My, oh my! Which roaster should I buy? - Page 2

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
LatteLlama (original poster)
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#11: Post by LatteLlama (original poster) »

bongani wrote:
Me? I would take the Ikawa. The Pro150x.
I wish I had the Budget for the Ikawa 100x Pro :D otherwise that or even a 100 pro would have been my choice too :)
I'm trying to stay under 1.500€.

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drgary
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#12: Post by drgary »

I reviewed the IKAWA Home and visited the Kaffelogic booth with Ira. I don't think you'll go wrong with either. I also had no difficulty fine tuning the IKAWA Home to my own greens.

I think the decision comes down to this: Do you prefer the ability to automate the roast and get good results from the start, or do you want something with a bit more kludgy workflow but also more capacity? I'm not as familiar with the Kaffelogic, because I haven't worked with it for weeks like I did with the IKAWA. You can review user threads here and elsewhere to see about the Kaffelogic experience. Kaffelogic owners may be able to start with proven profiles tuned to specific coffees, or not, I don't know. Then it's just a matter of trying similar coffees that should roast similarly.

For my purposes, I like the ability to roast consistently and adjust to my taste as described in my IKAWA review. But then I also have a 1 Kg roaster that I run entirely without automation. And, I like the opportunity to get a small amount of an auction lot, start out pretty close to a good profile and tweak it and don't waste wonderful coffee.

And now, thanks to other H-B members, you can create new profiles with a spreadsheet that will even closely detect first crack, or you can build a humidity sensor to detect first crack. And, others have already characterized the temperature of the IKAWA by adding an extra thermocouple that I don't think you'll need for your purposes.

Also, if you are roasting for your family, is 100 gm enough? It's not hard to do back-to-back roasts, though.

Once you make either choice, you can buy your own greens and enjoy them with either machine. Then it won't matter so much which roaster you chose because you'll be building your skillset and the roaster will just be a tool for that.
Gary
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What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

ira
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#13: Post by ira »

To start, I'm not a very good roaster. I built what was probably the most modified, best instrumented, computer controlled Behmor in the world. And after years of trying could never get 2 roasts to come out the same. I eventually gave it away. I got tired of buying coffee I didn't like so bought the Home during it's intro offer. A lot of the included roasts didn't work for me and I felt lost with no bean temperature so I sold it and upgraded to the Pro. Again I struggled till someone here sent me the profile he used. I modified it slightly as I only roast 100 gram batches and I've been happy enough I've not touched it in a long time. So, I'm not really a good person to ask. I would buy the Kafatek for the same reason I purchased a Decent which I now almost exclusively use for pour over and in truth, it might be the wrong choice for me. But every morning I make coffee and I almost always smile and all the people who visit compliment what I serve. But, I know there is more there, and I certainly have the tools to do better, just not currently the inclination.

So, the advantage of the Home is the support here and maybe elsewhere. That does not exist here for the Kaffelogic, though it might exist elsewhere if you look. The advantage of the Kaffelogic is the software and instrumentation, but the feedback, at least her is non-existent.

Jimmy_The_Saint
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#14: Post by Jimmy_The_Saint »

Slightly different opinion here coming from someone who purchased an Ikawa Home a month or so ago.

It's amazing, honestly it's probably the best piece of coffee equipment I've bought in 15 years of home coffee. It's not 'better' than the other options and it's certainly a lot more expensive but I'll share my experience.

Firstly, the design, build, packaging and workflow is incredibly well done.

It's true you're not getting fully manual control but even the easy-edit profiles let you learn a bit about how temperature/time/airflow relate to the roast process. The huge plus here is that Ikawa have sandboxed it in a way that unless you mess heavily with the curves, everything you roast will be drinkable and probably quite good.

I also can't understate how good the cooling feature is. Without this you need some way of cooling your roasted beans if you don't want to leave them out on a tray for ages before you can bag/store them. Also the chaff ejection into the pot to just throw out is great.

Whilst going with a more manual roaster might get you a more hands on learning experience, you're far more likely to produce bad results and get frustrated with the learning curve. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but I've known some people give up because of this.

I roast 500g once a week, half filter and half espresso. Takes me about 45-60 mins to go from 500g greens to bagged and labelled. I just put the Ikawa next to two open windows and the roast smell is gone shortly after.

Unless I start roasting for family and friends I can't see needing to upgrade. If I do, there might be a bit of a learning curve still but at least I've familiarised myself with enough of the roast process that it won't be totally alien to me.

LatteLlama (original poster)
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#15: Post by LatteLlama (original poster) »

@Jimmy_The_Saint
@ira
@drgary

Thank you all for the great and fast advice so far! I'm currently leaning towards the Ikawa.
My remaining fear is that I will miss the additional data of the Kaffelogic and resources would allow me to "learn more" about roasting and about the roast.
My feeling is that especially for my relatively simpler taste (darker, chocolaty espresso) this is not going to make a difference in the cup, though. So the end result with the Ikawa should be similar while being much nicer to user + bigger active community here.

ALSO currently the Ikawa is about 200-300€ cheaper.

I will keep you all updated regarding my decision. Thank you all very much so far :)

Jonk
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#16: Post by Jonk »

I owned a Kaffelogic Nano 7 for a year. I had an easier time roasting dark than with the Quest, less roasty flavor. You can do all sort of fun things like rehydrating beans and it'll mostly follow the set curve. I've been roasting for 15 years and it was the first roaster I've used that could actually replicate roasts to be indistinguishable from each other (even though the data in the graph would be slightly different).

But on the other hand I had difficulties roasting light. There is a profile from the un-official Kaffelogic discord that works, but it's the kind where you need to wait a month before tasting, with a thin line between something tasty or plain underdeveloped. With the Quest it's possible to do minor adjustments on the fly and thanks to Artisan make a better judgement of when to end the roast.

In the end I think there's more trial end error with automated profiles, but with the huge advantage that you can repeat things once you're satisfied. I think that shoddy editor aside the Ikawa should theoretically be even better at this because you control the inlet temperature. The ability to pre-heat the unit (on the KL the 1st roast in a session wouldn't taste the same), that little bean ramp for better mixing, the sleek and less noisy package are all things that would make me lean towards the Ikawa if I were to buy that kind of roaster again. Even though I much prefer Kaffelogic's business practises.

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Brewzologist
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#17: Post by Brewzologist »

OP; If you're considering those roasters you might find this blog post valuable: Sampling Sample Roasters

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drgary
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#18: Post by drgary »

For dark, chocolatey espresso, you will find a profile linked in my IKAWA review. Their own versions of dark roast aren't always good. It can do it, but you may have to tweak profiles at first.

Kaffelogic may be a better choice for that, but I don't know from personal experience. I chatted with the guy who designed it and the fellow who markets it, and I like the easily replaced, fast response thermocouple and the software interface.

If that were the roasting style I knew I would prefer, I might get something like the Huky, which is a small drum roaster. That roaster also has larger capacity, and there are many here with owner experience. There are other roasters people like too. Years ago, the AeroPress inventor, Alan Adler, loaned me his backup FreshRoast 500. He regularly used one like it for darker roasts like you prefer. That might be a good place to start but it lacks instrumentation.

I wouldn't rush your decision because of a cyber Monday discount. Get what you want that'll work for you for years.

If you are roasting dark, you'll produce more smoke. And, your tastes may change to incorporate medium and even lighter roasts.
Gary
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What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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drgary
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#19: Post by drgary »

You will find profiles from H-B members for dark roasts on the Ikawa. Here's an example for the Ikawa Pro that can be simulated on the Home. The entire thread is worth a read.

IKAWA inlet profile calculator

I was able to produce a good dark roast on the Ikawa, and it took some trial and error. Once you land on a good profile, you can make it work and may make adjustments for different greens, which is part of the learning curve.

Read halfway through this post for my experience with attempting darker roasts for the review.

IKAWA Home Roasting System Review
Gary
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What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

Jonk
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#20: Post by Jonk »

Interesting. Dark roasts are easy on the KL and the official profiles are geared towards medium/dark IME. It's also producing a lot less smoke than the Quest at least, but of course not an insignificant amount.