Our Roasting Machine
So, when I decided to really pursue this adventure, I had three key things to decide. First, I had to decide where I would roast. Second, I needed to figure out where I would buy the greens. Third, I had to decide which roasting machine we would buy. It took me three months to make this decision.
When I first started looking at roasters, I assumed that I would decide on one relatively quickly. After all, I am just heating up coffee seeds, right? But, the more I went down the roaster rabbit hole, the more complex the decision became. How big a roaster would I need? Would I buy a traditional drum roaster, or would I go with a fluidized-bed roaster? Would my source of heat be electricity or natural gas?
Traditionally coffee is roasted in a drum roaster. In these roasters the coffee is roasted inside a rotating drum. The coffee is heated with propane, natural gas, or electric elements. This is, by far, the most common coffee roasting method. This method uses primarily conductive heating methods to heat the seeds. This means that heat is transferred, by touch, from the metal of the drum to the coffee seeds.
The other method of coffee roasting is called fluidized-bed or air roasting. This method lofts the coffee with heated air and keeps the beans floating on this bed of air as the roast progresses. The method of heat transfer here is primarily convection. The heat source is, again, natural gas, propane, or electricity.
Ultimately I decided to purchase a fluidized-bed roaster made by Sonofresco. I went with this roaster, ultimately, because this roasting method tends to produce cleaner tasting coffee. The Sonofresco is also easy to clean and maintain. I roast three pounds of coffee at a time with very consistent results.
The coffee our machine produces tastes great. This is partly because our roasting machine produces great coffee. Our coffee also tastes great because we start with specialty-grade, quality green coffee that is sourced responsibly and ethically by great farmers around the world. We hope you enjoy.