Arc Roaster from Crop to Cup

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
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#1: Post by iagree83 »

Hi All,

This is my first post to HB, but I've been following for quite a while; especially topics related to small commercial/large home roasters. I'm not sure if anyone caught the recent announcement from Crop to Cup about the Arc roaster they have been developing with a partner in China. ... Itemid=558

This seems to sit somewhere between the mini 500 and North TJ-067. There isn't a ton of info on the specs yet, but I was especially interested in the bit about the cast iron drum, mainly since this seems to be unusual for roasters in this class (or in general). I talked to C2C and they didn't have a ton of additional details about the drum (thickness, etc), but are expecting to get them soon.

I would be interested to get peoples thoughts on this roaster.


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#2: Post by roastimo »

The incidence of calling mild steel cast iron is quite high, I've noticed reading various published items, not limited to talk about coffee roasters.
The 3mm thickness of the drum--as shown in the specs--clues me to take the "cast iron" wording with a used ground of coffee. So maybe, but maybe it is stainless, speaking of maybes.

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#3: Post by archipelago »

I'm actually based in Brooklyn and went and checked it out... really nice machine, well constructed. I have a TJ-067 - the build on the TJ-067 is certainly HEAVIER (insert very true refrain of "overbuilt" here - it is, the thing is a monster) but the fit and finish on the Arc is a bit nicer. The amount of airflow control is pretty great - rather than using a dimmer switch it uses an adjustable collar (sort of like a tiny and more flexible version of the control on a UG-22 I guess). No variable drum speed, but complete control over gas and air. Good enough for most purposes, but is one thing this roaster lacks versus the North roasters.

Roastimo is right, I think, it looked like a mild steel drum.

I like the control panel and switches. They function well and I'd feel comfortable replacing them if they fail for whatever reason.

The bluetooth connectivity is cool - probably means if you use Roastmaster on iPad you can connect to it? But it's natively supported by Artisan.

600g batches roast comfortably and evenly. I didn't have much time to play around but was happy with how everything came out and how responsive the roaster is.

iagree83 (original poster)
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#4: Post by iagree83 (original poster) »

Thanks, guys! The 3mm thickness wasn't up when I first posted, so steel makes a lot more sense.

@Archipelago - I agree that no variable drum speed is a little disappointing. I specifically asked about this to be sure. Your perspective of both the TJ-067 and Arc is really helpful. TJ has been at the top of my list for over a year, but the Arc is just a little more accessible for me, partly due to price, and also proximity.

I think I'm going to pull the trigger. I'll definitely post updates once it comes in.

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#5: Post by TomC »

When Dustin got his first Santoker roaster, he was surprised to see an actual cast iron drum. It's a 1 pound roaster and the drum thickness is impressive.
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#6: Post by iagree83 (original poster) replying to TomC »

I briefly wondered if the Arc had any relation to the Santoker, though I'm pretty sure it doesn't. There seem to be at least some design similarities, especially with airflow adjustment, though definitely some clear differences in the form factor and finish. If I remember correctly, the Santoker also had a variable drum. I talked to Dustin briefly about getting one a couple years ago, but it was a little more leg work and risk than I wanted to deal with, and based on some of the safety issues I heard about later, I'm glad I held off.

I think it would be interesting if the Arc does have a cast iron drum, though I think Roastimo is right that the 3mm thickness does not support this. The TJ-067 is 4mm steel, and even if it's overbuilt, I wouldn't expect cast iron to be thinner (though I'm certainly not an expert). Seems like either the material or thickness is probably not correct.

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#7: Post by 9Sbeans »

This is a beauty. The price/capacity/form factor is also in a sweet spot.

Do you have more info regarding the gas burner? E.g. the shape (round pan / ribbon array) of the burner, the distance from the flame to the drum.
The drum (material/thickness/perforated), the vine, the thermal couple placement, digital Bluetooth connection with PID function?

Tons of questions. Please keep us posted. :D

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#8: Post by iagree83 (original poster) »

Been talking to Talyor Mork from Crop to Cup to clarify some of the specs. He's been super helpful, and has updated the specs online based on our discussions. Drum is definitely mild steel (3mm thickness - solid drum).

He's hopefully going to send me some of his own pictures of the burners from their unit in the shop, but sounds like there are a few round, jet-type burners rather than a ribbon.

As far as I can tell, the digital interface (bluetooth/usb) is just a temperature output from the thermocouples, not PID. There is a high temp alarm, but not an automatic gas shut-off.

I pre-ordered my 110v propane unit and will definitely post more info once I get it, which will probably not be until mid-late June.

Could be the longest two months of my life...

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#9: Post by hankua »

This looks a lot like the HB M5 mentioned by Chang00 in 2013; same company or different?
M5 Chinese 1 lb/600g Gas Roaster

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#10: Post by iagree83 (original poster) »

I think you're right, hankua! Looks almost identical, and some of the backstory/specs line up with what I've heard from Crop to Cup also. I've only been interacting with C2C, not the manufacturer directly, but I know that the Arc was previously only 220v. 110v is a new modification (motor) that they are just testing now.

It sounds like Chang00 and TomC had some positive interactions with the guys who were building the M5, and the description of their background is similar to what I've heard from C2C.

A big bonus for me is that C2C is handling all of the importing/customs stuff, and is fully testing the final 110v model before ordering the units that will go to customers. They also said they would help coordinate parts/repairs if needed.