[Homeroast] Review of Roastmaster iPhone app
coffee at webbing.com
Sun Jul 25 17:39:08 CDT 2010
Roastmaster is an iPhone app from Rainfrog, http://www.rainfroginc.com/
It has a straightforward database to keep track of your beans, suppliers,
roasters, roasts and even blends and cuppings. Additionally, there is a
"live" interface to use while roasting. There is a brief tutorial and
reasonably complete selection of help screens.
Entering the information about my green bean inventory was a bit tedious. I
connected the bluetooth keyboard from my computer to my iPhone and that made
it easier. It would be nice to be able to import that information from the
It identifies the beans by Country, Market, Grade, Estate and Variety. It has
some limitations though. You can only choose wet, dry or
hybrid for processing. Only Decaf or Regular. Only Fair Trade or Regular.
There is also no date associated with the beans.
You can easily add more beans to an bean already in inventory. I rarely buy
the same bean twice so I don't really see using this.
The "live" roasting interface is used during the roast to record the time of
first & second crack and the duration of the roast. It pulls information
from its roast database to estimate the time of first crack, second crack
and end of roast based on prior similar roasts. You can keep track, by name
only, what profile or program you used on your roaster. You touch the start
button a the start of roast, hit the first crack button at first crack and
there's a second crack button if you want to go that far. When you hit the
first crack button, you get an additional count-up timer.
There is no provision for tracking temperatures or anything else about the
roast profile other than it's name.
Things I like:
- No major bugs.
- Attractive interface and all functions work as you would expect them.
- The count-up timer after touching the first crack button is helpful.
Wouldn't it be nice:
- Importing information from the computer.
- Purchase date on the beans to help manage inventory.
- Profile details for manually operated roasters with prompts during the
roast to change temps etc.
There are only two bugs that I've come across and they both have to do with
the weight of the beans in inventory. I entered my bean inventory in pounds,
1 pound, 0.5 pounds or ounces 8 oz, 16 oz etc. It looked right initially, but
later, it changed 8 oz to 7.97 oz and 1 lb is now 15.98 oz. My guess is that
it's storing the numbers in grams and this is a rounding error. I when through
and fixed it once, but it changed again.
The other bug I found while entering information about a roast. I had set up
a number of roasts while testing. When you choose a bean and quantity it takes
the quantity out of inventory. If you change beans, it replaces the previous
quantity and takes it from the new one. But if you then delete that roast it
does not put the beans back. I found this while testing, but I'm not sure that
I'd run into it during normal operation.
I think it's worth the $9.99. It's good enough to replace my piles-of-paper
filing system. It will make it much easier to keep track of roasts and look up
prior roasts etc. A purchase date would be great to help manage inventory and
prompts during roasting for a manual roast profile would be good additions.
Let me know if you have any questions.
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