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Nov 13, 2013 06:52 AM

Coffee from green beans at the push of a button.

For those who insist on the freshest roasted coffee, here's a machine that roasts, grinds and brews:

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  1. Who the hell dug Spider Robinson out of the grave?
    Who the hell thought this was a good idea?

    Coffee needs to rest after roasting (at least 12 hours, though most prefer at least a full day, sometimes two).

    8 Replies
    1. re: Chowrin

      Really, you think this is bullshit?

      1. re: HillJ

        If nothing else, you'll have zero control over the roast.
        Chemical reactions continue after the roasting, which is why you let the coffee outgas. Ventilating the beans doesn't change the reaction rate.

        1. re: Chowrin

          It's still in beta testing. I think the buy in to be a part of the beta test is kinda cool.

          1. re: HillJ

            I like kickstarters, don't get me wrong.
            I just think this one is illadvised.

            (but I do roast at home, and get up thirty minutes early to warm up Miss Silvia -- promptly go back to sleep, of course, so I'm sure I'm not this product's target audience.)

            1. re: Chowrin

              I appreciate your p.o.v. don't get me wrong. I also dig the concept and look forward to seeing where it leads. Kickstarter is an outstanding firm with hits & misses but the platform to kick start ideas makes me very happy.

        2. re: HillJ

          Not bullshit just not the best way to get the best at of the bean and as Chowrin pointed out little control of the roast and no resting time between roasting and brewing

          But............if your idea of ideal coffee is Starbucks then this just might be for you

          1. re: scubadoo97

            Is that remark really necessary. Chowrin explained quite well actually.

            The OP is about a prototype. Sheesh.

            1. re: scubadoo97

              Sorry the last comment wasn't directed at you personally but to the general public that made Starbucks what is is today. Burnt coffee at high prices and people ate it up like it was manna from heaven

        3. First of all Kickstarter is kick ass! Love this firm.
          What's not to love love love about this idea/design/product niche for all the RIGHT reasons.
          For a home model pretty nifty; roast to cup in 14 minutes!
          The Machine Pkg might make a pretty cool Christmas gift idea!

          Thanks, ferret!

          19 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            It is a cute looking device but a cup every 14 minutes would be problematic at my house in the morning with 3 coffee drinkers.

            1. re: tcamp

              Valid point, it's still a prototype. Part of any Kickstarter pledge/buy in is to beta test the prototype. This appliance isn't ready for market.

              1. re: HillJ

                It will be interesting to see how it plays out in beta. Only $400 to join up!

                1. re: tcamp

                  $300. to beta test an actual machine.

                2. re: HillJ

                  While this is a very cool idea, I just stepped back and asked myself. Won't it actually be better to separate these steps? In other words, a coffee bean roaster by itself, a grinder, and a brewer. This will give you better control, and cheaper too.

                  Yes, you cannot do them all in one shot, but there is no strong reason why you cannot roast the bean with a popcorn popper, grind the coffee bean on the weekends, and then just brew what you have.


                  Unless there is some arguments that the roasting/grinding/brewing steps should all be done within 1 hour.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Grind coffee less than 15 minutes before brewing, if you're doing espresso. Oxygen reacts with a lot of the tasty alcohols and other aromatics.

                    OTOH, roasting requires a long rest time (hours) to allow the chemical reactions to finish. Ventilation doesn't fix reaction time.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      It may turn out to be an industry option, it may turn out to be usable parts under different patents..too soon to know really.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I'm familiar with sweet marias. And the local roaster I buy from is very generous about teaching customers and letting us watch him roast.

                        That doesn't mean there's no room for newcomers or new concepts. Bugs always get kicked around in the early stages of any product.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Hey, this is what I do! :-D

                          I bought a decent popper from the thrift store for $5 & a glass chimney for $1. The 'specialty coffee' green beans (Tanzanian peaberry, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, & an espresso blend) average out to about $6/lb including shipping costs. It takes me about an hour to roast a full pound.

                          It's messy! The beans give off a lot more chaff than I expected. It also does NOT have that 'fresh roast coffee' smell, but more of an acrid burn smell. (AFTER roasting the beans smell marvelous; during roasting - not so much.)

                          1. re: Eiron

                            must be your roaster.
                            mine tend to smell grassy, and then smoky, but not acrid.

                            1. re: Chowrin

                              No, it's the exact same smell as when I I worked next to Allegro Coffee, back in the mid '90s in Boulder. I'm sure some folks like it, but until I discovered that they were roasting coffee there, I always thought, "What *IS* that gawd-awful smell?!". And I'd been drinking grind-your-own coffee for years at that point.

                              To my nose, it's just not a pleasant aroma.

                            2. re: Eiron

                              <It's messy! The beans give off a lot more chaff than I expected. It also does NOT have that 'fresh roast coffee' smell, but more of an acrid burn smell. (AFTER roasting the beans smell marvelous; during roasting - not so much.)>

                              Objectively speaking, do you think it was a success? Do you think it (the coffee you made) is worth your time and your labor? I know many think it is the best way to do. Roast, grind, brew...

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                I'm nowhere near as good at roasting as Tom is, but I think it's worth it... I use a behmor, though, which is a trifle more expensive.

                                1. re: Chowrin

                                  I don't know much (or any) about coffee. How much do you roast each time? Do you roast 3 month worth of coffee?

                                  Is this what you were talking about? Behmor coffee roaster:


                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    I roast about a pound at a time. That's about a week's worth, more or less.
                                    Keeping coffee around for well over a week is probably not the best plan (but it does have to rest for at least 12 hours, preferably a couple of days).

                                    Freshroasted gourmet coffee is like nothing else. Pull a shot of espresso, and watch your tongue have a tango (literally causes taste hallucinations -- coffee is insanely complex, the brain kinda gets to pick and choose what you're drinking.).

                                    1. re: Chowrin

                                      Thanks so much. One last question, I promise. How automated or how manual is your roasting process? Can you walk away and take a shower or watch TV? Or do you have to stay close to the roaster?

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        It's somewhat manual. Takes about 30 minutes total, about 5 minutes of which you're listening for when the beans are "done" (since I'm using a drum roaster, I turn them off before they're finished, and they keep cracking for a while). After that, it's 15 minutes of cooldown, which you can be "not in the kitchen" for.

                                        I recommend being around for the first 15 though, in case of fire. (do not open if on fire! adding oxygen is bad).

                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  It's a mixed bag, the way I do it. I wanted the cheapest way possible to give it a try, & this was it. The trade-offs (compared to a purpose-built home roaster) are that it takes longer to roast a pound of coffee, & my small roast batches (about 1/4 cup at a time) are so fast that I have less control over flavor profiling. If I knew that I wanted to do this all the time, I'd definitely get a much more expensive home roaster.

                                  I'll say that for 40% of the $-cost of buying locally roasted coffee, it's at least as good. Is it worth the time investment? I'm still undecided about that.


                        their site has a good deal more intel.

                        1. This is a very interesting idea. Thanks for the news.

                          1. What's next, a machine that turns living cows into cheeseburgers? Fresher isn't always better. This is silly, the video is misleading, and the product is deeply flawed.

                            - 'Six months between growing and drinking': no, six months' rest won't make green beans turn bitter. There will be slight flavor loss, but no off flavors unless it's badly stored.

                            - 'Seventeen steps between you and the farmer': well, hurray, now there are sixteen steps. The only step eliminated is the roasting. You don't want to buy untasted coffee from some random farmer, because most coffee grown and processed is of very low quality. You still need all those boards and committees and distributors if you want a decent cup of coffee. (Of course, coffee's economic chain is currently an unethical mess, but I don't see how this device changes that.)

                            - On degassing, they say 'Of course, taste changes over time, but does it necessarily get better?'. Having roasted my own coffee, the answer is definitively 'yes'. Very fresh coffee is quite sour.

                            I like the idea of a push-button coffee roaster targeted at casual home users, but this project has major problems and misleading marketing. I'd love to see the raw results of those blind taste tests.

                            11 Replies
                              1. re: HillJ

                                OT, but how small of batches do you guys buy.

                                I have a couple of places I frequent, depending on what mood I'm in. Some stock Counter, Intelegeia, locally roasted, etc.

                                What's interesting in this 1 place as well that offers them up in 1/2lb bags versus the typical 3/4. It's sorta of a win-win situation if I know I'll be traveling 2-3 days out of the week...I'll buy the smaller 1/2 with a fresher rotation in mind.

                                More important is storage. I looked at ALL of the coffee vaults on the market. Even cosidered doing a vac the Mason Jar approach. I did not conclude if doing the vac, it was doing something more - like evaporating aroma's etc so I ended up just sticking to my normal routine of grinding what I need for the day with nil-none extra in the hopper, and using a small *glasslok* container for the beans.

                                1. re: chefwong

                                  I can't purchase green beans locally under 5 lbs.

                                  1. re: chefwong

                                    Well, I just bought 40 lbs, but I bought 'em green. I roast about once a week, and that's about a pound of coffee. I'd be upset at having coffee that's much older than two weeks.

                                    1. re: chefwong

                                      Of roasted coffee? The roasters around me only sell 3/4lb bags, which go stale by the time I finish them (which was one of the reasons I got into home roasting). Blue Bottle in SF sells 1/2lb bags which I quite liked, but not quite enough to order them by mail.

                                      1. re: Scrofula

                                        Indeed, BB is my 1/2lb source. The ~movement~ of good coffee has been quite amazing over the past couple of years. I can procure alot of beans that I used to need to mail-order

                                        I have 4-5 ~spots~ I can frequent to get beans locally, freshly roasted, often as early as within 1 days roast day, and others like Counter, depending on what *day* I go, it will be generally 3 days average from Roast Date.

                                        Heh, while the idea is intriguing, I'm not willing to commit the space for a drum roaster or the time to do it ;-)

                                      2. re: chefwong

                                        A pound of coffee might last me a month, maybe a bit longer. I freeze my coffee. Don't like freezing? Read this:


                                        Don't forget to read the links to the follow-up testing.

                                        I typically buy five or six 1-lb bags from online roasters. (That seems to be the point where the shipping 'price-per-pound' becomes reasonable.) These bags are the mylar type. As soon as I get them, I seal up the one-way valves & toss them into the freezer. I use from only one bag at a time, & keep the open bag in the freezer as well (sealed by rolling the top & securing with super-large (1/2" wide) heavy-duty rubber bands).

                                        When I buy locally, I might buy two 1-lb bags. These bags are the paper type. I put these into large zip-lock bags, then they go into the freezer.

                                        On my last round of home-roasting, I only let the roasts rest for 36 hrs before freezing. This led to a significant bloom problem during drip brewing (very 'gassy' coffee!), resulting in having to stop the power to my TechniVorm in order to allow the bloom to settle. I'll probably pull my drip roast out of the freezer & let it warm/rest for another day or so. The espresso maker was unaffected.

                                        1. re: Eiron

                                          Don't keep the open bag in the freezer!

                                          "When you take frozen beans out of the freezer and expose them to room temperature air, you also expose them to much higher humidity than inside the freezer. Airborne water vapor starts condensing on the cold beans immediately, the same as moisture condenses on a can of cold beer when you take it out of the refrigerator. Even though you return the bag of cold beans to the freezer as soon as possible you will accumulate condensed water in the form of ice on the beans. The question is how much accumulated water or ice is harmful? I don’t know, but I’d prefer to avoid that problem."

                                          ... I'm quoting off some random commenter in sweetmarias' forums, but it's the truth.

                                          1. re: Chowrin

                                            Miniscule amounts of water condensation from opening the bag for 10 seconds at a time is not really a concern of mine, considering the excessive dryness here in semi-arid Northern Colorado. I'm usually adding a slight amount of moisture to the beans before grinding anyway, in order to mitigate problematic static issues caused by grinding in 25% & less RH. This problem occurs both in my drip grinder (Solis 166) & my espresso grinder (QuickMill 031).

                                            Have you found that this amount of moisture noticeably affects the flavor of your coffee in some way? To my tastebuds, I get noticeable variances from type of water used, brewing temperature, or a single click in fineness/coarseness on the grinder, but not from cold condensation.

                                            1. re: Eiron

                                              I roast fresh, so i've had no reason to know, really.
                                              are you using a burr grinder and having problems with static?

                                              May I suggest a swamp cooler or humidifier? It's better for your health...

                                      3. re: HillJ

                                        I'm unlikely to convince them to make it just a roaster rather than a roast-grind-brew device, so I'm reluctant to pay $400 to beta test what I think will be a bad product. The Behmor is already on the market for less than that.