behmor roaster update

Thought i would post the comments I made to the homeroast list here too:

10/3: i met with joe a better part of the day and it looks like early part of november is the arrival target for the behmor roaster. things are looking good, with a couple minor tweaks going on to the drum clasp, and lots of appropriate stickers and labels for the chassis. i can appreciate how hard it is to go from prototype to actual production, and how many bumps there are along the road, especially when you have basically developed the roaster out of the garage, as joe has. and by the way, ronco is out of the picture, which makes me more at ease… target price is 299, not 399 as i previously mentioned! – tom

10/5: (in response to list questions) I have pretty high hopes about the quality of these machines, discussing some of the fine points about the components with Joe. I think what makes them so compelling is the batch size and price … especially with all the home roasters who supply friends with roasted coffee. If you let the cooling cycle run it’s course (you can open the door for much faster cooling … recommended) then you can pretty much start up a new batch right away. The disadvantages are mostly going to be on the “user” end, and for the very demanding advanced user. For the prior, it’s drum loading – you must load it right and make SURE it is turning freely after you start the roast. As for the later, the pre-programmed limitations might seem confining, as well as lack of temperature read-out and control. On all levels, coffee visibility is an issue, but in less than 5 minutes you can cut open a small window in the chaff catcher that greatly improves visibility of the coffee. All users will have to get used to the “coasting” effect of the roast … in other words you need to stop the roast earlier than your desired target point to allow for the fact that the roast continues on after the burners actually cut out. While I don’t have any particular concerns with the behmor in this regard, I do recommend people to wait until the actual arrival units can be fully tested – I’ll probably pull out 10 roasters and do a bunch of batches over a day or two, to make sure nothing went wrong in final assembly. Let ME be the guinea pig, not you! BTW: the 299 price will include a sampler! Samplers are always good to get used to a new machine.  Our page for the Behmor 1600 is here, and we will have a lot of data available soon that we have collected. – Tom

Bookmark and Share

13 Responses to “behmor roaster update”


  1. 1 MichaelR

    Can we preorder?

  2. 2 Kevin

    How did you come up with the name Behmor? Thanks.

  3. 3 Thompson

    I did not come up with the name – joe behm did. i think you can figure the name out! thomsponmor – that’s not a great name for a roaster anyway. preordering? you know, it would help sales but that’s really not our concern. (not to say we are so selfless, but lets just say that we are very cautious with new items and it’s in our own self-interest to make sure the units are solid, calibrated, defect-free). in other words, pre-ordering just makes me nervous. i strongly suggest that you let me test them first. after all, it would only delay you receiving one by 2-3 days. trust me, from the stage where a manufacturer makes 10 final pre-production units to the time they produce 1000 or more, a lot can go on. tooling up and training workers to assemble correctly is an ordeal. a while back we received a big shipment of the now-defunct Cafe Rosto that had all been assembled with bad fuses, and another time the vent plate in the roast chamber was wrong, causing overheating. And that’s after they had been making them for 3 years. -tom

  4. 4 Robert Schaefer

    Seeing that we are now at the end of October, I wanted to know if the time frame for the Behmor delivery and testing was still on schedule as planned. I recall other items (most notably the programmable hottop) showing an availability date and a promise to release test results that were far past due). Okay, that sounded like a dig but it really isn’t…I would not dream of buying a serious home roaster from anyone other than you guys. I just don’t want to get all my hopes up on cranking out pound-sized batches for all my loved ones around Thanksgiving time if it ain’t gonna be possible. Consider this antsy quality a good ol’ American inability to delay gratification. :) Long live consumerism! Thanks!

  5. 5 Thompson

    Hi Robert – yes, surprisingly it is! At this point it seems like we could have them here by November 10th, and with a day or two to do some quality testing and calibrating, they would be ready to send out. There will not be a shortage of them, so there’s no need to queue up to make sure you get one. if you want one, it’ll be here. So unless there is some unforeseen disaster, like the ship capsizes right off the coast, or the dockworkers go on a month-long strike, we should be on time with these, and perhaps a bit earlier than the projected Nov. 15 ship date. -Tom

  6. 6 Jon Parquette

    I noticed that the warranty indicates that after one year, the only option for repair is to send the unit back with $189 + $25. This reminds me of the policy Sony has for digital cameras. Any minor issue becomes fatal because the cost of repair is very close to the price of a new unit. Is this a correct interpretation of the warranty? I am hoping not, because I really would like to buy one these units. I think that it will really be a great roaster.

  7. 7 Robert Schaefer

    Terrific news about the Behmor roaster. I trust your product reviews more than just about any other retail site on the planet, so I will postpone my excitement until your product testing and review is complete. Thanks for everything you do!

    Robert

  8. 8 Miss Mea-Mea

    I was so excited about the Behmor until I read the pdf instructions and saw “not meant to roast for espresso”. Is it true that this can’t be used to roast to Vienna? Say it isn’t so! I usually try to stick with a lighter roast, but there are a few I go darker with.

  9. 9 Thompson

    true – it has limitations in doing extremely dark roasts, but as far as i define it, it definitely DOES espresso roasts. In fact, I can go darker with the behmor than we chose to go on the probat roaster (our commercial machine) when we do our roasted blends, ie Liquid Amber, Monkey Blend, etc … So unless you want a heavy, rolling 2nd crack French roast, the behmor is fine. The greater issue is that you have to stop the roast before your target “degree of roast” because (like all drum roasters) it has momentum and continues to roast a bit into the cooling cycle. So it takes some experience to do this …

    Tom

  10. 10 paulmoliken

    My i roast 1 has just aboout given up the ghost; it’s erratically roasting and leaking a lot of chaff. This new Behmor sounds just like what we need. Get them in the store, so you can get one to my door! Especially since they will roast dark as you mention!

  11. 11 Kent

    Tom,
    a story I would like to share with you and Behmor 1600 owners and future owners. I was about 50 lbs into my Christmas roasting when a error message appeared, called the number on owner’s manual and person answering was Joe Behm the owner of Behmor Inc. He worked me through some trouble shooting and was back up and roasting. He wasn’t happy that any of his 1600 would have any issues. (even though we all know stuff happens) Joe folowed up on conversations and sent me a little something for the enconvienice it may have caused. Not only a great roaster but great customer service to go along with it

  12. 12 Thompson

    Thanks Kent – Yep, Joe is pretty amazing and we appreciate the great support he has given customers. In fact, it’s been the same for us. As his largest retailer, we get great support but I imagine he is just as easy-to-reach for his smallest clients too. Believe me, it means a lot to us! By the way, the ERR1 is the most common, and that’s low temperature. Even here in the warehouse in California I got an ERR1 message. I put the roaster by the heater in the office for a bit, took it back out and it started right up. -Tom

  13. 13 Bruce

    Recently received the Behmor 1600 as a thoughtful gift and I am delighted with it. Had used an I-Roast2 for the last two years, quite happily, but there were increasingly frequent times when larger quantities were needed.

    I will share the opinion that the Behmor may not be first choice as the machine to “learn on.” Several reasons occur to me.

    Most important, the I-Roast, as a learning machine, gives so many clues: visual (size, color, texture), aroma, sound, temperature (and, for me, that temperature pause then acceleration that signals first crack beginning, second crack about to begin), … The Behmor, so effective at smoke reduction, does not provide as strong aromatic stimuli, visually I cannot really make out bean color or texture well even with light on, and temperature is not indicated. Being quiet, though, 1st and 2nd crack are quite obvious and, having had several years of experience, that does it for me.

    Other possible reasons to build experience first: longer coast after cooling begins; all the seemingly automated combinations may fool novice into thinking the machine is the roaster-in-charge rather than its operator being the roaster.

    Still, if a person wants to start with the 1600, its a well-designed, solid machine superbly performing at an unbelievable price. Just be prepared, during the learning phase, for a bit higher ratio of error to trial in the unavoidable trial-and-error process we all go through.

    For whatever it may be worth, …

Comments are currently closed.