I'm new to the group and have been lurking (see that guy behind the tree?)
for about a month or so. I joined the group hoping that I would gain some
knowledge about different roasters and the facts and discussions would
assist me in making an intelligent purchase from SM.
In reading the posts (as least so far) my initial hopes have been dashed.
Everyone seems to be hung-up on whether or not to html and every other
reader wants off the list. Please get back on track.
Much time has been spent reading books, web sites (and here, I'd like to
thank Ed Needham for his wisdom, wit and excellent site).
It seems that there are two main schools of thought on the selection of a
roaster though I'm sure there are far more than that.
1. Fluid-bed. Noisy (difficult to hear the second crack), faster roast,
smaller capacity, but convenient and durable.
2. Drum. Ala Alpen (the affordable one). Much quieter, slower
(interpreted as perhaps more gentle on the bean), slightly greater capacity.
I'm very much looking forward to cogent discussion of the upcoming I-Roast
and hope that it is as good as the pre-press.
It seems that there are vastly conflicting opinions of the Alpenroast with
respect to reliability and quality control. The lack of a viewing port
remains a variable for virgins like myself. However the form factor and
function is user friendly.
Smoke emissions don't much concern me since I'll probably build a vented
roasting room. I have been buying pre-roasted beans from 'FreshCoffeeNow'
(I hear those boo's from you all already) for a couple of years and respect
them for their selection, quality and consistency. It's that potential of
producing a better roast along with a greater selection of beans that
motivates me now. I tend to prefer Full City roasts and Kenya AA and
Sumatra beans are my most frequent purchases. The Indian Mysore seems to
vary considerably in quality and when I grind it with my Bodum, the static
electricity reminds me of a science project experiment gone wrong.
When I receive my sample pack from SM, I'm going to try using a wok over a
Coleman stove as a first attempt (fire extinguisher at the ready).
Any flames, recommendations/comments will be most appreciated.