My husband wants an ugly coffee roaster.

I heart the Nice Wolf.  Really.  Picture source:  No Camels.

I heart the Nice Wolf. Really. Picture source: No Camels.

Dedicated to my Valentine.

I don’t like coffee.  Put half a teaspoon of it in a chocolate cake, and I won’t eat it.  And don’t even think about kissing me if you’ve had a Cafe Latte in the last 60 minutes.  Espresso?  You’ll have to brush your teeth first.

Here is the entirely functional, exceptionally ugly, coffee roaster in question:

Coffee roaster

Hottop Coffee Roaster. Source: Hottop.

Let me start by sorting out the serious coffee drinkers from the “I’d rather have a pretty kitchen” crowd.  Could you, would you?  

My husband singled out this roaster after scouring through forums dedicated entirely to coffee and related paraphernalia.

The retail price for this supreme coffee roaster is (AUD)$1599.  I don’t begrudge the cost.  It’s roughly the equivalent of purchasing a daily Starbucks coffee for one year.  My husband loves his coffee and has made his own ever since I’ve known him.  We’ve had the same trusty coffee machine for 15 years – a great wedding gift from the groom’s best men.   I know the industrial look is on trend, but in a chunky, raw materials, manually-operated kind of way.  Not in a looks-like-it-belongs-in-a-disease-testing-lab kind of way.

Of course I’ve been trawling the web in search of a good-looking alternative.  I’ve found some lovely old-looking machines, the size of  sofas and the price of  cars.  There are very few choices for home roasters.  So I sent The Nice Wolf back to the drawing board and this is what he came up with:

Yup.  A popcorn machine.  Apparently they can roast coffee too.  I wouldn’t say that any of these are worthy of residing on my kitchen bench, but they are light and small and can easily live out of sight.  Possibly roasting coffee beans in them will wear them out, but for as little as $30, I don’t think we’d be too upset.

So that leaves some spare change for stylish new coffee machine.  And it just so happens that I’ve found a couple that fit the bill.

L to R:

  1. The Anza.  Shown here in Corian and teak!  Also available in concrete.
  2. Lavazza in concrete.  Source:  Bit Rebels.
  3. Classic style by Breville.   Various prices.
  4. Ascaso shown in Deep Blue, Polished Aluminium and Deep black.  Retro style from Spain in a choice of 15 colours!  $900.

So coffee lovers, have you got a coffee machine that not only makes coffee just the way you like it but looks fabulous too?  Do tell…   The Nice Wolf is an engineer, and a chemical one at that, so he likes to play with temperatures and air flows and other stuff.  One of those one-touch machines ain’t going to cut it.

And, serious coffee aficionados, (do any of those read my blog?) have you ever roasted your own coffee beans?  How did you do it?  I recently roasted my own cocoa beans in a purpose-made clay pot over a gas flame.  I wish I’d thought to enquire about purchasing a pot.

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33 thoughts on “My husband wants an ugly coffee roaster.

  1. donnaw39 says:

    I love coffee and will always prefer fresh-ground over store-ground. However, I don’t like the sort of burned odor from the roaster at a local coffee shop. It can be smelled for a few blocks around. Maybe it is just over-roasted (I am not a fan of Starbucks for that reason), but I don’t want that odor in my house, I prefer the odor of brewed coffee. I’d check to see if there is strong odor with a home roaster.

    • Good point. My husband is currently relegated to an outdoor bench on our balcony for his coffee making. Mainly so the noise of coffee grinding at 6 a.m. doesn’t wake the rest of us up! Perhaps I should have put a power point outside near the kitchen for our new house.

      • Lydia says:

        If you don’t even like the smell of coffee then it should probably be relegated to the garage or garden shed.
        Also, it looks pretty large. How much does it roast at one time? Could it live in a cupboard/butlers pantry when not in use?
        The Anza is gorgeous. Love the teak handle.

      • I’ll have to double check Lydia, but I think the idea is to roast daily – or at least on a frequent basis. If the popcorn maker does not meet standards, then one of those roasters may well end up in a cupboard. I love the Anza best too. No price on the website though which is never a good start.

    • I love the look of the Ascaso machines. The few reviews I read weren’t great. How do you find it? BTW, I will wait forever to see photos of your new place….

      • Sadly have to agree – looks over substance but it is lovely and I suspect it will always be a classic (if still very expensive)! I am heading up this weekend and have promised myself to try and do a ‘final’ post showing the before and after! It’s funny seeing how quickly house by the water is coming up compared to ours! Saying that we are so happy (and relieved) it’s finally over :-S

  2. I’ll play. I’ve been roasting green beans for 10 years. Popcorn maker works really well, but if you want to get serious, aesthetics will need to go out the window. In terms of best, the Behmor is probably the ugliest and the very best tool. In terms of machines, you cannot go past the chrome plated Italian machines – Vibiemme, or Giotto rocket. Chrome goodness. At $2700 or so, they’ll hurt the bank but they look great and make coffee that tastes like nectar.

  3. Matt says:

    Hmm, well Aunty Annie, if you don’t like the smell of coffee I’m not sure a roaster is really what you want? Maybe build a shed in the garden for it?

    Re the coffee maker I suggest the Breville only so I feel at home when we visit 🙂

  4. Sarah says:

    Appliance cupboard in the butler’s pantry so you can hide what ever coffee making contraptions Igor feels the need to acquire (ugly or otherwise)?

  5. This was our topic of discussion as we made our super delicious coffees this morning…campos dark city beans freshly ground on breville grinder and made with breville espresso machine (will find out model numbers for you)…we both agreed (rare!!!!) that the roaster would be better off in the shed given the smell is super strong even to coffee lovers and would fill your house. You’d hate it. Coffee machine and grinder on bench is perfectly acceptable. Go for function over aesthetics when it come to coffee. Xxx

  6. Apparently a heat gun can roast beans too! If your husband is the tinkering type, it could be worth playing around with. Outdoors. Either way I’d try out one of the light-duty options before committing to a large roaster.

    I have that Breville machine, but with a separate grinder. Jamie and I use it most mornings, and it’s worked great for us.

    • I saw some very creative contraptions while researching this post, including bread machines set up with fans. I’ll leave the engineer with it. Bench space rental must be approved by me!

  7. trixee says:

    Joh, your husband should talk to my husband! This is why we have a dedicated coffee station included in our build 😉

    We have a coffee roaster, I bought it for Mr T. as a birthday present: http://www.coffeeparts.com.au/machines/info/genecafe

    You should only ever roast coffee outdoors as it does generate a lot of smoke, so in the back shed will be fine. Hubby usually relaxes with a book while he’s roasting, so it’s not a drama.

    And I’m afraid a popcorn maker or heat gun just doesn’t cut it. Sure, it’s technically possible (we did actually consider this, and hubby even made a dodgy prototype!) but you won’t end up with a good roast.

    We get our beans from Coffee Snobs. Or recently, as our roaster is in storage at the moment, from 5 Senses, who do a great home delivery service of freshly roasted beans.

    Our machine is a shiny stainless steel Vibiemme that looks like this: http://www.cremacoffeehouse.com.au/shop/Vibiemme-Domobar-Junior-HX.html (it might be that exact model, not sure). I like shiny things so I think it’s gorgeous, but they’re not cheap!

    And it won’t stop at that, the grinders and accessories are a whole other story! I think a better grinder is top of the list once we move in (and after we get our new furniture).

    • I should have just waited for you to write a blog post about your coffee station! ha ha Going to check out all your suggestions now. Two of my culinarily qualified (do you like that?) bloggy friends have recommended Vibiemme now, so I’ll start there.

  8. May says:

    Simple logic – if you don’t like the smell and sound of coffee beans in the house, then the machine must reside outside, in which case looks and size can be compromised…just my thoughts. We are not coffee buffs, but just use the Nespresso one touch machine with the capsules, tastes good enough for us plebs
    but it ain’t gona cut with the Nice Wolf I bet!!!

  9. Nice Wolf says:

    Yep. I’m not a fusspot about much, but my morning cafe au lait in a large bowl is essential.
    Definitely the grumpy wolf at work if I miss it… Croissant not essential, but certainly completes the experience.

    Old trusty machine has been replaced by newer models twice, but each time has been quickly brought back out of the garage storage and put back on the breakfast bench.

    Looking forward to researching the machines, though have to say I have a backup plan.
    Bought the same model as trusty for my parents 10 years ago, and though it still works and is only lightly used, theirs has been replaced by the simplicity of a Nespresso Machine.

    So. Sounds like I have 15 years to complete the research.

  10. I can’t help because I’m not a coffee drinker either, except frappes … that’s the only time I can stomach it. Which is good – I have enough bad habits. My husband is a coffee drinker, but knows the purchase of a coffee machine would mean he would have to clean it – so he’d rather just go out for a coffee (lucky we have a really good boutique roaster 10 mins down the road).

  11. My husband and I are both coffee drinkers. I prefer lattes but always have my regular morning cup of coffee. My husband drinks coffee all day long. I love the look of the Breville. However, I also prefer the clean countertop look! Knowing we are such coffee lovers we actually designed a hidden coffee station in our kitchen cabinets to hide away the machinery. If we feel the need to have another, it will be going in the pantry. Yes, we’ve owned up to 3 coffee makers at once before. Your full pot coffee maker, your single cup coffee maker, and then your latte, expresso coffee maker.

    I haven’t thought about the roasters before. To be honest, to me it seems like too much effort for a cup of coffee. :0

  12. I gave up coffee when I was pregnant but hubby loves Aussie coffee and needs his caffeine fix. He has been very good about our build and has let me have all the things I wanted without quibbling. However he has informed me that once we are in he wants a ‘serious’ coffee machine and it won’t come cheap.

    Well I think a serious cup of coffee deserves a pretty special cup so I shall cull the eclectic selection we have gathered over the years and choose something worthy of the new machine. Well I might keep one of the faded old Nescafé mugs to mess with him and maybe the …..

    Thanks for the poem joan55555 it took me back 🙂

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