Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster Review 1

Have you ever felt that your coffee at home just isn’t as good as that you buy in a cafe despite having a great espresso machine like the Giotto Rocket like what we have at home and a fantastic grinder such as the Mazzer Super Jolly? Here’s a photo of our coffee snobbery equipment (upgrades were much more frequent but I think we’ve settled on this combo):

Coffee gear: Rocket Giotto and Mazzer Super Jolly with small hopper

It is precisely this sentiment that made me explore the option of roasting my own coffee beans. Now for a long time I used the “Coretto” method which uses a bread maker and a heat gun (more details can be found at the Coffee Snobs forum) but I found this method rather inconvenient as I had to move everything in to place and there was a lot of smoke meaning I had to roast outdoors. It was also pretty loud – I’m sure my neighbours often wondered what was going on late at night…

Then I tried using a convection oven and following details again on coffeesnobs to build a turbo oven coffee roaster – whilst this did work, the batch sizes were smaller and the motor I installed struggled to stir the beans well… It had points for looking very impressive though!     So, I managed to get my hands n the Gene cafe coffee roaster – it handles up to 300g batch sizes but many guides suggest keeping the volume to 250g for consistency. I love how user friendly the Gene is. There are two dials for setting the temperature and the roasting time – even during the roast, the user can adjust the temperature and stop the roast earlier than the set time. Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster - fits nicely under rangehood The drum is well built and locks into place easily. It comes with a stand to hold this container to facilitate easy pouring (nothing is worse than spilling coffee beans) and a measurement cup which roughly equates to 100g. I must say I like the design more than the oven-like Behmor. With the Behmor, although the final result was great and it handled similar batch sizes, I found the drum cage delicate and had to have mine replaced (the dealer is fantastic and sent a replacement very quickly).

The Gene can be used indoors – something I would have never dreamt of doing with my bread maker set up – there is minimal smoke and it is light and small enough to be positioned under a range hood. Noise wise, it certainly is quieter than what I imagined – however do keep in mind I have used some pretty noisy appliances in the past (cuisinart compressor ice cream maker, breville ice cream maker, Coretto as above, sunbeam popcorn makers). Measured at 10cm away, the noise was roughly 65 decibels – with the range hood on, this was 70. Another feature of the gene I love is the chaff collector – it really works. Even with a chaff-filled roast such as the Bolivia Green Mountain, it handled it well – the final product did need a little pouring in front of a fan later though to get rid of the rest. The gene does come with a cooling cycle but from my Coretto experiences I find it easier to stop the cycle and pour the beans into a coffee bean cooler (note mine is just a bathroom fan fitted on top of a bucket) – the temperature cools much more rapidly and the gene can then be used for a second roast. Now the final product? I guess it depends on the user still! I’m only just getting used to the machine – it can be very difficult to distinguish between first crack and second crack and the usual sounds of the machine. Happy to say I am delighted with the results already but there is room for improvement.

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