Buckeye BC-2 vs Mill City 1kg roaster

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.

#1: Post by kalebgriffin »

Hello all,

I'm just curious as to everyone who has dealt with these roasters if they have a superior preference for one over the other. I'm currently roasting on a Huky 500 and it is doing okay for me at the moment, but I want something bigger and better that allows more coffee to be roasted at a time.

All in all, everything that I can find on these two machines seem very similar as far as the layout and different components (around same batch sizes, cyclone chaff collector, LED light attached, variable drum speed, propane accessible, ability to connect to Artisan, both are 220v but both provide a converter to 110v).

It seems the only difference I can really find is that with the BC roaster, you can select either a single wall or double wall drum (double wall would be preferred, but is $400 extra). And I think the venting comes with the BC, but have to buy separate for the Mill City? Which is at least another $1,000.

Both have lift gate delivery for ~$500.

So totals for each would be around BC: $5,899 (single walled) or $6,299. The Mill City would be $10,900 (includes roaster, shipping, and venting system).

Mill City have increased their prices drastically on machines over the past several years. The same roaster several years ago would have only been ~$4-5,000. I also think it's a bit ridiculous that the venting system is not included with such a bit price to pay.

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#2: Post by drgary »

There may be other aspects to compare. What's the warranty on each? If you get past the warranty what are service costs, and can you get those in writing? Are parts only available through MC or Buckeye or are some parts commonly found online? Do you intend to modify or automate, and are there useful threads on that and support from Artisan software? Others may think of additional factors. Added: I have the roaster that became the Mill City 1Kg, bought directly from North. Mill City has added many modifications, but mine works fine and cost far less than $4K, but that was in 2013, and times have changed, for sure.

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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#3: Post by beanman »

Are you looking for home roasting, or starting a small business?
I purchased a BC-2 in Jan '21.
In theory, the BC-2 will do 2 lbs, but most will say its best to stay below that for a better roast. The vent pipe Randy includes in the box is about $10 of 3 inch expanding aluminum (not the cloths dryer aluminum foil/wire stuff), and he says its to get us going or for a test run. I used it to go from the roaster to my galvanized snaplock pipe that goes outdoors.
Not much talk here about the MCR 1kg, but I've read that its a beast.
I think Mill City's sizes are more accurate than others, so maybe the 1kg has a true sweet spot of 1kg.
Several members here have an MCR 500g and maybe they'll chime in.


#4: Post by blondica73 »

I've bought a BC-5 about 4 years ago and I'm very happy with it. I changed the fan once, purchased directly from Randy, but other than than, just taking care of it. Venting can be challenging; however, I went with 3 in duravent pellet stove pipe and it cost me about $200. There's a thread somewhere on this site about more affordable exhaust using pellet stove exhaust pipes found at Home Depot or Lowe's.

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#5: Post by Almico »

The question to ask with regards to capacity is: How much coffee can be roasted from room temp to 415*F in 10 minutes?

FWIW, I prefer my single-wall roaster. It's a bit more nimble than a double-wall. A lot depends on the burner configuration.

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#6: Post by JohnB. »

Unless there is something about the Mill City roaster that makes it worth the extra $4000+ to you I'd say go with the BC-2.


#7: Post by Madman13 »

I've had my BC-1 for a number of years. Back when I bought it, the BC-1 was much closer in price to the 500gm Mill City then they are now; the Mill City wasn't worth the extra money then and it definitely isn't worth it now, in my opinion at least.

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#8: Post by keno replying to Madman13 »

Ditto to this. As an owner of a BC-2 for going on 5 years now I've been very happy with this roaster. I just checked online and a BC-2 is available for $5400 compared to $9400 for a Mill City 1kg. At that price difference you just cannot justify the Mill City. Also be aware that Buckeye notes that the BC factory was largely destroyed by major flooding so that could put significant upward pressure on prices. :|