managed to "upgrade" my coffee system to a Silvia, Rocky, Capresso Coffee Team, HWP and, of course, Sweet Marias beans. I'm having a blast and making truly wonderful espresso and the best drip coffee I have ever tasted. I really enjoy the roasting, but am not as "deep" as many of you, and probably won't be - too many hobbies, too little time. I go through 2-3 batches of coffee (espresso and drip or press) a week. I've been roasting for 6 months or so. That being said, what is the benefit to upgrading to an Alp roaster (other than the larger batch size)? Improved flavor with the same amount of effort as the HWP? More reliable? More consistent? Ant advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Jeff jraderph "Meddle not in the affairs of dragons. For you are crunchy and taste great with ketchup."
In a message dated 7/14/2000 3:34:03 PM Eastern Daylight Time, jraderph writes: << That being said, what is the benefit to upgrading to an Alp roaster (other than the larger batch size)? Improved flavor with the same amount of effort as the HWP? More reliable? More consistent? >> After you get past the question "am I happy with my current roaster", then I'd say one of the benefits of the Alp is the roast process being longer. I feel that it adds more body to the roast after having compared a roast from a fluid bed roaster using the same bean as I have used on my Alp. Since I dearly love a good Sulawesi with rich body, this product was right up my alley. I also roast for both myself and daughter (who has moved out), and I like the 1/2lb capability too. With respect to reliability, I think most computerized home-roaster products are a work in progress. There are upsides and downsides that must be considered with the Alp such as not being able to see the roast. This might really bother some people, but I don't mind it. I like how the roasting drum is designed. How it allows most of the chaff to fall through and is spiraled to keep the beans inside turning one direction and automatically ejects them in the other direction. One thing's for sure, this box was well designed and you can tell some thought went into it's construction. For me it was the closest thing I would get to a larger roaster technology understanding that I can't spend $3000 for one of them. None of this is said to cast judgment on any other home roaster products in use by this group. I can tell that there are people just as sincerely happy roasting in a Wok as I am on the AlpenRost, so to each his own. :^)
Jeff, I think my original reason for the Alp was "I didn't have one", but after about 30 batches I find I pay much more attention to the sound and smell during a roast than I did originally with the HWP. This has helped me get more consistent with my roasts. Sam Boston Blue Ridge Mountain - Northern Virginia Roast :Alpenrost, HWP, HWG Grind: Gaggia MDF, Zass Turkish Mill Brew: SL-90, French press, Cona Vacuum
From: Sam Boston <Snip> I was tired of Hearthware failures but must confess that the "I didn't have one" motivation played into it as well. I had the same experience with the reliance on sound. Smell is something I am trying to keep out of the kitchen. I do think one really needs to find a place with a constant ambient temperature for this (or, perhaps, any) roaster. Mike
isn't the batch size somewhat misleading as the HWP roasts in half the time as the Alp? So you could do 6oz in the HWP in the same time (more or less) as 8oz in the ALp???? Of course Tom suggest the different machines roast differently and one may be better than the other depending one what type of coffee your prefer. john <Snip>
In a message dated 7/14/2000 8:27:38 PM Eastern Daylight Time, jroche writes: << isn't the batch size somewhat misleading as the HWP roasts in half the time as the Alp? >> It depends upon what you expect from the roast results. In a roast race, the fluid bed roasters and poppers should always be the clear winners. My interests align with the results from a longer roast time of the same 1/2lb of beans than producing the most roasted beans in the shortest amount of time. Again, it's personal preference which is why it's good there are so many different ways to roast the bean.