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Gene Cafe Drum Roaster Black

Your Price $650.00

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Why Gene Cafe?

The Gene Cafe is a wonderful roaster that produces uniformly roasted coffee beans.

The Gene Cafe CBR-101 has established itself as an excellent roaster capable of producing approximately half a pound of uniformly roasted coffee (250g). Ideal for both the novice and more experienced home coffee roaster. With simple time and temperature knob controls, and easy-to-view glass chamber, the user is able to watch the full progression of the roast. The CBR-101 uses a unique vortex twisting, off-axis chamber rotation which assures complete distribution of the green coffee during roasting. This motion is one of the main reasons for the roasted coffee's uniform color.


  • UPC681131691659

Customer Reviews

Average Rating
November 13, 2007

This is my first roaster (I have had it over a year now) but it is an excellent air roaster that has consistent results. It is so easy to use. I spent about 3 months doing all kinds of research on coffee roasters. For someone who never roasted before, this is the easiest roaster on the market. I saw a video on You-Tube and I thought it was really cool at how easy it worked. One neat thing about it is the roasting viewing chamber, you are able to see the bean color and roast level through the entire roast without problems. The Gene Cafe is different in that the amount of air pushing through the roast chamber is only for heat; not to actually agitate the beans like so many of the other hot air roasters I did my research on. The Gene Cafe has a neat auger and flap system. This makes sure that the beans are always in motion, which will prevent scorching. So this means that the Gene Cafe is quiet. You can be standing next to it and carry on a conversation and not have to yell. A neat thing about the Gene Cafe is the control system; you can change the roast temperature in real time with just the turn of a knob. You can also easily put the Gene Cafe into its cooling cycle. You will find that the majority of air and smoke exits for the left end of the roaster. I have read that Gene Cafe currently has in the works a smoke redirection device that you can add on the end. So is there a down side of this roaster? Yes. One thing I didn't like about the Gene Cafe was the chaff collection. When the chaff is blown off of the beans, it needs to go through a stainless grate in the roasting chamber. A small flap knocks the chaff loose (that way it can pass through the grate easer) with each turn of the roasting chamber. If the coffee you are roasting makes a lot of chaff the grate can get to full. This is really not that big of a deal because the air will just redirect through the roast chamber lid. But if you hook up some sort of a smoke redirection device, it will help. (That’s what I did and I direct it outside out my window. I use a dryer vent hose). I really wish that the cooling cycle was better, especially when you are roasting on the hottest setting, but it will do the job. Or you can do what I did. I went and got a fan and a metal colander. I set the fan on top and turn it on high for about 10 minutes. All in all, the Gene Cafe is a great roaster. I have now been roasting for a year and I love it. If this is your first roaster as it was for me. Go for it and spend the extra money. It will be worth it. Remember you will be doing this for the rest of your life. Never will you go back to the old stale Folgers coffees of the world!!!
Thanks for your wonderful review. I do, however, have to clarify one detail; the Gene Cafe is classified as a drum roaster, not an air roaster. The air design entails air floating the beans for agitation, the full name being "fluid-air bed". Regardless, your points on the Gene Cafe are well taken. Thanks again.

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October 8, 2020

It does a fine job of roasting beans, but it's not really automatic. For some silly reason, the manufacturers (or their lawyers) decided that there is a fire hazard at 392F (200C) temperature. You must stand over the machine, ready to press a button and confirm "no fire" at that exact temperature or the machine will abort into its cool cycle, ruining your roasting plan. Somehow, they see no danger in proceeding from 392 to, say, 440 with no further interruption. Apparently, they only have a problem with fires occurring at precisely 392. I have had several roasts ruined by my missing the warning beeps and failing to confirm the roast, midway through.

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September 17, 2008

We upgraded from a popcorn popper to this roaster! Wow what a difference very reliable and a great roaster. Great selection on choosing temperture and time of roasting beans. Super!!!!!

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June 1, 2022

Previously used a flat pan roaster; heat transferred by contact. It worked, but was inconsistent, gave off a ton of moisture that had to be soaked up during the roast, and took around 30 minutes per batch to roast. I have had this unit now for 9 months, and love it. It is easy to use, consistent and extremely efficient as it uses hot air rather than contact to the beans. Speed of roasting is averaging around 15 minutes per batch, so in 30 minutes I have a quart of roasted beans. Hearing the crack: when I roast, the crack is very audible through the air exhaust. No disguising each of the cracks. Cleaning is also very simple and fast. I have roasted different beans from a city roast through a very dark and oily espresso roast with perfect results. The cooling is not rocket fast as it uses the air flow from the room you are using. I have learned to stop the roast about 30 seconds before it is done to allow for additional roasting heat after the cooling cycle starts. The cooling process takes about 8 minutes, but is far easier than trying to cool them independently. Also, the chafe catcher works perfectly; the beans are perfectly clean at the end of the roast.

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September 30, 2021

I have had this roaster for seven years and go through 5 pounds per month. I started with the resh roast - 200. Nice machine for small batches. Then I got an Alpine Roast. Great machine but, died after about 5 years. Replaced it with a Behmor. Never could get a consistent roast and threw it away. The Gene is the better of any of these. The only thing you have to watch for is the two little rubber chaff flap bumpers will fall off. I check for these after every batch. Extras were supplied with the machine so, they know they fall off.

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April 8, 2021

Excellent product and incredibly good customer service from CBC. My old Gene Cafe is about 10 or so years old and still working. I decided to use it as a back up and get a new one. I had other coffee roasters when I started roasting years ago. They would all fail too soon and the worst of the lot used an auger type devise and had a brand name that was an “N” word reminiscent of a pretty good chocolate mix. My only gripe with the Gene Cafe is the new beep beep, bye bye system. I have never had a coffee roaster fire. However, I get it. We live in a litigious would be fool proof nanny state complete with safe spaces and pinless diapers. And that's just for us adults. Now for the customer service. This was my first time using a gift certificate. It didn't take so I emailed CBC and got a really fast response phone call from a manager, MICHELLE. I had entered the code in the wrong spot. She fixed it for me and even did a follow up call to see how I was doing with the new roaster and reminded me they were there to help if I needed it. These days, how often do you get customer service like that? Have you ever had a half hour wait listening to repeated recorded messages about how very important your call is to them followed by a click? It was really good to get the excellent service from CBC.

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July 24, 2019

This is a replacement of my earlier gene cafe roaster which was excellent and finally failed. The new unit is similar, BUT of inferior construction with plastic parts which have defects with poor fit. The chaff collector and outlet cap fit poorly and make removal difficult. Clearly defective workmanship.

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January 4, 2021

I bought my first Gene Cafe Roaster in 2007. I still have it and it still works very well. I upgraded it with a new control board, map sensor and temp sensors several years ago although there wasn't anything wrong with them. The only parts I have had to replace in all these years are 2 heaters and a blower. I like the roaster so much I bought a second one for our place in Arizona so I didn't have to haul one back and forth. It is very easy to use and does a great job. I like being able to easily see the roast develop and also like being able hear first and second crack. A great choice for a roaster.

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May 3, 2014

I've had this roaster for 2 years and it is still working great! I cook about 1.5 lb a week, so 3 batches . It takes a bit to learn how long to cook different beans, as some cook faster than others, and the weather makes a difference if you cook outside. But, as someone who's been roasting for a decade, I think this roaster is the best purchase I've made!

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July 2, 2022

I have waited a long time for this one. I had the popcorn roaster for years. I found i had to roast the beans at a very low temperature till they turned yellow and were lighter before turning up the heat or the beans were to heavy to move around, got stuck and burned a few. Anyway, I have wanted the drum roaster and got it. Wow, It is so much easier and the coffee comes out perfect. thank You

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September 1, 2021

I've only roasted a couple of batches since getting the Gene Cafe, but so far I really like it. It's a big step up from the smaller roaster that I've been "making do" with for years. With Gene Cafe, you can roast a large enough batch to allow for not running out of coffee too quickly and not having to roast every few days. Very convenient. The coffee has been great, although I'm still "tweaking" my roast profiles. There are roasters out there that provide more precise controls of the roast process--hence only the 4 star recommendation--but they come at a MUCH higher price point. The Gene Cafe provides the fresh roasted coffee I love at a price that won't break the bank. I highly recommend this product from my favorite supplier--Coffee Bean Corral! Jon from Valrico FL

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November 28, 2020

I have invested over $10,000 in coffee equipment and have enjoyed roasting in the past with two smaller Fresh Roast models. I have looked at semi commercial units costing $2500 to $4800. Yes they can roast larger quantities with programmable profile controls, but for a home model roasting up to a half pound of beans at a time, the Gene Cafe CBR-101 is a great consumer model that is reliable, consistent and cost conscious. It’s fun too. It changes your relationship with coffee (in a great way), by empowering you with the control of bean choice, when you want your beans roasted, with flexibility to adjust the degree of roast, providing you optimum freshness at a more affordable price. It’s easy to use, and has a very simple learning curve. I have not had a single roast I didn’t absolutely love! It comes with everything you need to get started, and John or Catherine will be glad to help you with anything you need. This is a great purchase for anyone who wants more out of there coffee making experience. Enjoy!

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September 10, 2007

I have been using my roaster for several months now and I have to say it is simply the best roaster I have ever used. Granted I haven't used a Hottop but that's more money then I would want to spend. This unit simply works! I have done several roasts back to back and it handled it flawlessly. I believe it is the best of both worlds from the fluid air bed to the drum roasters. The roasts are always consistent and even.

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December 18, 2022

We’ve been using the Gene Cafe now for a couple of months, and done a couple dozen batches of coffee. Our family members are coffee drinking fools, and we all drink several cups a day. It took us a long time to get around to ordering this because we subscribed to a service that shipped us single origin coffee every month and we enjoyed their offerings very much. So, the bottom line is we should have done this sooner. The gene cafe seems to be very well made. It remains to be seen how the computer that does the time and temp holds up over time roasting beans out on the back porch, but from other reviews I’m not too worried. The roasted beans we’re producing with one exception is every bit as good as any we ever got from the subscription, and the one we didn’t like simply means we won’t order that particular bean again. Oh well. Using the roaster is very easy. I’ve read reviews online that make a big production out of using it, but in all honesty, I’m pretty particular about my coffee, and following the instructions provided produces a very nice roast of my particular preference. CBC did a great job getting it to me, and called me before they shipped it to activate the warranty. It’s really easy to clean, a breeze to use, and seems well built. What’s not to like?

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February 18, 2019

After years of roasting with hot air popcorn poppers I finally had enough money saved to pick up a "real" roaster. Well, let me tell you... I did quite a lot of reading and finally decided on the Gene Cafe because I couldn't find enough reasons to try something else. I like the style, drum type that uses hot air for roasting and I required a minimum of 1/2 a pound per roast because running 4 or 5 batches to get through the week can become tedious, not to mention squeezing between weathers does not allow for much flexibility when the roast is barely enough for a pot of coffee! So glad I settled on this unit! Super easy to work with, temp controls seem spot on, adjustable timing and temp in real time, cool down cycle. First batch ran 17 minutes at 478 (max temp) and it's definitely a little too much for the delicate beans I prefer. Several batches later and I'm very happy running between 425 and 450 and using the timer to get the desired results. Every cup is an explosion of joy! Did I mention this unit is quiet? So many things to like about the Gene Cafe. Price is a bit on the high side, but the quality and ease of use make the price near acceptable.

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June 10, 2017

I've been using this roaster for about 6 years and it still roasts like the day I got it. I love it, great roaster!

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January 25, 2022

I was previously roasting on one of those cheap Cafemasy machines and after about 100lbs on that over a 6 month period, I finally was able to upgrade to this gene cafe. I sell maybe 10 or 20 8oz bags per month, and drink a lot of coffee myself, so I've had measurable improvements in both the speed of my roasts, the consistency of my roast profiles, and the quality of my roasts - especially the quality of my light roasts. I couldn't be happier.

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November 29, 2021

Great roaster, consistent results. One thing to know though, it needs an uncluttered electric circuit to work well. I roast in my garage and the circuit is part of some wacky circuit that is in my basement, garage, and some outdoors outlets, with a GFI outlet in my master bath. The electricians must have been high that day when they built this place. Anyway, without a clean circuit it will take twice as long to roast a batch. I currently just run an extension cord into a clean outlet in another room and it works great, but I will eventually run a dedicated outlet for it.

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June 26, 2021

I love my Gene Cafe roaster. I had one years ago and really missed my roasted coffee. I ordered the red one, which looks sharp. CBC answered my questions and shipped the roaster quickly, along with my free samples and more coffee that I ordered. I’ve been trying the samples and haven’t had a bad one yet! Thank you CBC!

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June 17, 2021

Easy to use and watch the color development. Perfect for two half-pound batches in a row. I love my Gene Cafe roaster 😉☕

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July 27, 2020

The roaster is solid. I thought my whirley pop method was on point, but I can not compete with this machine. The alarm system is a tad annoying, but I get the safety aspect, so I'm not going to ding it. It would be nice to be able to override that and just accept the risk. I'm not dinging the score for that. My only complaint, is the time and heat in the instructions. I like a darker roast, and my first roast was "City Roast". That was just charcoal. I nearly burned down my roaster with the first use with all that smoke billowing out. You'd think they'd have more conservative time and heat estimates. Start with a lighter roast and dial in from there. Lost a half pound of coffee to that, but lessons learned I suppose.

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May 28, 2018

I did quite a bit of research before I decided to jump into roasting my own beans. While this machine is a little more pricey, it had all the features I was looking for. Placing the order was simple and easy. I received the order quickly and in excellent condition. I was up and roasting in no time with great results.

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February 27, 2018

We’ve been using ours at least as long as David above. This is the devise that will get you covered for many years- economically. I think it’s best to set it up outside- on a table top and cover it with a small, heavy tarp between uses. It is a smoky happening during roasts. Outside temps will affect the settings but then again, different beans require different settings anyway- etc.. When you want to get serious with your coffee- this is the way to go. And the Corral is a user-friendly outfit that you talk with along the way with questions. It’s been a fun, economical experience over the years.

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June 10, 2022

Without being over the top this roaster is robust and thoughtfully designed with many nice features that make roasting fun and the results predictable and repeatable even for the novice. At this price point it is challenging to find a better combination of quality and capability for the small batch roaster.

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March 2, 2022

I'm new to roasting and ordered the red Gene Cafe from Coffee Bean Corral (CBC) after doing my research and reading many reviews on roasters. A rep from CBC called me after I placed the order to explain the safety features on the roaster and to confirm my order. Their customer service, personal outreach and varieties of coffee beans are amazing. After completing 10 roasts so far, here are the PROS of the Gene Cafe Roaster: controls are simple and easy to use, very even roasts with the off-center roasting chamber, easy to see roast development through glass roasting chamber, solid and compact unit. CONS: hard to hear first and second crack due to motor noise (not a big deal) and need to watch/check the little rubber chaff bumpers. Also, I don't use the auto cooling mode since it cools too slowly so I dump the beans into an external bean cooler to cool them more quickly. All in all, I really like this roaster and the price is right for a newbie like me.

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December 12, 2021

This is my second Gene Cafe roaster. The first one was used for about 10 years and finally got to the point that it needed to be replaced due to requiring some replacement parts that were no longer available. I like tha safety changes made to the hew model,the requirement of resetting the buzzer when it reaches a certain temperature or it will go into cooling mode. This keeps me from taking the beans to an extreme roast before the smoke gets bad enough to remind me of the roasting coffee. This roaster is the best on I have ever used. I have a Behmor that I got when my original Gene quit getting hot enough to roast the beans and at that time no replacement heating units were available. I found a replacement heating unit,finally and have replaced the unit at least 8 timen in my original Gene. The new Gene should last me at least as long as the old one did.

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July 29, 2021

Wow, we call our Gene Cafe ‘the Little Engine that Could’. I don’t believe they’ve changed.... well anything.... on this mini workhorse in years because they haven’t needed to.

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November 27, 2020

I have had this roaster since I think 2014, maybe longer. I have replaced the heating element twice and I just changed the fan, which has returned this machine to like new operations. This is an excellent machine, well engineered, good build quality. What I like most about it is that it is repairable. The repairs I have done to mine were not very complicated almost anyone should be able to do them. There are videos on YouTube to walk you through them. This machine is highly recommended due to how well this machine roasts, but also that it is able to be maintained (fixed) giving it an extremely long operational of life. I expect this machine to last at lest another 8 to 10 years before it needs to be replaced. Maybe longer 👍🏻. I not sure if any of the other machines provides that option. It is a rare small appliance that last more than 10 years now a days, and this one will.

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May 22, 2019

While this unit does not have all the sophisticated controls of a Hot Top (my last roaster which lasted 8 years) it does use forced hot air to roast the beans. I believe the hot air flowing thru the beans (fluid bed) gives a much better taste and mouth-feel to the coffee. The 4 roasts I have done so far are very good, do work well for espresso and french press coffee and no scorched beans.

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December 31, 2018

Great roaster with simple controls. Once I sorted out the profile and didn't make any more charcoal, getting where I wanted to be was pretty easy. Two problems; One, it's made in Korea! It's not that foreign countries can't make quality goods, but I didn't know it. I contacted the company YOU buy from because of a technical problem and they told me they were the importer, not the manufacturer. They weren't allowed to "advise" me on fixing my problem. Second problem is the smoke vent. It's an odd size. Too small to accept a dryer vent. I made one out of aluminum that's working until I get the right one from Home Depot. The first roasting of charcoal pretty well got me sleeping on the couch. Since I've got my profile figured out I haven't run it without the temporary vent so I don't know how much smoke it actually produces. I think we'll get along just fine. It's quiet, a REALLY sexy red and extremely easy to use. And the burned beans? Well, I'm a wood worker. I ground them up and glue them into small cracks. Works great.

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October 24, 2023

I replaced my SR800 eith extension tube with the Gene Cafe roaster. I liked the SR800, it did its job, and almost always did it well. The Gene Cafe roaster is a step up in my opinion. More consistent, easy to use, and easier to tell exactly where your roast is at on terms of roast level. I waited to pull the trigger on this, mostly because of cost. In hindsight I shouldn't have waited so long.

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September 17, 2020

Easy to roast good coffee beans, nice.

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February 6, 2024

love it. Easy to set up and use. Perfect roast.

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January 15, 2024

I bought this in late December, so I’ve only done a handful of roasts, but as they say, “the proof is in the pudding.” What I mean is, the coffee I’ve roasted and subsequently drank is delicious! I’ve bought pricey small batch roasted coffee from local vendors and I can honestly say I already like mine more. Of course, there are many different roasting curves and varieties of beans I have yet to experiment with, but the Gene Cafe makes things pretty foolproof. I’m still hoping to discover a forum just for Gene Cafe roasters, so I can follow others and try their roast times and temps. But I’m very happy already. As others have said, the extra $ for this machine seems worth it to me. It’ll easily pay for itself within a year when considering the coast of high quality roasted beans I was paying for before.

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December 3, 2023

This is my 3rd upgrade from starting to roast my beans on the side burner of my BBQ in a popcorn popper. Love the ease of use. Only used it once so far. Need to time/temp settings for my perfect roast but that is to be expected.

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May 5, 2023

I had not yet discovered Coffee Bean Corral when I purchased my roaster, You have become the ONLULY vendor for my favorite morning ritual. I LOVE Gene Cafe. This roaster is a work horse and have been using it almost two years now. I feel anyone interested in roasting their own coffee could not go wrong here. So, if you permit here is a link to a video I did on my morning riast using Gene Cafe Roaster. Hope it inspires others to get their own roaster.

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April 19, 2023

I have been home roasting about 20 years. I first purchased the Fresh Roast and thought it was adequate for the task. And I was. After 2 years it failed. I bought another one and right at year three if failed also. Then I bought the Gene Roaster. I was concerned that it too would fail after 2 or 3 years but bought one anyway. It has performed superbly now for almost 7 years. This machine is the perfect price / quality point and has not disappointed me in any way. One Thing that you must do is empty the chaff catcher every 8 or 10 cycles. Also, and this has only occurred two times in 7 years - if your roaster is outside and the temperature is below about 40 degrees, it will error out and not start the cycle. If this is an issue…just bring it indoors for an hour or so to allow the circuit to warm slightly.

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April 15, 2023

The Gene Cafe is a well engineered, easy to operate roaster. Since starting with the Gene Cafe, I have roasted over 400 batches and been satisfied all the way through. The roasts are consistent and the coffee produced has not failed me yet. Do keep an eye on the temperatures during cooling when your ambient temps are a little high. During mid summer, the cooling times are slower just because the room where I roast tends to get a little hot. This purchase is a second roaster to have as a backup as I have put the other roaster through its paces. I am very satisfied with the roaster and the coffee that it produces.

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September 11, 2022

Just roasted up two batches and love it!

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December 18, 2021

Love this coffee roaster. Does a fantastic job. Also a great company to do business with.

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March 31, 2021

Used this roaster 5+ years. Dependable and reliable temperature settings. Recommend.

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November 17, 2020

We had an older model that we wore out. This is a fantastic home roaster, which has been consistent and provides us with delicious coffee!

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December 22, 2019

I'm new to the home roasting, so the Gene Cafe is capable of more than I know how to do...but the roast that it has produced so far have all been very even. Starting with a popcorn popper , then a vevo ceramic roaster..which does a good job..just in very small batches, I have enjoyed the learning and the coffee from the new roaster..have not had a bad cup yet.

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August 21, 2023

To be honest, even after looking at other reviews of each different type of roaster that i I could find in my budget. I really thought in my head that this was the one I wanted and I’m so glad I followed through with it because it works amazing, I have tested many samples of beans and have had a great experience from start to finish! If you are having trouble deciding on what roaster to get, don’t struggle like I did. This is the one to start with in my opinion.

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August 27, 2022

First attempt went pretty well. It seemed like it was roasting the beans pretty aggressively fairly early on in the roast but I am not sure. Early to tell.

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February 24, 2020


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October 26, 2019

We bought this roaster after purchasing a starter roaster that was about $150. We should have gone straight to this one. We love it.

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June 9, 2020

I would like to order this roaster please. Thank you

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