Sorry folks but the Gene Cafe is out of stock. Next shipment is late but on the way!
03/23/23 – Update from Gene Cafe, the boat is slow and is now anticipated to hit the coast mid-April. Which would put them in our warehouse by the end of April.
Raters consider the Gene Café Roaster the most powerful home coffee roaster available, and so do we. Both very flexible and remarkably consistent, the Gene Café is capable of roasting very small sample batches, and up to a half pound. Like every home roaster, it takes a little trial and error to figure out the needs of each unique coffee – but once you have found your perfect roast profile, it is remarkably consistent and roasts beans more evenly than any other model. Unlike other home roasters, it is powerful enough to roast numerous batches each day, without lengthy cooling periods (some cooling time is still necessary).
A unique hybrid between fluid bed (air) and drum roasters, it has a patented “Vortex Mixing” method that ensures the most evenly roasted beans. An innovative cooling system brings the temperature of the machine down rapidly, allowing users to roast many batches in a day. Combined with easy operation, this makes it an excellent choice for the home coffee roaster who likes to frequently gift or sell fresh-roasted coffee to friends and neighbors.
Many master roasters also appreciate the effective and easily-cleaned chaff capturing device, and the option to connect a 3” metal dryer hose to vent out a window.
Please Note: Gene Cafe has added a NEW safety feature to this model. It will beep at you a couple of times during the roast and you must press the Blue Button (on/off) to indicate that you are still watching the machine, otherwise it will automatically enter cool mode. There is no way to over-ride this safety feature; it is very important to avoid fire hazards.
Capacity: 2-8 Ounce
Heat Settings: Set specific temperature
Fan Settings: None – Drum Roaster
Roast Times: 15-22 minutes (excluding cool)
Venting: Required – option to attach 3″ metal dryer hose for venting outside
Ease of use: Easy
Batch Roasting: Yes
- Specially-designed Roasting Chamber combines the best aspects of fluid bed and drum roasters
- Indirect heating system and patented Vortex Mixing method for even roasting, no scorching
- Large capacity chamber allows batches as large as 8 ounces and as small as 1.8 ounces
- Removable Roasting Chamber for easy filling, emptying, and convenient cleaning.
- Precise temperature control and timer for fine-tuning each roast
- Quick cooling system allows for multiple batches
- Efficient collection of coffee bean chaff
- Noise reducing design for quiet operation (65 db)
- Temperature overheat safety switch
- One year warranty
Basic Use Instructions
- Start by pressing the release switch to remove the Roasting Chamber. It may be placed into the provided stand so that it stays upright and is easier to fill.
- Pour approx 2-8 ounces of coffee into the chamber, or just fill to the line on the chamber. For high chaff dry processed (natural) coffees, be sure that you do not overfill above the line.
- Plug into a standard polarized 120-volt outlet, but be sure that it is on a circuit unused by other appliances, as it is a very high draw device.
- For most coffees, we recommend setting the temperature control to 440-470F and the timer to 15-22 minutes. Because every coffee is different, some trial and error will be necessary to find the perfect settings, but we have found that these generally tend to work well.
- Hit the Start/Stop button, then watch closely as the roast develops. Like all of our home roasting equipment, the last few minutes of the roast progress very quickly. It is very important to watch carefully, then press the Start/Stop button when the beans reach your desired roast level.
- After the cool cycle is completed, remove the chaff collector on the left side, unscrew the circular cap, lower back, and dump all chaff out. If you see chaff getting stuck between the screens, use a screwdriver to disassemble the collector and remove chaff build-up it before it begins to block exhaust flow.
- You may roast multiple batches each day. However, allowing the machine to cool down for about 40 minutes between batches is recommended.
OPTIONAL: You may attach a 3” metal dryer hose to the exhaust opening and vent it out a window.
PLEASE NOTE: The Gene Café demands close attention, as the roast will progress slowly at first but then very rapidly toward the end.
One year manufacturer’s warranty. Contact the official USA distributor Speedwell Coffee at 1-508-503-1699, email at [email protected], or visit their website http://www.genecafeusa.com. Also, be sure to let us know – we are happy to help!
Guides to Using the Gene Cafe Roaster
- Instructions on coffee roasting with the Gene Café Home Coffee Roaster
- Download Product Manual
- General guidelines and tips for home coffee roasting
Check out our home roasting resources for more tips and tricks!
Reid H –
I have been roasting since high school, 40+ years and have owned this roaster for aproximately ten years. Other than replacing the heating element once a year or so ago, it’s been a real treat to own. My preference is old school, roast by sound and color. With the Gene this is easier than with other products I have used, and the finished product is consistant and excellent. Well, old Bessie is getting on in years, a tad worn and run down, so today I’m replacing her with another Gene Cafe from Burman. At about $60 per year for service this product is a great value.
Coffee Go-Joe –
This is the best home roaster value available. I have used this for ten years. It requires minimal effort and time on my part. After considering the coffee and ambient temperature I can set it and forget it. It is very consistent. The amount I save on coffee paid for my toaster in the first year. I have only had to replace my heating unit once in ten years. It was a fairly easy process. When this dies, I’ll buy another for sure.
Burman is also the best place to buy. Jeff and John have been so helpful over the years. I never buy coffee anywhere else.
A Java Lover –
I have been home roasting coffee for 15 years. Purchased my Gene Café from Burman in 2009. I keep a journal of every roast, and can confirm this roaster’s consistency and quality after 125 roasts. Other than cleaning after every roasting session, no maintenance yet required, although it is good to know when the time comes, replacing the heating unit is an option. Agree that when old faithful fails, another Gene Café will likely replace it.
KMK in Evergreen Park –
Just a note to say that my Gene Cafe continues to roast my coffee perfectly year after year! A few months ago , having just finished my usual four or five batches at a time, I wondered how long, exactly my Gene Cafe had been working for me. I was astonished to discover I’d purchased it from Burman Coffee Traders in April 2006. I’d been roasting coffee for at least ten years before I discovered Burman and the Gene Cafe. I now frequently tell myself that surely soon it will quit working (wear out) if for no other reasons than from old age (just like me). But batch after batch it does its thing!
On the 3rd batch I had it nailed. Perfect coffee at any profile with just a little learning curve on roasting time. Be sure to include the cool down as roasting time. Beans are blasted with hot air as machine attempts to cool. Highly recommended.
I purchased one of these back in 2008. It was my first coffee roaster. I did so because I had gotten used to ‘great’ roasted coffee from Café Umbria out of Seattle, but I could no longer afford to pay for that quality. In my experience, there are no great deals on great roasted coffee anywhere, period, end of story. Expect to pay over a buck an ounce plus shipping for the ‘good’ stuff. After doing the math, I decided that buying a decent home coffee roaster might be the answer. Yes, I did take a financial hit when I first purchased it, but after about a year, it paid for itself and I’ve been off and running and saving money on great coffee ever since. After about 5 years of roasting about once a week, I did have to replace the heater element and one sensor. That cost me a few bucks…close to 100 bucks maybe…but still well worth it. I was able to do the work myself, hence saving on shipping and labor. That said, let me just say that thus far, the manufacturer has proven to be stellar! They sell just about every part that makes up this roaster, and as long as they do so, you will always be able to repair it for a reasonable amount of money. Imo, this roaster was designed very, very well, from the start. You can’t say that about many things. I continue to buy great coffee that costs me anywhere between about 4-7 bucks a pound and roast it myself. There is no looking back to me.
Jeff Gregory –
I’ve owned the Gene Cafe for over 2 years roasting a variety of coffees. At times I was able to get a good profile but more times than not, the coffee came out baked and flat rather than roasted. My complaint is that this roaster does not increase temps quickly enough so the batch gets partially baked. I loved its operation but not it’s power. Ended up selling.
Jon Burman (verified owner) –
The Gene is a nice machine but you are correct in the fact it takes a little longer to roast. The full batch size will take 15-20 minutes which depending on what one likes, can mute up some acidity and crispness in the coffee comparatively to shorter roasts. One can always pre-heat the machine and/or roast under the max batch size to decrease roast time.
Charles Wagner –
I have over the years 6-8 machines and had very little trouble with them. I’ve have been out of the roasting business for several years and just getting back in to it and looking forward to getting a new one soon.
nickcoffee (verified owner) –
After using 3 cheaper roasters that just stopped working after a couple years of use, I decided to give this machine a try. I’m very satisfied, the beans roast much more even than I was used to with the other machines. I also like knowing I can get replacement parts later when I need them instead of buying a whole new machine.This machine also roast larger batches than I was used to with the old machines. Just could not be more satisfied with this purchase. I’m also very satisfied with purchasing from Burman, just keep returning every time I need more coffee.
Dan Osle –
This is a awesome machine. I bought this machine from Burmans at over 15 years years ago and while its a big ticket item (it was $495 when I bought it) and I have replaced the heating element twice and I just replaced the fan, it is worth every cent I have spent. As I said, I have been roasting with it for over 15 years and it has always given me consistent and even roasting of the beans, no burning. I love the coffee that she roasts. and being able to replace parts and keep this investment running, priceless!
I’ve been using cheap roasters for quite a few years and figured out I’ve finally earned the right to purchase something decent. Fortunately I came across Jon Burman and following a couple of back-and-forth emails I placed my order for the GeneCafe and couldn’t be happier for that decision. I had a couple of roasting errors and Jon came back straight away with some suggestions that were spot on to guide me with the use of time/temp answers to my issues. Mia Culpa…I have nothing but praise for these guys and cannot recommend them enough for their prices, products, and super friendly customer service. They’re the BEST!
Dennis Jones (verified owner) –
Loving my new Gene Cafe Roaster purchased from Burman. Not exactly new to roasting, however, this new roaster is a BREEZE compared to the fluid bed roaster I have been using. No longer do I have to worry about the fan being strong enough to keep my beans up and rotating. The Chaff collecting system is much better also making my roast much cleaner with really no chaff mixed inwith the roast. Can not say enough about this roaster, it is worth every penny paid. Also, made a little video of my last roast. Its located at https://youtu.be/IO_ARTKkcnM
Adrian Kocurek –
I bought my roaster at the end of 2007, used it for about 1.5 years then put it in storage. After I retired in 2015, I started roasting again and haven’t bought pre-roasted beans since. I now roast 1/2 pound every week and have done just over 300 roasts. I’ve had to replace the heater assembly, the #1 temp sensor and the main PCB board (due to the new sensor). I use a 3″ flexible metallic dryer vent connected between an exhaust fan and the chaff collector which keeps the smoke out of my apartment while roasting. If something were to happen to my Gene Café and I could not fix it, I’d be buying a new one. I just wish it were a little quieter (or I didn’t have any hearing loss!)
Bruce (verified owner) –
Wow, just got my Gene last week and I’m up to 3 roasts of varying single origin green beans. All I can say is wow. The hype is true. Best roaster I own. It’s the best of both worlds. Fluid bed and drum. It has the brightness of the fluid and the body of the drum. Highly recommended!
Bill Wilson –
I’ve owned my Gene Cafe for about three years. I agree with Jeff Gregory’s earlier review. ” At times I was able to get a good profile but more times than not, the coffee came out baked and flat rather than roasted. My complaint is that this roaster does not increase temps quickly enough so the batch gets partially baked. I loved its operation but not it’s power.” My Behmoor was my fave but chaff is a real issue.
Carter Foulke –
Have you tried preheating the roaster? If done correctly, it can chop off about 3-5 minutes of the roast time. Otherwise roasting a little smaller batch will produce much quicker results.
I graduated from popcorn roasters to this unit over 15 years ago. I roast for myself and other family members….often 4-5 half pound batches in a row – contrary to company’s recommendation. We live in lower Michigan and I have roasted during cold Winter days, either in my basement connected to a 3 in vent to outside or on our enclosed back porch in temperatures well below freezing, without any difficulties. To date I have replaced the heating element twice and this last Summer did a “rebuild” due to the drum becoming overly noisy. This included 3 internal parts. The company makes these repair parts readily available online with videos showing diagnostics and each step for disassembly/reassembly. I have roasted hundreds of pounds of coffee and finally learned to set a timer to remind me to come check progress and make adjustments to avoid over roasting my beans. I don’t think you can get a better roaster for home use.
Michael (verified owner) –
I purchased a Gene Café three years ago and have used it a number of times to roast coffee which works great. Recently I started making chocolate (bean-to-bar) and against Jon’s advice I tried using the Gene Café. Because cacao roasts so much cooler than coffee “beans” and because the seeds don’t expand, I can easily roast 500g at once. I have now roasted probably 25 pounds of cacao, and it has come out great. The Gene Café has never had a problem, still looks like new, and has performed remarkably for both coffee and cacao. Also, Jon has provided great service and advice (even if I don’t always follow it).