Enjoy excellent coffee while developing your small appliance repair skills!
Positive Product Points
An honest 1/2 pound capacity, beans easy to see while roasting, chaff easy to remove, modular construction that is potentially serviceable by an owner that is a bit handy, helpful staff at official service center in Utah.
Negative Product Points
Odd "swinging pendulum" chaff scraper, controls are completely manual. I needed to send this machine in for warranty repair almost immediately after receiving it and then installed a new $60 heating unit myself six months ago. Now it seems to be having the same problem. Again.
When working correctly - and properly supervised by the operator - the Gene Cafe has the potential to produce very good to excellent home roasted coffee. The completely manual controls are both a hindrance and a blessing, since they force you to be closely involved with the roasting process. This creates more work for the owner, but the extra "supervision" seems to have yielded excellent results. I've particularly enjoyed the visibility of the beans while roasting, due to the glass roasting cylinder and relatively slow movement of the beans.
I liked the coffee, but I'm really, really tired of repairing this roaster and have begun to search for a (hopefully) more reliable replacement. Even when it was working I had ongoing trouble with the digital temperature display, which would give bizarre, random "temperatures" that changed constantly.
After a bit of initial confusion, the roaster arrived promptly, in good condition and at the promised price.