Well I took the plunge and now have a nice new Sandbox R1 roaster, I also went for the sandbox cooler.
I was going to make a cooler from a seive, a cullender and a PC fan but theirs just looked neat and tidy. The cooler turned out to be a good choice, my first batch had a small, not far off bean coloured, stone in it and I’m not sure I would have spotted it previously, although I do always look. It also de-chafs rather nicely if you rummage through the beans as they cool
First impressions of the roaster are very favourable, the service from Bella was exceptional, a call to check the address was correct and a very prompt delivery.
Not too much smoke, the kitchen extractor fan is easily able to clear it it, and it didn’t bother the smoke detector in the attached lounge or the hallway (the kitchen has thermal) that and a light roasted coffee smell in the house is not the worst thing in the world.
At 150g the batch size is smaller than my Gene, I roasted 230g before but to be honest two or three at 150g is sufficient for me and it is no real inconvenience as I like the process of roasting.
So far I have tried a medium 150g roast from the default profiles (Kenya Peaberry) I could taste a little bit of green bean coming through so I have also tried a medium slow roast late on Thursday, I haven’t tasted it yet.
In both cases the appearance of the beans is very consistent within a batch and between two batches.
I came from a Gene …… whir, rattle, Clack! so this is the first time I have ever heard first crack with any confidence :)
Chaf is nicely collected in the removable tray and there are no burnt bits to affect flavours.
The app (Android version) is okay… the fact that it has one is great however it could definitely be better. It disconnects as soon as the cooling starts and you don’t ever see the final roast profile anywhere, the history never populates (the subscription level shows it should).
The preheat has a stupid small tick box that has to be clicked before the start button can be clicked. Thinking back I’m not sure it it cancelled the alarm beep… I will check next time, if it does then it has a function but is a bit small.
I can’t see myself upgrading the app at any time, my machine has a serial number around 550, so I guess it will be decades before the population increases enough to have a body of users creating and sharing profiles, if they gave a trial it would help. The Website advertises that it is available, but you can’t select it for free without a discount code and I’m not hitting a buy button that shows a $1,000,000 monthly subscription even if it is Thai $ !!!!!
So if anybody would like a working second hand Gene please IM me :) I’m in Scotland but I will send pics and am happy to honestly detail the issues with the unit, I also have a very decent Sandbox shipping box!