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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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Much to my chagrin, I dropped the chaff collector assembly on my coffee roaster on Saturday, breaking the chaff collector base. This at first caused chaff to spray all over the kitchen, and then as the heat fatigued the plastic (the exhaust temperature goes between 200 and 500 degrees depending on what’s going on), it made it such that the lid would not longer stay on at all, causing there to be insufficient heat retention, and even more of a chaff mess. The last roast I did required holding the collector lid on with two knives during the roast process.

Knowing that new espresso equipment was arriving this week, I knew I’d need a decent stock of roasted espresso beans, so I still pushed through a bit under a pound of regular, and half a pound of decaf. The vacuum got a lot of use cleaning up afterwards, and I burned my thumb a bit, but I’m sure it will be worth it. Luckily, Intelligentsia is also going to drop off some Black Cat later in the week, which will cover me once I run out. For the time being, however, my roasting is put on hold.

This morning I called Hearthware, and within 5 minutes I’d reached an operator, determined the replacement part, and arranged to have it shipped to me the next day via USPS priority, all for less than $20. Thank god for a reasonable company with prompt courteous customer service; it’s hard to find that these days. It’s a shame that this sort of situation is considered outstanding and not the norm, but I’m not going to knock it — Hearthware gets my vote for an excellent company. I can’t speak to their newfangled made-for-TV super-oven gadget, but between the support I’ve received and the usefulness of the machine, I can definitely recommend the iRoast for anybody in the market for small-batch coffee roasting.