Archive for the ‘Home Roasters’ Category

Using home coffee roasters outside USA

13 Oct

We offer a selection of the best home coffee roasters and we receive occasional orders for them from customers outside the USA. All of our home roasters are powered by electricity and electric supply varies by country. The USA electric supply is 120 volts, 60 hertz. The following countries have the same electric supply although in some cases plug configuration may differ:

American Samoa
Cayman Islands
Costa Rica

In other words, roasters made for the US market should work in this group of countries without modification.

Please understand that home coffee roasters, particularly those with timed roasting cycles like Behmor and Hottop, have a defined maximum period during which roasting must complete.  This feature is designed for your safety.  If the voltage supply is not sufficient than you will run out of time before roasting completes; if there is too much voltage than internal parts may burn up, destroying your roaster.  Roasters purchased from us have guarantees for the US only so any purchase for use out of country is not covered.

Roasters heading anywhere else in the world will either not work or may, in some cases, work with voltage regulation and plug adapters.  The very best thing that you can do is purchase a roaster that was built for your electric supply rather than buying one made for another country and attempting to convert it.  This latter approach usually leads to dissatisfaction.

It is critical to deliver the correct voltage and frequency (hertz) to your roaster.  Even if it’s made for the US market there are many locations and situations when voltage is inadequate.  During summer heat waves electric companies reduce the output of the electric grid and voltage will drop to save electricity.  Also, for voltage sensitive equipment you should not use an extension cord which will reduce the delivered voltage; plug the appliance directly into a wall socket.  You can use a voltage regulator to even out and to some extent boost voltage moderately.  For example, if your voltage supply is 117 volts (a simple volt meter or Kill-a-Watt device will inform you) you can set use a voltage regulator, like the Variac that we sell, to increase voltage to 120 and the device will keep the supply steady.  The frequency of electricity, expressed in Hertz, must be matched to the electric supply.  Otherwise timing of motors and clock/timers, where applicable, will not function properly.



Bye Bye i-Roast2

13 May

Looks like this may be the  end of the line for Hearthware’s i-Roast2 home roaster. The item has been out of stock for many months, since fall 2009. At first , US distributor Hearthware, said they had rejected an entire shipment for quality control reasons and a replacement shipment was expected earlier this year. That projected delivery time passed with no roasters arriving and the date was moved back a couple of more months. We have periodically checked in asking for an update. Yesterday, when we checked once more, we received this reply:

“Unfortunately our i-Roast2 is still on back order. We are expecting a shipment of replacement parts and maybe a small shipment of roasters sometime in August. We will not receive replenishment after that. We will be forced to discontinue the i-Roast2 after stock runs out. We are working on the next version of our roaster. The release date has not been set.  I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this shortage has caused you.”

If it turns out to be true that some small amount of roasters does arrive in August, and if it makes sense at that time, we will secure some.  Otherwise, we will keep our eyes peeled for a new and hopefully improved model up the road. The i-Roast2 was itself a breakthrough roaster in some ways as it offered programming of up to 10 profiles, each with up to 5 roast stages. The hot air roaster had more power and airflow than its competitors, and except for the smoke it generated (which could be vented out a window) it was a useful roaster, particularly for those who prefer dark roasts.

For the moment, Fresh Roast’s new SR500 and SR300 models are the nearest competitors.  They too have been out of stock for a short while, but gladly we can report a shipment is now on the road heading our way, and, we should be shipping within a few days.


New Hottop Roaster models

09 Sep

Two new Hottop home coffee roasters are now available and previous analog and digital models have been discontinued.  The new models are KN-8828B and KN-8828P, known affectionately as B and P.  There are extensive reviews of both on our site: B model and P model.  Both are programmable roasters.  The B allows users to modify four parameters during a roast:  time, temperature, fan speed, heat element power.  The modifications can be saved in one of three slots.  The P model is a highly advanced profile roasting system allowing the user to write up to 10 programs, each with 8 segments that, using the parameters above, sets targets for each stage or segment.

Both roasters can be set to “Auto” which will allow them to work like the previous generation, meaning after the roaster warms you will be prompted to pour in coffee beans, the roaster will follow a factory preset program.  You will be able to increase time at the end of the roast or eject beans at any time.

Happily, the original Hottop body and interior design is intact, and upgrade kits are available for owners of previous generation models.  This consideration for existing owners is a reaffirmation of the previous solid design and allows users to have an upgrade path without the need to buy the complete new models.

The new Hottop roasters and upgrade kits are available now.