Is Bunafr Roaster Legit?

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
esohn92

#1: Post by esohn92 »

I ran into an Instagram ad talking about a roaster product. It looks very similar to Ikawa, and when you provide your email for discount, it tells you if you pay $20 now, you will lock in the price to be $495. It seems hella shady so I wanted to see if anyone has heard of this company and what their views are. When I search bunafr in the forum, I see couple comments but very limited info.

Link: https://bunafr.com/coffee-roasting-equipment/

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another_jim
Team HB

#2: Post by another_jim »

They are setting up a crowd funding campaign that is due to kick off next month, with the roaster slated for completion in the middle of next year. They are doing the production for their video and web stuff in Chicago, and have reached out to me. But as yet I have no idea if the roaster is something aimed at serious hobbyists like the Ikawa, or at dabblers, like the old Nesco, or someplace in between. The Jeff in their promotional literature is Jeff Babcock, the head of Zoka, which is a good sign that it may be a serious machine.
Jim Schulman

esohn92 (original poster)

#3: Post by esohn92 (original poster) »

Great, looks like they're legit then, thanks!

jmc999

#4: Post by jmc999 »

Do you all think this is a project worth supporting?

I haven't experimented at all with roasting at home. However, at $500 and the promise of a computer automated process, I might be tempted to give it a shot. The Ikawa and IOS-only support, monthly app fees and >$1k price point are a non-starter for me.

Milligan

#5: Post by Milligan » replying to jmc999 »

Short answer is no. Kickstarter/indiegogo are always a roll of the dice. I'd rather put the $500 into something established with community support and a track record that I could enjoy now instead of throwing it down on hopes and dreams. If you are okay with potential delays, feature cuts, or even not getting it at all then go for it. If you are wanting to get into roasting soon then I'd look elsewhere and keep any eye on the project.

I believe Ikawa Home requires a sub to tinker with the curves but they have many profiles available for free I think. Someone more familiar with the Home can chime in on that.

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another_jim
Team HB

#6: Post by another_jim »

Milligan wrote:Kickstarter/indiegogo are always a roll of the dice.
I met the people behind it; and they are serious. But of course, it's still a roll of the dice.

Their goal is to offer the functionality of the Ikawa pro in an affordable package -- i.e. a programmable roaster with Artisan or equivalent data logging. I personally am skeptical about there being enough of a market to support this level of functionality at this price. So it may become a question of this functionality at well over 1K or a superauto, black box roaster at $500 (i.e profiles preset, and you just get to pick the roast level in an app).
Jim Schulman

Milligan

#7: Post by Milligan » replying to another_jim »

Sorry, did not mean to directly disparage the folks behind this product but only provide caution in regards to kickstarter/indiegogo projects. I saw something about putting down a $20 reservation for the $500 price. Perhaps that is a good route to go with low risk.

I am curious of this project if only for the price point. The price is at the level of a Behmor which is a glorified toaster oven with a basket and rudimentary heat control.

DaDudster

#8: Post by DaDudster »

I'm definitely interested in this thing. I haven't jump down the roasting rabbit hole yet and this seems like it would be at exactly the price point and with exactly the kinds of features I'd want to take that leap.

My only reservation is what's echoed by others here: (1) is it legit (sounds like it is) and (2) what's the likelihood I get the roaster I'm promised at the end of this (that's the big question)?

I'd certainly be more willing if I had a bit more assurance than simply the ad on Instagram, the timeline that's on the website and the little bit of info I've been able to scrape up by searching for the company online.

Maybe they can pair up with one of the trusted influencers (like Lance or Morgan or Sprometheus or Kyle or stretch goal--James) just so we can get a closer look at the prototype and hear from the founders themselves?

silkypull

#9: Post by silkypull »

yup i agree. even if they have a mock up or working sample to do some initial reviews by these youtubers, it would definitely help with the push and feedback into the final product.

also it would be good to see how easy it would be for clean up since it's all enclosed.
LMWDP #663

addertooth

#10: Post by addertooth »

There is no doubt you will find risks with kickstarter. I gave some free engineering support to the folks who were trying to bring forward the "peachy" 3d printer, and they had hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of investors. One of the members of the team drained off the money to build a dream home. All of the investors got burned.

I funded a kicktarter program which was set up by an existing company (YesWelder) to get a 6 process welder (flux core Mig, Gas Mig, DC Tig, stick, plasma cutter). It was a bit late getting out of the gates (but they shipped it, and it has been a fine machine).

Like others have said, the previous history of those attempting starting a kickstarter is the strongest predictor of success. A Company called "Fellows" did a kickstarter for a coffee grinder, and I missed out on that one. They brought it into production and sell it commercially now. As many of these kickstarter programs develop a "community of users", there are frequently improvements to the design after the first run. In the case of the grinder, they have improved burrs available for it, based upon lessons learned.