Gene Cafe CBR-101
The Gene Cafe CBR-101 is the top home coffee roaster on the market today available on Amazon. One unique thing that sets it apart from other roasters is the off axis rotation of the bean roasting chamber, This adds a little complexity to inserting the roasting chamber but they have made every effort to minimize the difficulty by making nice slide guides. Overall the experience is very simple.
The overall appearance of the Gene Cafe CBR-101, available in either black or red, is simple with only two knobs to adjust the time and temperature. These two knobs also double as buttons to allow to turn on and off. Surprisingly even with the few adjustments you have total control over the roast allowing you to make as simple or complex of a roast that you want. One of the nice features is that mid roast you can change the temperature, you can even add time or stop the roast and go to a cool down cycle.
The entire process from unroasted bean to a fresh cup of coffee is really quick. I found a 13 min roasting time was perfect followed by the standard 7 min cool time. I then dump the roasted beans on a cookie sheet where I blow some of the extra chaff off, I then use my Capresso Burr grinder on the setting between medium and fine, Then spoon the coffee to my Capresso Coffee à la Carte. In all an ULTRA Fresh cup of coffee can be had in just over a half hour.
Cleanup of the Gene Cafe CBR-101 is relatively simple just empty the chaff collector and wash out the roasting container.
Of the beans that I have roasted in the Gene Cafe CBR-101 I haven’t noticed much if any smoke however my smoke detector did notice it, there must be tiny particles that are getting kicked up that are quickly detected by the detector, however my wife and friends didn’t notice it at all.
One downside was the speed at which it got up to temperature. The time to temperature is not programmable and takes nearly 15 min to go from 70F ambient temp to 482F which is where I like for it to be for first crack. Another thing that I would like to see changed in a future version is the ability to switch between deg C and deg F. This should be a simple switch but according to the Gene Cafe rep this is a programming difference between the US version and the international version.
The Gene Cafe CBR-101 is rather expensive selling for $474 on amazon another alternative is a pan roaster also from Gene Cafe. If roasting isn’t your thing at this time you can also check out Speedwell coffee they sell some wonderfully roasted beans from all over the world and have any other gear you may want or need for the ultimate coffee experience. Check out my review video below, I will post some videos of different roastings I have done.