After much consideration I decided the next upgrade would be an extreme hobbyist roaster. The 800n is produced by Yang-Chia Machine Works in Taichung Taiwan (http://www.feima.com.tw/
) and makes the Mini500 for Bella Taiwan in Taipei (http://www.bellataiwan.com/
). Chang00 (Henry) who was instrumental in locating this model, has been extremely helpful in every way. (Mini 500 Roaster
) So I'd like to thank Henry for all his help in getting through the process. In addition my wife who is Taiwanese visited the factory and spoke with the owner before the order was placed.
Henry's roaster came from BellaTaiwan and mine from the factory Yang-Chia. I think they are pretty much the same although the factory said there have been some improvements. There are not many choices in the 1lb sample roaster category and this one should get some consideration. It has an unique set of features that make using it a lot of fun, once you get comfortable with the machine. Cast iron drum with adjustable speed direct drive motor, Air control with adjustable damper (1-5) and chaff collector, Precision gas needle valve, separate bean cooler with stir bar and dedicated fan, single thermocouple with pid readout, and a very good instruction manual in English.
There are no safety interlocking features and if the flame goes out, the gas will still run. So this machine might not be suitable for a commercial setting.
Now for the negatives: The owner of the factory Mr. Yang does not speak English, and has some difficulty in responding to technical questions about the roasters. The warranty specifically states the machine has to be returned to the dealer in Taipei or the factory in Taichung for repairs. So we are on our own regarding repairs and parts, which would have to come from Taiwan. The roaster is very well made, so hopefully breakdowns will be few and far between.
Now if your really thinking of getting one of these; Mr Yang requires payment in full before he starts the order and there's no buyers remorse.
Mine cost 85,000nt which included crating and needs to be paid in Taiwan dollars.
I've been asked how the process works by an HB member so here it is:
So you want to import a coffee roaster?
It's not really that difficult, although there are a lot of procedures and acronyms in sea transportation. It's interesting to learn about them but not necessary to arrange shipping. There are many ways to ship freight by boat, mine went port to port and that's a less complicated way to go. So I would ask for a price port to port, using the one closest to your location. The cargo is going LCL (less than a full container) and that involves several extra steps. Using this way, the shipper is going to crate your machine, arrange the shipping, stuffing in the container, ship, unloading at the destination, and transportation to your port. Now the guy who builds you roaster is not really going to do all this, he just picks up the phone and calls a freight forwarding company. Guess what? They charge for this service, something I did not know in the beginning but now you do.
So the price of the roaster does not include crating and transportation to the freight forwarder. The crating charge include treating the wood for insects as well. Once the freight forwarder picks up the cargo, it's going to be "stuffed" in a LCL container, and transported to the port. You can track the container online as well as the progress of the ship. At this point, the freight forwarder is in charge of the cargo, and that's who you will be dealing with. Before the cargo leaves the foreign country, they are going to ask for an ISF (10+2) form.
That's when you need to call a customs broker, if you haven't already. If you have a nice one like I did, they will answer all your questions and explain everything. They will handle all the paperwork and fill out the forms for the US Customs service, so all the gov. has to do is sign on the bottom. Then you will get a bill from the broker including their fee and the duty charged.
Sounds complicated? Not really.
1. you order a roaster, 110V LPG gas, including shipping to (your port). (They don't know the exact amount but can give an estimate)
2. you pay for the roaster, it's completed and crated. Now the shipping has to be paid and the paperwork completed. You pay the shipping, customs broker fills out the forms for the FF.
3. The freight forwarders (more than one involved) will call you to pick up the cargo at the warehouse after it clears customs.
4. Show up at the warehouse to pick up the cargo, or have them ship it to you.
So how much does all this cost?
The shipping is calculated by cbm, and a 1K or less roaster should occupy the minimum. My freight was @$100, freight forwarders charges were $60 and $65. Customs broker was $125, $35, $35, duty was @$100.
That's it in a nutshell...
Here's a timeline for my roaster order:
The roaster (Yang-Chia 800n) was ordered on 6/30/11 from Yang-Chia Machine Works Ltd, Taichung, Taiwan. Crated for shipment on 7/20/11 and stuffed in a 40' container on 7/22/11 in Taichung. The container was trucked to the port of Kaohsiung Taiwan and loaded on the Hyundai Dynasty cargo ship on 7/27/11. The ship arrived in NY on 8/19/11 and the container was unpacked in NJ. The crate was trucked to Jacksonville FL and arrived at a bonded warehouse on 8/31/11. US Customs and Border Protection inspected and cleared the cargo on 9/1/11.