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My First...
ginny
So clear my first roaster. I fondly call it, "the gift from hell."

I received an original Fresh Roast as a birthday gift in the summer of 2001.

My dear friends listened to me complain about the sorry state of coffee and that the only place I could get really good stuff was from any local roaster depending on where I was...

and it was true.

If coffee was fresh it was good. Gone the days of Folgers and Maxwell House.

The little machine got used right away and I quickly realized that if I shook
it around I got more movement and a better roast. It took all of 3 minutes.

That began my quest with fresh roasted coffee. I have had a many roasters since 2002 and find, for me, the Hot Tops and my Quest 3 are the best fit.

Please tell us what roaster you started with...

you can use this thread or begin a new thread with your first roasters name if you want, up to you...


rockon
Edited by ginny on 04/13/2013 11:28 AM
 
Barrie
Hi Ginny,
I think you know something of my journey already, but, to build on your start, my wife and I have been coffee drinkers for sixty years or so. With store-bought coffee of different types, we have been through an extraordinary number of brewing devices, including French presses, vacuum this and that, percolators, filters and drip etc. etc. In the late 1970s, we acquired a Pavoni and started our espresso experience that has included various other machines, mostly semi-automatic. I remember an Italian one (but fortunately not its name) that we used one night for a party and I forgot to empty the portafilter before going to bed, and never thought about it in the morning. It so happened that we did not use it for some time, and so I ruined that one, as parts were no longer available. Our final semi-automatic was a factory-refurbished Saeco Aroma, which was a great little machine for the price. Now we were in our late 70s, and I was fed up with the clean up, hockey puck emptying etc., as well as the attention to detail that was no longer a pleasure. So I decided to sacrifice espresso quality a little, in exchange for convenience. A super-automatic arrived (f/r Saeco Vienna Plus). In due course that was replaced by a f/r Jura Capresso, with which I am very pleased. It fits under the above-counter cupboards, which pleases my wife! For the doubting Thomases of this coffee world, it will deliver an espresso that I would say is only at a 90%-of-perfection level, but with absolute consistency. I wonder how many with semi-automatics can do better with consistency? Grin

'
A couple of years ago, the local roaster from whom I had been buying my beans had a fire on his premises, and closed shop. After some months of buying beans of unknown age from a well-known chain, I decided to roast my own, starting with a Fresh Roast SR500. It was great and I was hooked immediately as my knowledge of coffee, that I had previously thought (erroneously) was considerable, took a giant leap forward. It was as though I was starting all over again, and quickly became obvious that it would nice to have more control as well as being able to roast larger batches. The FR went the way of EBay (or was it Craig's List?) and a Gene Caf? became king (queen?) of the designated counter. It was/is splendid but I am pretty deaf now and cannot hear the cracks very well, something that was not a problem with the FR. So, now, the GC is on the block and the new Hottop has taken over its space. It is terrific, I can hear the cracks, control "everything," and it will meet all my/our needs for the remaining years. My wife and I are well into our 80s now and, unfortunately, her taste ability has declined considerably. She really cannot distinguish one coffee from another, but appreciates it when I tell her "That is a really good cup of coffee. Grin
It is only now that I understand the meaning of the "Vienna Plus" designation of the Saeco machine that we once owned.
Barrie (San Diego, CA)
"So much to learn, so little time."
Hottop 2K+., Artisan, Jura Capresso ENA 3 (i.e. espresso).
 
MassWineGuy
I got a Poppery I about two weeks ago and have been having a lot of fun roasting with it. I modded the fan/heater circuit to allow me to turn them on or off separately. But that's all I've done to it. I read Mike's posts, but most of those mods are beyond my technical skill.

For the most part I very much enjoy the coffee I make from my roasted beans.
 
Dan
For years I bought 8 O'Clock coffee. I thought I was an coffee snob because I bought whole bean and ground at home. Yeh, right. I liked the flavor of that coffee. What I didn't realize was that one of the reasons I settled on 8 O'Clock was because it sold fast, so it was generally very fresh compared to some of the other grocery store brands that were probably months old, not days old.

I got started in home roasting about 1998 when a friend in Santa Cruz told me he roasted at home and that I would like it, too. So, I bought a HearthWare Precision and a sample-pack of greens from Sweet Marias. I used that roaster for almost two years. When it faded I got an Alpenroast, but instantly hated it so I began designing my sample roaster in the summer of 2001 and finished building early in 2002, and I've been using that ever since.
Dan attached the following image:
bollinger_sample_roaster1_small.jpg

1 pound electric sample roaster, 3 pound direct-flame roaster, both handmade; modified Mazzer Mini grinder, LaSpaziale Vivaldi II automatic espresso machine. When the electricity goes out I make vacpot coffee from beans ground on my Zassenhaus hand grinder, and heat the water with a teakettle on the gas range.
 
ginny
these are great stories, thank you to those posting...

ginny


rockon
 
Randy G
With my first order in December of 2000 I got a Silvia, a Rocky, and a Hearthware Precision. A year(?) later when Hearthware was closing out an older model I got a Hearthware Gourmet as a backup. In around 2003 I received an E-Mail from a reader in Norway(?) that there was a new roaster coming out from Taiwan and I should get in touch with them. In my schmoosiest style I contacted them and the first Hottop KN-8828, their first model and the first one off the pre-production line and the first to come to the USA and into my home. The rest is well documented, but Hottop later became a client and I have been the Hottop USA webmaster and creator of their owners' manuals for about nine years now, I think. During the that time I also had a Gene Cafe, the review of which is still on my website.

Life's too short to drink bad coffee.
 
snwcmpr
3-4 years ago my local roaster told me about Sweet Marias. A few days later I found a Poppery I at a thrift shop a few doors down the street. I have not seen one there since. I roasted with that for about 1 1/2 to 2 years. Minimally modified, no fan or heat control. (I later modified a Poppery I, heat and fan control, and gave it to my wife's niece, she has caught the bug now, too)
After thinking of building a roaster from a rotisserie, and making a few drums for it, my wife suggested I buy a roaster. I got a deal from HT, and the rest is history. I added a thru-the-chute BT probe.
I still want to make a gas-fired drum roaster, but busy with a lot of other things, too. I have the gas burner, but that's all so far.

Ken in NC
Like someone else says "Life is too short to drink bad coffee"
--------------
Backwoods Roaster
"I wish I could taste as well as I wish I could roast."

As Abraham Lincoln said "Do not trust everything you read on the internet".
 
allenb
My first roaster was built in 1992 after tasting some unique Brazilian done in a Sirocco at a place called the Village Roastery in Lakewood Colorado. I was on a mission to see what was inside a Probat L12 at his shop so I could eventually build a drum roaster. The owner was nice enough to let me take a look inside, underneath and everywhere else to take notes. He then showed me plans for putting together a Sivetz heatgun rig. After more questions from me he decided to bring out his Sirocco sample roaster and roasted a batch for me. I remember it well because after he told me to be real careful around the glass RC I proceeded to knock it off the roaster body but caught it in mid flight. Took me a while to get my heart rate back down to normal.

I took the Brazil roast back home and the next morning brewed up a small pot and was floored by the wine-like awesome aroma and killer taste. I knew then I had to buy a Sirocco but became depressed when I found out they weren't available any longer. I kept pressing the distributor (Jay Endres at CoffeeTec.com) to see if he could find one but no luck. I then had a brainstorm and called him back to see if he had enough of the replacement parts for me to build my own version. He had the roast chamber, fan motor + impeller wheel, heater coil with aluminum tube etc so I ordered them and had a stainless fabrication shop build me a box to house them in but decided to use a vacuum blower instead of the noisier blower it came with. I used it for many years until I got tired of the small capacity. I've since re-purposed the base for my 1 lb gas fired fluidbed.

Ah, the good old days!

Allen
allenb attached the following image:
first_roaster_002.jpg

1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
ginny
great roaster. the picture has a huge flaw.

windows...

ginny

party
 
allenb

Quote

ginny wrote:

great roaster. the picture has a huge flaw.

windows...

ginny

party


I've been meaning to get an Apple of some sort forever but haven't come up with the $. After seeing the lovely Windows 8 I've finally made a decision to exit Microsoft in the near future. Hopefully this doesn't sidetrack the thread's subject matter! limb

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
boar_d_laze
The first... and more:

Cast iron skillet -> Whirley Pop -> Long break from roasting -> Behmor -> HotTop P -> HotTop B with BT and ET thermocouples, datalogger, Artisan -> and now, an Amazon 1kg Electric Roaster (the infamous e-bay roaster).

After a few months and a couple dozen roasts the Amazon proved to be the wrong roaster for me. I have a US Roaster Corp Sample Roaster on order and am expecting it in mid September.

In the meantime, if I sell the Amazon before the USRC arrives, I'll go back to the HT.

BDL
 
SmokNmirz

Quote

boar_d_laze wrote:

After a few months and a couple dozen roasts the Amazon proved to be the wrong roaster for me. I have a US Roaster Corp Sample Roaster on order and am expecting it in mid September.

In the meantime, if I sell the Amazon before the USRC arrives, I'll go back to the HT.

BDL


How is the USRC Sample Roaster working out?

My first roaster that I owned is a Quest, and I do like it, but I am thinking about adding a Fluid Bed roaster of some sort.

Stephen
L-1p, HG-1-motorized, Monolith Flat, (ordered) mini500Plus.

If whatever you do does not put a smile on your face then rethink what you are doing.
 
Costacuba
Hello. My first roaster was a bbq with a drum as you have seen many. This worked well for over 2 yrs. but i got curious about building a full blown shop roaster. So i did it. It took quite some time. A long journey of discoveries. It roasts 1kg easily 13mins. Cyclone cooler all integrated. I have been drinking and roasting coffee for about 5yrs. I used a behmore made an air roaster, bbq roaster now the drum. The drum is by far the least of a hassle to run and makes the whole thing enjoyable. Thanks for reading hope you enjoyed the rather basic intro. When i learn how to post a photo of my roaster i will try to put one up

Thanks
 
Bonsai Doug
Hello all! My first roaster is my current one: Air Crazy popper with only the thermostat disabled. For several months now it's been making some pretty decent roasts.

I intend to keep using the AC 'till I burn out that puppy, then move on to... probably, a Behmor.

Also, just received a Gaggia Classic, so I'm currently working on some great SO espresso roasts.
 
Bodka Coffee
My first and only roaster is a USRC 5 kg. I really enjoy roasting coffee.
USRC 5 kg
 
jkoll42
My first roaster was a Poppery I about 10 years ago. I roasted in my apartment with a box fan at the window to blow the smoke out! Still have it stored (and heavily modified) in the garage.
-Jon
Honey badger 1k, Bunn LPG-2E, Technivorm, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Vibiemme Double Domo V3
 
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