Coffee roasting machine - Help needed

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

#1: Post by warlock »

Hey Barista Superstars,
Hope you are all well and safe.

I just joined this community and already here asking for help! :D

I need to buy a decent coffee roaster that can help me in roasting about a kg of green beans at a time. I will be using this at home and potentially the only other condition would be the vendor should be open to shipping to New Zealand (if not already available in the Pacific).

I have been googling this and have been getting a whole bunch of information (some rather confusing) and many vendors that are based in China / Taiwan.

Looking for some guidance from all you experts please.

Thanks!

Nunas
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#2: Post by Nunas »

Kia ora, The biggest batch I've tried on my Quest M6 is 640 grams; I think it would do slightly more, but not a kilo. Have you looked at the Allio Bullet? When I bought my M6, the Bullet was also on my short list. I opted for the Quest because it is so dirt simple that anyone can easily use and repair it, and because I don't need a 1 kg capacity. I was also concerned about the proprietary hardware and software on the Bullet, but since then, by all reports, the thing is robust.

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MNate
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#3: Post by MNate »

Many come into roasting thinking they need a bigger roaster than they really do. A roast only takes 10 minutes. If you can do two back to back you need half as big if a roaster. 3 roasts and you only need a third as big. Plus many of us like to blend two or three beans together post-roast so three batches is needed anyway. Others who like sticking with single origins often like to have several on hand at a time. A smaller roaste can also mean you can try variations to your roast (a little longer or a different rise or one Full City and one Full City+).

There is even a new wave of home roasters (hot air/fluid bed) that are more like 50 or 100 g but set it and forget it. In Australia/New Zealand the Kaffelogic Nano has been breaking ground, similar to the Ikawa Home out of the UK. I can see the appeal of a big drum roaster, but for home use these may make a lot of sense (jury is still out on HB if they are good as the Ikawa Home is new and the Nano is only Australia/NZ.).

Roasting is fun though! It can be nice to start slow without a lot of cash outlay while you figure out what you really would like.

warlock (original poster)

#4: Post by warlock (original poster) »

Nunas wrote:Kia ora, The biggest batch I've tried on my Quest M6 is 640 grams; I think it would do slightly more, but not a kilo. Have you looked at the Allio Bullet? When I bought my M6, the Bullet was also on my short list. I opted for the Quest because it is so dirt simple that anyone can easily use and repair it, and because I don't need a 1 kg capacity. I was also concerned about the proprietary hardware and software on the Bullet, but since then, by all reports, the thing is robust.
Kia ora Mate :) (are you from NZ as well :D )

Thanks for these suggestions. I'll read up on these. Did you by any chance do any research on Hottop Home roaster KN-8828B - 2K+ Platinum roaster ? Its got Artisan connectivity as well for profiles. What is your though on that? It does around 500 grams as well.

warlock (original poster)

#5: Post by warlock (original poster) »

MNate wrote:Many come into roasting thinking they need a bigger roaster than they really do. A roast only takes 10 minutes. If you can do two back to back you need half as big if a roaster. 3 roasts and you only need a third as big. Plus many of us like to blend two or three beans together post-roast so three batches is needed anyway. Others who like sticking with single origins often like to have several on hand at a time. A smaller roaste can also mean you can try variations to your roast (a little longer or a different rise or one Full City and one Full City+).

There is even a new wave of home roasters (hot air/fluid bed) that are more like 50 or 100 g but set it and forget it. In Australia/New Zealand the Kaffelogic Nano has been breaking ground, similar to the Ikawa Home out of the UK. I can see the appeal of a big drum roaster, but for home use these may make a lot of sense (jury is still out on HB if they are good as the Ikawa Home is new and the Nano is only Australia/NZ.).

Roasting is fun though! It can be nice to start slow without a lot of cash outlay while you figure out what you really would like.
Thanks mate!! That's some experience there. I agree with you. I am now reading more about machines that allow batch sizes in the range 200-500 grams. That can allow me artisan access. That would be easier to clean and takes around or less than 30 minutes to cool down. Essentially allowing me to do multiple batches in 1-2 hr or usage in a day. With decent level of heat/airflow control.

Would you be able to recommend me some more suggestions. Although I love the Kaffelogic 7 nano but I honestly feel its too small and I would need to do many batches to reach 1 kg roast / day with around 2 hours of usage max.

Ps. I read you are from Minnesota. Not stereo-typing but it just reminded me of Marshall (from "How I met your Mother") - Go Vikings!!! I love that guy!!

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MNate
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#6: Post by MNate »

You betcha! MN can be great! And New Zealand is definitely on our list of places to visit for many reasons. Not sure if you want to keep the beauty to yourselves though!

So far I've decided not to go bigger with a roaster so I may not be the best help. The Bullet seems to get most of the recent love on HB, with Quest and Cormorant seeing a lot of action too. Beyond that people seem to get into the sample roaster size and there it seems, like you were initially asking, people seem to stay with someone close to them due to transportation and support of the larger machine. So I'd go with Mill City Roasters, but just because they are here in Mpls.

So... my advice has run out! Jim's comments below may help a little more:

Can the Bullet R1 really roast better coffee than Quest M3s?
another_jim
Team HB
#28: Post May 13, 2019, 12:16 am

I'm not sure if they are in competition. The Quest works best with 1/4 to 1/3 pound of coffee; the Bullet with 1/2 to 1 pound. The Quest started out as a hobbyist roaster, but has found much more of a market as a sample roaster. In every design iteration, its been shifted towards that application. The Bullet seems aimed squarely at the high end hobbyist market; and it seems more an upgrade for the Hottop programmable than the Quest. Notice that Sweet Maria's sells the Bullet; and Coffee Shrub the Quest.

I've noticed people evolve in very different ways when using 1/4 pound and 1 pound roasters. I and other Quest users order many small lots of coffees, auction sample boxes, etc, and consume most of what we roast ourselves. Right now, I have about 25 different odds and ends green coffees in 1 to 5 pound lots, of which I roast about 5 or so every week, as well as some auction sample boxes I'm working my way through more slowly. People with larger roasters buy a smaller number of 10 and 20 pound bags, and end up roasting for their office and neighborhood because they produce a lot more coffee than they can consume themselves. Which one do you want to be?

Nunas
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#7: Post by Nunas »

warlock wrote:Kia ora Mate :) (are you from NZ as well :D ) Thanks for these suggestions. I'll read up on these. Did you by any chance do any research on Hottop Home roaster KN-8828B - 2K+ Platinum roaster ? Its got Artisan connectivity as well for profiles. What is your though on that? It does around 500 grams as well.
We're Canadian, but lived in NZ many years ago, north of Auckland (Whangaparāoa Peninsula). I think if I couldn't live in Canada, I'd like to live in NZ. We hired a small motor home and travelled all over, missing only the extreme south of S. Island. Anyway, back to coffee :) No, I didn't consider the Hottops; I don't know why. I had some fluid bed roasters (SR500 and SR700), which I liked a lot, especially the 500, but they were too small. At the time, the best choice for us was the Quest M3, which is a fantastic little roaster, especially given the price. When we outgrew that, the short list was the Quest M6, the Bullet, and the Cormorant. I really wanted to like the Cormorant, but two things knocked it off our list. First, you have to wait in line to have one built, and secondly, it uses propane, which I decided (rightly or wrongly) I didn't want for those odd times that I would roast in the house. I've already mentioned why I did not go for the Bullet. This left only the M6, which I (finally) like very much. I assumed that it would operate like the M3 Mk-2 and be twice as big, but it's actually an entirely different roaster, despite looking the same. It took a while to get used to it.

Bottom line, if you want automation without a lot of messing around, then get the Bullet, despite the price. If you want to simply monitor with Artisan but control manually, then get the Quest M6 with at least a BT probe and preferably also MET and ET. Since you're not in America, you could get it direct from Molly at Quest and save a few bucks. As someone else mentioned, you can easily do two half kilo roasts on it without any time in between (back-to-back). I think the M3 would be too small for you, as you were looking for 1 kg capacity. Optimally, it's a quarter kilo roaster, but can do a third kilo, once you get used to it. So, back-to-back, you'd probably need to do three or four roasts. Beyond these suggestions, there are many more roasters out there; these are the ones with which I'm most familiar.

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JohnB.
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#8: Post by JohnB. »

warlock wrote: Did you by any chance do any research on Hottop Home roaster KN-8828B - 2K+ Platinum roaster ? Its got Artisan connectivity as well for profiles. What is your though on that? It does around 500 grams as well.
Max capacity for the Hottop is 300 grams. I've been very happy with my Cormorant Cr600 & would recommend it. It will roast 600+ grams at a time but I prefer to roast 1lb/454g loads.
LMWDP 267

warlock (original poster)

#9: Post by warlock (original poster) »

Nunas wrote:We're Canadian, but lived in NZ many years ago, north of Auckland (Whangaparāoa Peninsula). I think if I couldn't live in Canada, I'd like to live in NZ. We hired a small motor home and travelled all over, missing only the extreme south of S. Island. Anyway, back to coffee :) No, I didn't consider the Hottops; I don't know why. I had some fluid bed roasters (SR500 and SR700), which I liked a lot, especially the 500, but they were too small. At the time, the best choice for us was the Quest M3, which is a fantastic little roaster, especially given the price. When we outgrew that, the short list was the Quest M6, the Bullet, and the Cormorant. I really wanted to like the Cormorant, but two things knocked it off our list. First, you have to wait in line to have one built, and secondly, it uses propane, which I decided (rightly or wrongly) I didn't want for those odd times that I would roast in the house. I've already mentioned why I did not go for the Bullet. This left only the M6, which I (finally) like very much. I assumed that it would operate like the M3 Mk-2 and be twice as big, but it's actually an entirely different roaster, despite looking the same. It took a while to get used to it.

Bottom line, if you want automation without a lot of messing around, then get the Bullet, despite the price. If you want to simply monitor with Artisan but control manually, then get the Quest M6 with at least a BT probe and preferably also MET and ET. Since you're not in America, you could get it direct from Molly at Quest and save a few bucks. As someone else mentioned, you can easily do two half kilo roasts on it without any time in between (back-to-back). I think the M3 would be too small for you, as you were looking for 1 kg capacity. Optimally, it's a quarter kilo roaster, but can do a third kilo, once you get used to it. So, back-to-back, you'd probably need to do three or four roasts. Beyond these suggestions, there are many more roasters out there; these are the ones with which I'm most familiar.
Ohh woww thats fab!!! Yeah, I am based in Auckland as well. Not that up north but fairly central-west. :) If you happen to visit, do send me a ping, we should catchup over a smooth cupo joe :)

Thanks soo much for all the perspective here.

If I prefer more automation would you ever consider the Sandbox smart R2? Just like Ailio BULLET ROASTER R1 V2 its made in Taiwan and seems to be having some good features.

warlock (original poster)

#10: Post by warlock (original poster) »

JohnB. wrote:Max capacity for the Hottop is 300 grams. I've been very happy with my Cormorant Cr600 & would recommend it. It will roast 600+ grams at a time but I prefer to roast 1lb/454g loads.
Hey JohnB, thats a wonderful suggestion too. But given its extremely manual and I am little to no experience. I am scared this might not be the best choice for me. Would you agree?