[Homeroast] Hot Rod Home Coffee Roasters: The Spirit of Invention, revisited And the elusive 1lber

Greg Hammond greg.hammond at mac.com
Sun Jul 17 13:26:25 CDT 2011


Maybe we are really on the same page. I didn't see what you wrote as a rant, so much as just one side of what may be the same coin.

We still need your—and a whole bunch of others'—Dreamroaster efforts, but we desperately need some trickle down of mid-tech into the mass market. 

Sheesh, we need better everything. Technology and espresso have changed a bunch in just the last 10 years. Cannot wait for more. And as long as the the end consumer and what we might call the prosumer market keep growing, we'll keep getting more and better tools and products. I think we are seeing that big time in the grinder market over the past couple of years.

By sheer coincidence, today, I tried some shots in the local Starbucks, Peet's and a small organic cafe in the little village where I live. This is a local community with plenty of high-end market demand. But I didn't taste a single thing that could come close to what I routinely roast, grind and brew at home. It's the coffee equivalent of home-theater-in-a-box. Correspondingly, the local 7-11 carries a better selection of craft beer. 

On Jul 17, 2011, at 11:13, Edward Bourgeois <edbourgeois at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thanks Greg,
> I admit I struggled a bit to not sound like an old fart rant. But do
> think that Hot rods and the ideas that create them can then be
> hopefully stolen (in a good way) and lead to future better off the
> shelf models.
> 
> On Sun, Jul 17, 2011 at 1:53 PM, Greg Hammond <greg.hammond at mac.com> wrote:
>> Ah, yes, where's the purity? Ed is right on one level (there is never enough "can do" to go around), but I tend to see the overall issue differently.  This sounds so much like the audio industry--"whatever happened to people willing to study and build their own tube amps?"—or cars (whatever happened to people who could change their own oil or actually work on their engine?).  I even read an editorial bewailing the loss of special status associate with being a Mac user now that Apple is a CE giant. Oh please.
>> 
>> And the beer brewing hobby? It used to be a joke. Now it is not. And the sophistication of the off-the-shelf offerings is a direct resut of commercialization of early individualized efforts and the explosion of the craft brew industry.
>> 
>> Part of what happened is that successive generations of both the market and the hobbyists have changed. I used to design and build audio equipment. Now I buy it. If I had to rely on people to keep doing what I did, well, there wouldn't be many choices. No market can survive long in pioneer mode alone. It needs to grow. And growth implies more ready-to-use solutions. So, yes, by all means, let's encourage the pioneer inventor/developer, but the reality is that market success is possible only when we eventually get past that as the primary development mechanism.
>> 
>> We need more competitive versions of Quests and Behmors to help pull more novices in, to make it easy to roast. And we need more graduates of Behmors to bring $15k roaster prices down to $4500. We get that only with a bigger market. I enjoy the heck out of my Behmor. With all the workarounds and profile overlaps, and blending, I get some stuff that I just cannot buy anywhere. And all this workaround and the original inventiveness is great for learning.
>> 
>> So, please keep developing, but personally, I want an off the shelf auto roaster that I can plug into a 20-amp circuit, and start using after ordering it 2 days earlier through Amazon prime.
>> 
>> On Jul 17, 2011, at 9:34, Edward Bourgeois <edbourgeois at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> http://www.sweetmarias.com/homemade-homeroasters.php
>>> 
>>> The world of roasters has changed in the mere 6 year since I started.
>>> I contend that how many think about roasters and roasting has changed
>>> also.
>>> When I started there wasn't much for off the shelf roasters compared
>>> to now.  There was a lot of new DIY builds and modifying what did
>>> exist like MiKe's
>>> modified Rosto setup. The conversations were much around how  beans
>>> needed to be treated during roasting, what sort of control was
>>> helpful,  the fundamentals of various approaches, etc.
>>> Now it seems discussions are around P choices, roaster work-arounds
>>> and when is there going to be a cheap 120v true 1lber and with no
>>> needs for work-arounds on the market.
>>> I get numerous requests of either, will you build me a Dreamroast? Or
>>> do you think I could build one? I answer no to the first thanks to a
>>> talking to by my lawyer friend and I just don't know how to answer the
>>> second.
>>> In the past, it seemed that folks would study up on roastering and
>>> bean fundamentals, work up a plan, give it a go and ask for advice as
>>> questions/problems arose. I named my roaster the Dreamroast because it
>>> took me a year+ to come up with a design and sort through piles to
>>> junk to find parts for the build. I'd do my thinking at night and
>>> often wake up in the morning with ideas that I couldn't remember
>>> whether they came to mind while I was still awake or in a dreams. Thus
>>> it's my Dreamroaster.
>>> I'm not saying our "spirit of invention" is gone but I do wonder if it
>>> has changed from the purity of purpose and can do attitude it once
>>> was.
>>> My guess is the elusive off the shelf, highly controllable, 1lber, for
>>> cheap many desire, though possible, will not come to market anytime
>>> soon.  Maybe it's time to rekindle the spirit of DIY invention and
>>> that can do attitude.
>>> 
>>> --
>>> Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
>>> Amherst MA.
>>> http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
>>> 
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>> 
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> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
> Amherst MA.
> http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
> 
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