HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Advise on buying a home roaster. (9 msgs / 267 lines)
1) From: Ray Kirkland
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I am new to roasting. I spent yesterday running around Seattle/Bellevue area
looking for the right used Popcorn popper and did not locate one (but did
buy about $20 worth of junk in the various goodwill stores.)
I have decided to just buy a coffee roaster instead and have decided that
either the Caffe Rosta or the French Roast Plus should work fine for me.
Even though the Caffe Rosta is quite a bit more expensive than the French
Roast I am leaning toward it.
Any advise or suggestions between the two (Or an alt suggestion) and where I
might consider buying it would be appreciated.
Personal Coffee Bio.
I live in the Seattle area (Redmond), only do expresso/Latte type drinks.
(no reg. coffee) I use an older 8 cup La Pavoni lever machine and grind with
a Rocky flat burr grinder. make about 4 or 5 doubles a day for wife and
And am new to list.
Thank you in advance
Ray Kirkland

2) From: John Abbott
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    Welcome to the list as well as the art of home roasting.  I'm surprised
that you don't say you live in north Kirkland :))  I'm an exile from
Bellevue and had a bunch of friends living in Redmond.
    I'm the owner of a Fresh Roast and Fresh Roast Plus and love them. The
Caffe Rosto roasts more per load than the FR+ but I find that I have greater
control over the roast using the FR+.   There are several folks on the list
using Caffe Rosto's with a variac and creating some outstanding roasts. So
I'd say that if you have the budget, a Caffe Rosto AND variac combination
might be the way to go.  As an added thought: the Caffe Rosto is superior
for doing dark roasts - and since you are an Espresso Only couple - it makes
sense to go with the Caffe Rosto.
John - Sipping on a wonderfully smooth Kona

3) From: Ben Treichel
I use a FR+ and its OK, a bit small on the roast sizes, but then I  use 
one roast per day, and roast every 3 or 4 days. I'm also the only coffee 
drinker in the house. I didn't get the rosta because the SM site said it 
did better dark roasts that I'm not really into. Both seem to be solid 
machines. FYI, I'm in the process of getting a Variac for christmas. 
Mike McCoffe, and others, have convinced me that its a good thing.
Ray Kirkland wrote:

4) From: jim gundlach
On Saturday, November 23, 2002, at 10:50 AM, Ray Kirkland wrote:
     It looks like you have everything in place to seriously benefit 
from home roasting.  I started with a couple of air poppers, moved to a 
whirly-pop and then found an over the fireplace or campfire popper and 
it has been my roasting tool of choice since.  I also roast in a wok 
frequently but I have a house that allows the kitchen to be isolated 
from the rest of the house so the smoke and chaff is not as much a 
problem for me as it is for most people.  I have no interest in a 
dedicated roasting appliance unless something comes out that allows 
close to complete control of temperature so I can do a real profile 
like I can over a wood fire in the popcorn popper or with gas in the 
wok.  There are several choices out there, I believe none of them 
really fit the "neat and clean" over function style of most American 
suburban homes.  Home roasting is close to BBQ in the level of mess and 
several people have found that merging roasting and BBQ is an easier 
route to take than adding coffee roasting to the neat and clean kitchen.
    Jim Gundlach
    roasting over pecan wood fires
    in La Place, Alabama
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

5) From: jerry
Ray -
Welcome to homeroasting!  I have used (for 3 1/2 years) a Hearthware
Precision (the older black model) until it died recently.  It gave very
good service and I could control - after a bit of practice - the roast I
wanted in a whole variety of beans.  Since, like many on this email
exchange, I yearned to be able to roast a larger amount, I was waiting
eagerly the _new_ model from Hearthware.  But fate was unkind, mine
died, and on the advice of Linda at Hearthware I sent it back to
Illinois for diagnosis and repair/replacement.  Linda just called to say
they were furnishing me a new base and motor (for some very reasonable
sum), so I will put it back into use and see what's coming down the
pike.  --  Jerry Green
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

6) From: Jim Schulman
Hi Ray,
I use a Freshroast. I live in an apartment, and 
the quiet and relative lack of smoke makes it a 
lot easier to live with than other models. I use a 
variac to control the roast profile. The 
reliability of the unit is excellent, so one can 
buy two roast chambers, using them alternatingly 
to do fast back to back roasts, and roast about a 
pound per hour.
The Rosto is also highly reliable, can also be 
used with a variac, and roasts a load about twice 
as large as the FR. It can do about a pound and a 
half in an hour roasting session. The smoke and 
noise make it advisable to use it in a well 
ventilated spot away from people who can get 
Without modification, the Freshroast is better 
suited to brewed coffee, and the Rosto to 
On 23 Nov 2002 at 8:50, Ray Kirkland wrote:
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

7) From: Les & Becky
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I would go for the Rosta if I was only doing espresso type drinks.

8) From: Bob Trancho
Many folks are repeating Tom's opinion that the Rosto is only a dark
roast type roaster, based on their reading of his review.  I believe,
however, that those of us who own the Rosto would disagree.  Even
without a variac and other mods, the Rosto produces a fine city roast.
Indeed, I think that the Rosto can produce whatever degree of roast you
are looking for, once you get used to using it.
That said, the early buzz on the forthcoming Hearthware (in software we
might call it vaporware, could this be "aromaware"?) is very positive.
It appears that the Hearthware folks have actually listened to their
customers and are striving to produce a roaster that offers a fair
degree of control.  If you can afford it (and you'll probably find
yourself spending more money on this interest as time goes by anyway),
you might want to but a Fresh Roast Plus now as they are pretty cheap,
and upgrade to another roaster at later date.
Bob Trancho
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

9) From: John Abbott
	Having used a Rosto I can somewhat agree with you. I had reasonable lighter
roasts, but nothing to write home about. The Rosto really does an excellent
job on darker roasts than the FR and FR+ which I did cuppings for.  I'm a
Central American and Island bean lover and find that the FR's out roasted
the Rosto for medium roasts on these beans.  The Rosto on the other hand did
a superior job on the Full City and darker to Espresso. At Espresso there is
no choice but the Rosto. The original question was posed by an "espresso
only" list member.
John - who believes a drum roaster beats all comers.

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