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Topic: Anti-Hearthware rant, do not read to children (16 msgs / 333 lines)
1) From: The Scarlet Wombat
A couple of months ago, my 10 month old Gourmet that had served faithfully 
commited suicide and Hearthware politely sent me a new circuit 
board.  While waiting for it, I realized that only one form of roasting was 
inadequate, so ordered another Gourmet from Tom and Maria.  They both 
arrived at about the same time, so I installed the new board and set the 
new Gourmet aside for emergencies.
The new circuit board worked  for two months, then died.  So, I reasoned, 
we have a nice new Gourmet that should be good for awhile, so I started it 
up, worked wonderfully for four roasts.
Then, I got it out again this morning, ready to do a Christmas roast.
It started, and in five seconds, the heater went off and all it did was 
gblow air, not even hot air.
So, now I have two gourmets, both needing new circuit boards.
This is a royal pain in the hinder parts.  I am beginning to question the 
wisdom of home roasting.  I cannot see, so using a popcorn popper or wok is 
really out of the question.  I love small beans, so an Alpenroast is not 
feasible.
What the hell is wrong with the Hearthware engineers, are they blinder than 
I am?  Mounting the circuit board on the motor  is about as sensible as 
using gasoline to put out a fire.  My six year old granddaughter could have 
done a better design job.
I have no confidence their new unit will be worth the powder to blow it to 
hell.
I guess I have to get more circuit boards and rejudenate these two units if 
I am to roast at all.
The Cafe Rosto, can somebody describe the controls to me?  Could I use it 
without seeing?  Can you hear the cracks?  How do you get the beans out, is 
there a carafe like the Hearthware?  Will it work without modifications?
I do not know if Hearthware is a publicaly traded company, but if they are, 
their stock must be in the toilet.
Dan, a very unhappy roaster
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2) From: hlhurd
Merry Christmas Dan,
Sorry to hear you are without a roaster.
I can tell you the following about the Cafe Rosto:
Mine is running fine after 1 1/2 years.
I roast 2 or more times a week, usually 2 or so roasts per session.
Control timer is a dial.  There's a separate switch for turning fan on/off.
I use a digital kitchen timer to keep track of durations but you could do
without that.
It is a loud machine but cracks are audible.  I bought a Hearthware Gourmet
for a back up
I would compare the noise level of the Rosto to a vacuum cleaner &
the Hearthware to a vacuum plus a shrill whining noise.
The roasting chamber is attached to the base.  Removable glass lid.  You
will have
to invert the unit to really get the secondary chaff collector area cleaned.
By the time the 5 min. built in cooling cycle is done the unit is cool
enough to handle.
The base of the unit remains cool enough to handle during roasting.
I have been saving modification posts but thus far haven't altered the unit.
My roasts are typically city to full city, takes 8 -10 minutes depending on
beans.
I hope this helps you decide.
Holly,
enjoying the white Christmas Santa brought to Michigan today
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3) From: dewardh
Dan:
<Snip>
wisdom of home roasting.  I cannot see, so using a popcorn popper or wok is
really out of the question.  I love small beans, so an Alpenroast is not
feasible.
Bummer.  The Gourmets are not notorious for premature failure as the Precisions 
are . . . so this may be just bad luck . . . (not helped by bad design, of 
course).  Given the circumstance I'd certainly expect Hearthware to do right by 
you, and *not* expect you to do the repairs yourself.
Regarding the Caffe Rosto . . . maybe, maybe not.  There are no circuit boards 
in it to fail, and it's built like a tank.  The two controls are an on/off 
switch for overall power and a large rotary dial mechanical timer . . . turn it 
clockwise for "on" and it clicks its way down to off again.  The first five 
minutes on the dial are fan only, above that both heater and fan.  To turn off 
just the heater you just turn the dial counter-clockwise . . . you can hear the 
fan speed increase when the heater goes off.  It provides ample tactile clues 
for setting the time, aalthough time setting alone is not enough to control the 
roast on any roaster.
That would be managable enough . . . the rest of the device may not be. The fan 
is loud . . . with my old man's ears I can seldom hear second crack at all, 
although some people seem to be able to pick it out from the noise.  All the 
smell clues are there, to be sure, but with a Rosto one watches more than one 
listens to determine state of roast . . . or uses a thermometer.  Unloading is 
done by removing the glass see-through lid and turning the whole unit upside 
down . . . remembering to remove the chaff filter first, or you dump the chaff 
with the beans.  The secondary chaff filter, the one for recirculated hot air, 
is half burried in the machine and is not removeable . . . BrightWay provides a 
nice brush to reach in to it, but it is clumsy holding the machine upside down 
while brushing and peering up into the machine (a potential problem) to see if 
it is fully cleaned.  I think you could manage it . . . you're already familiar 
with "do it twice just to be sure", but you would probably want to have an aid 
check it occasionally, anyway.  I wish I were in your area . . . I'd bring one 
over and we could do a walk through and see if it would work for you.  Oh, and 
yes, it will work without modifications, but it is also a great boy-toy for 
those who like to hack their machines .
Your question has sealed my decision to get a Zack & Danny machine to play with 
.. . . within a few days of getting one I'll post to you regarding whether one 
of those might be more suitable to your needs.  In fact, given their 
responsiveness on alt.coffee, I'd suggest you give them a call direct and see 
what they have to say.  Same, actually, for BrightWay . . . Steve has been 
nothing but helpeful to me every time I've talke to him . . .
And don't even think about giving up on home roasting . . . if you've got the 
will, we'll find a way . . .
Deward
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4) From: David Westebbe
<Snip>
The wok sounds dangerous, by why not a popper?  You still have your nose and
ears, and each of them is more important than eyes when roasting.  Indeed,
the color of the beans is somewhat misleading, in many cases.  Get a cheap
popper and give it a whirl.  You might be surprised.
On your first roast, pour them out when you start to hear second crack.
After a while, you'll know by smell when the cracks are set to begin. You'll
be fine.
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5) From: The Scarlet Wombat
Thanks Holly, I appreciate the information.  Do you need to invert the 
Rosto in order to get the freshly roasted beans out?  I have to work in a 
fairly cramped space, so knowing in advance the mechanics will help.
If it is no noisier than the Gourmet, it is just fine, I have good [bat 
ears] hearing and can tell the cracks easily.  [Grandma, grandpa is cracked 
again.]
Dan
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6) From: The Scarlet Wombat
Thanks Deward, good information.  Actually, I am facile with electronics 
from my years as a ham radio operator and would rather do the repairs 
myself, that way, I do not have to wait for a two way transit and I know 
the job is done correctly.  I'm terribly prissy about assembly of componants.
I have not kept track of the Z&D roaster, but it sounds like something to 
seriously consider.  I shall await your review with worms in my 
mouth...baited breath.
Dan
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7) From: Dan Bollinger
<Snip>
You can use baited, but the more acceptable spelling is bated.  As in abate,
rebate, etc.  the other Dan
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8) From: Angelo
Hmmm, if my epistemology is correct, I believe "baited" IS the correct word 
in this context...
It is, after all, a pun.  worms-->bait. Get it? Btw,which is the emoticon 
for a groan? (the proper response to a pun).
Ciao,
Angelo
<Snip>
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9) From: jerry
Dan - I think you meant "bated".
The Scarlet Wombat wrote:
<Snip>
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10) From: The Scarlet Wombat
Yes yes, but the incorrect spelling emphasizes the PUNishing nature of the 
post.
Dan
At 04:40 PM 12/25/02 -0500, you wrote:
 > I shall await your review with worms in my
 > mouth...baited breath.
 >
 > Dan
You can use baited, but the more acceptable spelling is bated.  As in abate,
rebate, etc.  the other Dan
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11) From: AlChemist John
Sometime around 08:47 12/25/02, The Scarlet Wombat typed:
<Snip>
Dan, have you ever roasted in a popcorn roaster?  I have very successfully 
roasted at night on the porch, ie could not see anything.  I roasted purely 
by crack and smell.  As long as I add a measured amount of bean, 
circulation is never a problem.
<Snip>
Sounds like it .
Any chance you could modify the mounting so it is not on the motor?
--
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Roasting and Blending by Gestalt
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12) From: Rick Farris
Dan wrote:
<Snip>
As near as I've observed, Dan, Dan B doesn't have much of a sense of humor.
Must go along with the giant brain.  :-)
-- Rick
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13) From: The Scarlet Wombat
Rick, no offense old son, but I think we can coexist amicably here without 
pointing fingers at any of us.  Dan B. has his ways, I have mine, you have 
yours.  None are good nor bad, making untoward observations probably is not 
a good path  to  fine coffee brewing and digestion.
Dan
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14) From: Les & Becky
I just want to chime in and say, I have really enjoyed the discussion around
this topic.  It affirms that we all roast and brew to meet our own
individual tastes.  As this is the Christmas season, I would like to say
that this group continues to spur me on to trying new adventures.  I have
roasted "over fire", thanks Jim!  I said I would never get an espresso
machine because I never had tasted a good one until I pulled my own shots.
(Thanks to many on the group).   I have tried profile roasting and continue
to use it when warrented (thanks Mike).  I have started a little side
business, Thor Tampers,  because of the group.   One listmate that I see,
thinks my St. Helena is just an average cup of coffee.  I think his Jampit
is just an average cup of coffee.  We both care, and we enjoy our company.
If everyone wanted just one coffee, that would be a drag.  So as we begin
the New Year I look forward to continued debate and discussion as it pushes
me to seek new horizons.  As my little nephew would say quoting his favorite
character, "To infinity and beyond!"
Les
Roasting and turning tampers in S. Oregon.

15) From: Ben Treichel
On Fri, 27 Dec 2002 10:14:54 -0800 (PST), "Les & Becky"
wrote:
A Hearty AMEN, to this post. (or what divinity you wish
to worship, adore, admonish or ignor, Susan ;) )
<Snip>
started
<Snip>
coffee. 
<Snip>
we
<Snip>
say
<Snip>
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16) From: Rick Farris
Les said:
<Snip>
I still think you should call it "Thor Thtampers," Les... ;-)
-- Rick
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