Toper Cafemino 1kg-how good?

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
Paolo

#1: Post by Paolo »

I am thinking of upgrading my Hottop to a Toper Cafemino, which roasts 1kg of green beans at a time.

I have been happy with the Hottop (digital) but would like a roaster that does bigger roasts.

Does anyone own/have direct experience with one of these roasters?

I would like to know how well they roast, reliability/durability issues etc.

I am just starting searches now....if anyone can assist, I would be really thankful.

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Randy G.

#2: Post by Randy G. »

Paolo wrote:I am thinking of upgrading my Hottop to a Toper Cafemino, which roasts 1kg of green beans at a time.
I suppose it depends on the cost. It sounds like at its full capacity it may be a bit slow: "Roasting Time : 15 Minutes to 20Minutes. 15 Minutes for Brown roast. 20 Minutes for Dark roast."

I suppose it depends on the price and your situation, but I would look into a gas fired roaster instead of electric. I do not know what is available to you. I would also look into the bearings and other parts that are subject to wear to be sure that they are standard bearings available to you in Australia.
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boar_d_laze

#3: Post by boar_d_laze »

Paolo,

How goes the search? Everyday I wait for another reply to your post, but none ever comes. Looks like the H-B community, or at least that part of it contributing actively, lacks the personal experience to give you the sort of reply you asked for. I thought I'd let you know you're not alone and ignored. Back in the day, I did some primitive roasting, stovetop and with a an air popper. I'm thinking about getting back in the game with something more sophisticated. However, "me too." That is, no personal epxerience with the Toper -- or anything like it, for that matter. Your more recent experience with the Hottop, including your sense of having outgrown it, argue you're far more knowledgable than I.

Nevertheless, I take hoof in mouth and say I like the looks of the Cafemino. It has a lot of the appeal that Ken Fox called "toy train" in a different thread. Me, I don't see anything wrong with that. As long as you can afford it and your wife's happy ... what the hell?

I can also tell you what I've read on other fora. The Toper is well built, although fit and finish might be a little rough compared to more expensive European and American roasters. It's almost a full meter deep, so it's not going to fit on anything like a standard kitchen counter (24"). I also hear that it runs best with full or nearly full loads. That would seem to mean that unless you plan on roasting a minimum of 4 kg/week, and don't plan on roasting 250 gram loads of blend components separately, you're probably better off with a smaller roaster. Say, a 1 lb sample roaster like the US Roaster (gas, US), San Franciscan (gas, US), Coffee-Tech Maggiolino (electric, Israel), Diedrich (electric, US), DiScaf (electric, Spain), or Roure (electric, Spain). All of these are supposedly good roasters and all of them supposedly do partial loads, down to 100 gm or so, well. To my mind, the US Roaster and San Franciscan are by far the coolest looking, really maxxing that "perfect scale model" thing with plenty of industrial chic to boot. Even more than the Toper. The Maggiolino is reasonably priced and energy efficient.

The more rational alternative might be adding other small appliance roasters, for instance a pair of Hottops and/or a Gene. Or, even waiting for the Behmor 1600, which is supposed to appear this fall. (See the bankruptcy thread under this heading.) These alternatives are far less expensive and more conducive to roasting small lots of different beans. Considering that none of these take long to heat up, an additional roaster or two of this sort will give you some back to back capacity.

On the other hand, if you provide coffee for more than ten people, a 1 kg roaster might be just the ticket

Rich

Paolo (original poster)

#4: Post by Paolo (original poster) »

Hi Rich, Thanks for your input. I have done hours of research and asked many questions of the people who own and sell this machine. I want to make the right decision.

The consensus is that it is a solidly built roaster that has had some teething troubles when delivered to 240 volt countries, due to incorrectly supplied heating elements. When the correct elements are fitted, the roaster produces 15-17 minute, even roasts and is capable of doing them back-to-back...roast after roast...after roast. I have located two owners and each Cafemino was supplied with the wrong elements.

I went to see a demo of one last week. It took over 25 minutes to roast a kg of beans....and seemed to struggle to get there. Perhaps this roaster has also been incorrectly fitted.

I let the beans that the Toper roasted degas and sampled them yesterday. They taste really good. The demo also included a 2kg gas Has Garanti machine. Beans from both machines are great.



Overall, I find that the Cafemino is a beautiful, functional, extremely heavy duty machine. It is really quiet and has no frills. In spite of its simple design, even a week later, I am thinking....What an impressive looking machine it is!

I have almost committed to buying one...but I am considering the gas version.

To add to my confusion:-
I spoke to a veteran professional roaster today. He has briefly used the electric Cafemino and he thought that due perhaps to the heating elements being located inside the drum (and taking up some of the roasting space) that the electric Cafemino drum has been fitted with shallower tynes to turn the beans. He also thought that the rotation of the drum could be quicker than it is. His overall opinion was that the beans didn't move around quickly enough. He hasn't seen a gas model and wondered if both of these points were the same in the gas version.

To find out about these two things is my next quest...

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NeilA

#5: Post by NeilA »

So Paolo, how did you go in your decision making?

I've just taken delivery of a 2Kg HG gas roaster. I'm just seasoning the drum with a few batches of rubbish beans...

If anyone else has this size (or similar) Has Garanti, can you confirm something?
If you stand facing the 'front' of the drum (ie: where the window and sampling spoon are), which direction does you drum turn - clockwise or anti-clockwise.
I'm suspicious that the drum motor is wired for the wrong direction (based on the way the beans behave when they are in the drum), but want to confirm the problem before tackling the seller.

Cheers
Neil A.
Blue Mountains, NSW, Oz

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Kaffee Bitte

#6: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

I use a propane BBQ grill that I modified for coffee roasting that is capable of roasting up to ten pounds of beans. My roasts routinely take at least 23 minutes to complete at full city+ with 10 pounds. Even with a 5 pound load the times are close to this. Is the coffee good? Yes. Should you worry that the times are different? No. Most commercial roasters that I have spoken to consider anything under 20 minutes to have been to fast in one of the commercial sized roasters. One thing you have to factor in when thinking about time is that a large load of beans needs time just to get to temperature, especially in drum roasters. Air roasters distribute the heat evenly all through the bean mass, while a drum roaster uses the drum itself to transfer heat to the beans. Air roasters will always finish faster than a drum. I would be worried if the roast was taking 30 minutes or more. From what I have seen it is a rare commercial drum that would be faster than the 25 minute mark.
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110
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Randy G.

#7: Post by Randy G. »

Kaffee Bitte wrote:From what I have seen it is a rare commercial drum that would be faster than the 25 minute mark.
The best cup of coffee I ever had was from a freshly roasted batch of Colombian that took about 9.5 to 10 minutes in a Probat (cooling tray directly to the grinder, and right into the Bunn brewer). IMO, if a roast is taking over 20 minutes, then either there is a problem with the roaster, or the roaster is over-loaded. iirc, the original Hottop took about 22 minutes to roast, and it was my main complaint about it. The Hottop folks talked to a number of SCAA roasters at the Seattle SCAA show who said the same thing. It was one of the factors that motivated them to re-program and later redesign the control of the roaster to enable shorter roast times. Twenty-five minutes is a heck of a long time to roast coffee. If your statement is accurate, then it is probably why my espresso tastes so much better then what I can get outside the house.
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Kaffee Bitte

#8: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

Well it looks like I'll have to do some more modifications to my grill. I have been enjoying the coffee that I have roasted and haven't had any complaints from others. Then again I live in a small town with very few shops that roast, and certainly no artisan roasters like the big cities. I had been thinking about adding some insulation anyway, what with winter coming. I would be satisfied to get the high load times down to fifteen minutes. I will say that most of the roasts that have been taking longer than twenty minutes have been since the ambient temperature dropped below fifty degrees. During the summer most of my times (even on ten pound loads) were running nearer to seventeen.
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110
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buffard queynte

#9: Post by buffard queynte »

Hi all

I recently took delivery of a Toper Cafemino 1KG electric roaster. I live in London, and ordered it directly from Toper in Turkey.

The roaster was delivered at the end of January 2008, and is one of the new models released by Toper that month.

Its the same as the old cafemino, except all the bugs have been removed - especially those that relate to voltages in the UK. There are a small number of minor updates, including a couple of small changes to the control panel, but essentially its the same kit.

It didnt come with an instruction manual, but I didnt expect one, and its pretty easy to figure out.

First roasts I had problems getting the Cafemino up to temperature, and it took over 20 minutes to roast, then I discovered a small vent lever on the top exhaust bar that wasnt in pictures of the original cafemino. This is used to quickly reduce temperature in the roasting drum by allowing hot air to be sucked out by the powered venting system, and (you've guessed it) it comes delivered with the vent open. I shut the vent so the drum could keep all of its heat and WOW, it was up to temperature in 15 minutes, and I roasted up some santos peaberry in 13 minutes at 210 degrees - Dark roast/second crack.

The Cafemino takes a little getting used to. You have several vents, levers, buttons that all need to be operated correctly at the right time, but you soon get the hang of it.

Mine's wired into a standard household 13amp plug, and Ive had absolutely no problems with the electrics.

The machine is fantastically solid and well built, using industrial-strength components.

One thing that surprised me at first, was how noisy it was. The motor that turns the drum sounds like a chainsaw on idle. Ive check it out and its completely normal. I was worried about hearing the coffee crack - (I was used to sticking my ear next to the glass on my Gene-Cafe and straining). However, all coffees roasted in this kit produce a symphony of popping that is audible for several feet from the roaster.
Im used to the noise of the drum motor now, its not that bad actually - but I wouldnt recommend it in a cafe, where people expect total peace.

The coffee from this is SPECTACULAR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My favourite roast at the moment is Old Brown Java + Djimma for a 'Java-Mocha' espresso blend. The flavours are breath-taking and better than anything tasted so far.

Unfortunately at the moment, a heavy work schedule has limited the time I can spend on the Toper, as Im often not home etc. A friend of mine recommended getting coffee from either http://www.hasbean.co.uk or http://www.blendandroast.co.uk. The same coffees from both were good, but the blendandroast guys definitely do a better roasted coffee - Just in case you're interested.

Buffard. :D

HasBean

#10: Post by HasBean »

Hi Buffard.

How did you decide one set of coffees was better than another from the two companies (of which I'm one) and on what coffees. thats a very broad statement you make there.

What methodology did you use to come to your conclusions as I dont see too many coffee that were the same to compare.

Steve