The Behmor Electric Drum Coffee Roaster

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10/12/10: We created a video that shows a good overview of the roaster:

There's finally a home coffee roaster that can truly do a full pound of coffee! That's the most remarkable feature of the new Behmor home coffee roaster. It makes perfect sense for those who want to roast their own coffee once a week, or those who roast coffee for the office, for family, or for gift-giving. It has pre-programmed roast times, heat curves, and an automatic cooling cycle. Best of all, it brings the drum-style coffee roaster down to a more affordable level; at $299 it is nearly half the cost of all other drum coffee roasters on the market.

The Behmor roaster has a strong feature set, but it's not without its quirks. We have composed a thorough review of the machine, with data compiled from months of testing the pre-production model of the roaster. We encourage you to read our review, scan for relevant parts, or at the minimum read our summary comments. Perhaps it seems odd, but we are rather critical of our products, since the goal is to match the right machine to the right person. We do have a .pdf version of the tip sheet we send with the roaster here. And Joe Behm just issued two new pdf sheets with instructions on using the new chaff tray, a Quick Start Guide and Guide to Using the New Chaff Tray.

Interested in what Behmor users are saying about this machine? Check out the Sweet Maria's Coffee Home Roasting Forum for more conversation about this home roasting and other home roasting topics.


The Behmor 1600 features automatic roast curves, pre-programmed roast times (with the ability to override), a smoke-reduction feature, and an automatic cooling cycle.

 

Summary of Features:

  • The Behmor can roast 1/4, 1/2 or full 1 Lb. batches.
  • As a 110 volt electric roaster, it uses efficient quartz halogen heating elements.
  • The roaster has a smoke-reduction feature, a secondary ceramic heating element that treats effluence from the drum. The roaster isn't totally smokeless (the bigger the batch, or the darker the roast, the more smoke), but this feature greatly reduces the smoke output.
  • The machine is exceptionally quiet (60db or less at 1 foot) compared to air roasters, making it easy to hear the "first crack" and "second crack", letting the operator know how dark the coffee is roasted.
  • We are impressed by the consistency of the Behmor; in our tests the cup quality compares favorably to our commercial Probat drum roaster. And the Behmor is no bigger than a toaster oven!
  • The roast is visible through the glass window, and the interior has a light bulb to illuminate the roast chamber.
  • A bright display shows you the roast settings, a countdown clock, and a cooling cycle clock.
  • For each batch size (1/4, 1/2 or 1 Lb.), you can quickly select a pre-programmed roast time (A, B, C, or D on the touch-control panel), and a roast heat curve program (designated P-1 through P-5). By combining these, you can produce a wide range of roast styles, from a light City roast, medium Full City roast, or Vienna roast.
  • You can add or subtract time from the roast cycle at any time using the + and - key on the touch pad. You can also choose to end the roast by hitting the Cool button at any time.
  • The machine has an automatic cool cycle of 8-12 minutes, depending on the batch size.
  • It features an automatic error code system that shows in the digital display.
  • We feel the machine is well made, with a metal chassis, stainless steel front panels, and top-quality motor and fan components. It weighs a hefty 20 Lbs.
  • It is backed up with a limited year warranty. The roaster has been rated at 900 1 Lb. roast cycles, but will certainly do many more when properly used.
  • A couple of important limitations: Out of the box, this machine is not for dark roasts. Now ships with the smaller grid drum and a redesigned chaff tray.
We have compiled a 5 page review to help you find out more about the Behmor roaster:
Sweet Maria's Behmor Roaster Guide - v 1.1
1. Features, Purchase 2. Using the Behmor 3. Roast Quality, Roast Curves 4. Maintenance, Longevity 5. Summary
 
Roaster dimensions (inches) 17.5Lx10.5Hx12.5D Cubic inches approx. 1850/218 sq. in foot print Link for online warranty registration: http://www.behmor.com/behmor_register.html

Here are a few PDF documents written by Behmor that might interest you: Safety Safeguards, Warranty, and the latest Manual.

 

Here are a lot more detailed photos showing different parts of the roaster: