Genio Roasters Build Blog

Hand crafted coffee roasting machines

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Haloa Coffee’s new packaging.


Haloa Coffee’s new packaging.

The 1962 Faema President 2-group Lever


In early 2006 while on holiday, I came across a remarkable orphan in a dusty pawn shop in Knysna. The machine immediately caught my eye and I inquired as to where it was from and what it was. The owner answered “I have no idea” and I made him an offer there and then, knowing that no one in the world would ever appreciate this old beauty more than me!

Faema President 2-group lever

With the machine and matching grinder back home I set about finding out it’s origin, history and model. I carefully unscrewed the age-old nuts and found a plate on the boiler of the 2-group lever operated espresso machine that said “Faema” and “1962”. A few Google search pages later and I pinpointed the machines as being an original Faema President machine made in 1962 and a Faema Urania 1960 grinder with original glass hopper. What a find!!


Faema was the inventors of the E-61 grouphead. Brought out in 1961, it was the first commercially viable way for Italians of the time to enjoy a cheap, strong coffee that had little wastage and packed a huge punch. The President machine was the predecessor of the E-61 grouphead and its frame was used to develop the new style of pump-driven machines. It was a real front-runner in its hay-day and must have made waves when they retrofitted the President’s frame with the legendary pump-driven conecpt that we all take for granted today. Faema continued to build lever machines alongside their new pump-driven units and my President machine was born a year later in 1962. It stood in the Brandwag Hotel in Grahamstown for many years before being abandoned in a shed. The hotel was refurbished years later and the machine was picked up by an antique dealer where it found its way to the pawn shop in Knysna.


I was a student at the time and drove the machine 1200km back to Potchefstroom. I soon had all the panels stripped and started cleaning them with the love and dearness only coffee geek could have for an old espresso machine. It took me weeks to brush, polish and clean the old chromed brass panels back to it’s original glory. I took apart the valves and removed all the fittings. The copper parts were all submersed in a bath of citric acid to clean lime scale, onion rings, flowers, dirt and all sorts of organic matter from the age old pipes and boiler.

Months later I finally finished with cleaning and brushing the panels. The machine was a true a beauty and stood gleaming in my living room for the next 5 years after life finally caught up with me and I had no more time and money to spend on the restoration.

An old master gets a second chance

A few weeks ago I decided that it was finally time to get the machine back up and running after so many years of neglect. I took the machine to my new workshop to restore it. I had all the right tools, suppliers, knowledge and parts to do the job professionally and even had a spot designated in my new workshop for the machine to run. Its job would be to pull shots for all of our roaster customers and would have been used on all the best coffees in the world!! A task only befit for a machine with more than double my age in experience. I had so many plans for the President…

You gotta love Africa

The next morning after bringing in the machine for it’s final road to back to glory, I arrived at an office abuzz with armed response units and people chatting in small groups. 5 thieves had invited themselves into our premises through the roof after we generously treated them for coffees the day before, mistaking their prying eyes for interested buyers. The only machines they stole was my beloved Faema President, a Mahlkonig grinder and a La Marzocco FB70. I still have the Urania grinder but it looks lost without it’s partner of the last 50 years standing next to it.

It was a sad, sad day!


Genio installed their latest generation of customized machines last week.  For more details, visit our blog!

WBC live video stream

Be sure to catch the WBC live video stream.  Just follow the link

Here’s a few pics of our latest creations.  For more details on the builds, head over to our blog at

Here’s a few pics of our latest creations.  For more details on the builds, head over to our blog at

Now that’s a nice shirt!

Now that’s a nice shirt!

(Source: beautifulcoffeesets)

Applying a Vinyl Mask Onto Our Panels

I finally had a chance to visit our new vinyl cutters today.  They where kind enough to let me photograph to process and I was only too happy to accept.

We use vinyl stickers to mask off designs and branding on our stainless steel components.  The problem with roasters are that they get hot!   Vinyl only will melt and powder coating will eventually fade and create blemishes.  The only way to bring a little colour into the otherwise bland stainless steel was to use masked bead blasted designs.

To see the entire process, head over to Genio’s new blog at

Genio Roasters Vinyl Applications

Genio Roasters welds a roasting drum

In the past few days myself and our two welders, Sidney and Ramiro set out to weld the latest 3 6kg roasting drums.  The drums is where the real “hand-crafted” bit comes into play; it requires a great amount of concentration and skill to weld accurately and neatly in such a confined space.  So this is also where I hand over the welding to our master welder Sidney, who has been welding for well over 20 years.  I doubt if anyone has the amount of insight and knowledge in the complex science of welding that Sidney has.  See the full article on the Genio Roasters Blog.

Genio welds their roasting drums

Genio Roasters gets a home

It has been weeks in the making, and is finally launched.  The new site features a Wordpress blog system with all the old posts and some new ones.  The site will also feature several updates over the coming months to add more to every roasting experience with a Genio.  Our Products page will soon feature some new sections for the various services and products we offer, and we hope to include things like maintenance videos and user manuals on the site.

Be sure to add the RSS feed to your feedburner and stay tuned for more updates on the roasters’ progress.

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