Caffé Rosto Home Coffee Roaster-Discontinued

Caffé Rosto by Imex, Roaster is now Discontinued

The Caffé Rosto Home Coffee Roaster, a straight-forward, well-built machine that works on a wide range of roasts. It features a slower-roast design that recirculates part of the hot air stream back into the roast chamber. This allows the Caffé Rosto to roast a larger batch than a Freshroast in a longer roast time … the resulting cup profile having improved body. This profile received the praise of George Howell, founder of the seminal Coffee Connection in Boston and owner of Copacafe restaurant. The manufacturer is IMEX

Before we describe all the nice details of the roaster, be aware that this machine is highly influenced by the voltage of the circuit you plug it into. Yes, we are all supposed to have 110/120 v, but in reality, when you measure actual voltage in your house it can be quite different. This machine really likes 120 volts or more, and not too much “voltage drop,” meaning that once you turn it on the voltage doesn’t go down to something like 108. Think of it as a big hairdryer. If you have a newer house or good updated electrical you should be safe. As with all electric roasters, do not use extension cords or power strips … these usually drop the voltage. If you do have voltage problems, roasting dark with a Rosto may involve getting a Variac, which is a big expense.

The roaster is similar in its controls and operation Hearthware Gourmet model but the quality of the parts and chasis are very high. The roaster features a straight-forward mechanical timer, a constant hot air roast cycle with an automatic cooling cycle. An advantage is that it also has an override on-off switch, which I find very useful…

The roast is easily viewed from the top through tempered glass (yes, real glass, not polycarbonate plastic). The roast chamber itself is stainless steel. The coffee rotates in a circular motion around a central hub, propelled by hot air. Unlike the Hearthware models the coffee is not roasted exclusively by a rapid hot air stream that throws the coffee in the air, but also by conduction with the hot metal surfaces.

We have tested the latest Caffé Rosto extensively and it can roast at least 4.8 ounces (136 grams) of green coffee per batch. Bean size and mass will affect the amount you can roast. It also affects the degree of roast – less coffee actually roasts lighter since more hot air blows by the green coffee and out of the roaster. So whatever you do, once you are getting the roast you like, keep the batch size consistent

We like the development of the body and the roast flavors of the darker roasts from this machine, but find that the latest model (which features are more powerful motor and updated heating coil) do a great job with the full range of roasts.

Remember, the roaster’s surfaces are quite hot during the roast cycle -do not touch! You might need to let the roaster cool completely before inverting it to pour out the roasted beans… or use hot mitts. The roaster does get hot while working so please be careful!

The Rosto is simple and straightforward but is fairly sensitive to the amount of voltage it gets, and to the batch size. If a Rosto is not getting dark enough, to your degree of roast preference, you actually need to add a little more coffee to the batch. This traps more hot air around the coffee. You also need to keep the recirculating vent clean; a brush to remove chaff between roasts is provided. If household voltage is low (we test our Rostos between 120-122 volts) then it will roast lighter. A Variac can solve this problem.

The heat cycle is thermostatically controlled for consistent roasting independent of environmental variables. It has a patented airflow design that recycles the hot air through the roast chamber. The roaster comes with a nice stainless steel measuring cup, but it is a bit large. It is a 1 cup measure, and the batch capacity of this machine is between 4.8 oz by weight (136 grams), or around 3/4 cup green coffee (which expands around 50% in the roast process).

The roast time will vary depending on the voltage of the circuit you use. The latest model features an updated, beefier motor and heating element. Roast times are about 9 minutes to a Full City roast. The Rosto does a great job cooling the coffee, with an ample automatic 5 minute cool cycle after each roast cycle. If you have low voltage, you may want to run the Caffe Rosto off of a Variac – a voltage controller. The Variac also can be used to “profile” the roast – an advanced roasting technique to apply more or less heat at key times to influence the roast results.

Because it does not have a removable roast chamber, you invert the entire roaster to dump the roasted coffee out … but you have to remove the chaff screen before you do this or you will mix the chaff in with the roasted coffee. Also, there is chaff that collects under the chaff screen in the secondary chamber. You are going to want to remove this chaff after every 2-3 roasts, and a shop vac would be the best way to do that.

For More Caffe Rosto Information, and adjustments, tips and tricks, see our Caffe Rosto Tip Sheet -updated 12.4.03

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