New Ikawa Home Roaster - 100g capacity - Page 2

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

#11: Post by TigerStripes »

ira wrote:Unless you buy it before the end of the month, then the advanced editor is free. Or that's what it seems to say.

Ira
Honestly that makes me more annoyed if anything. It feels like a marketing decision to stick it to their customers by providing crippled software unless you pay an exorbitant yearly fee.

I'll reserve any more complaining until they elaborate on the details of the regular editor vs advanced editor. If it's ​a feature that is costing them significant maintenance fees to implement, it might be understandable. If they're actually just disabling functionality in the app, with the intention of squeezing more money out of customers - well, they've lost at least one potential customer.
LMWDP #715

GoodOmens (original poster)

#12: Post by GoodOmens (original poster) »

Peppersass wrote:I think we need more details before concluding that this new product is a paperweight. Specifically, when they say "premium-feature advanced roast curve editor", which is only available by subscription, do they mean the ability to edit the inlet temperature and fan speed curves, or do they mean the new Roast Degree and Development Time controls?

If included in the free app, the new roast controls could be a game-changer for home roasters who don't have the desire and/or skills to create or edit roast profiles. They're similar to how I manage roasts on my Ikawa Pro V3. I pick a profile and experiment with different DTs to produce the color and level of development I want (i.e., I pick a profile with a longer time between 1C and end than I expect to need, then drop the roast when DT gets to the target I've selected.) The simple buttons shown in the app prototype appear to do something similar.

That said, I'm not clear on how the magic is achieved. First, the app must allow you to mark 1C, which AFAIK isn't possible in the current Home app. Second, the profile editor must be more complex than even the Pro app editor because it has to take into account multiple possible roast levels and development times. Third, each profile must apply to a specific bean, probably sold by Ikawa, where they've tested, measured and tasted different roast level and development time combinations.

This leads me to speculate that the marketing strategy for the 100g Home roaster is to tie each profile to a specific coffee sold by Ikawa or other greens vendors. Actually, that's probably been the strategy for the Home all along. If this is still true for the 100g Home, greens vendors are the target subscribers for the profile editing capability, not end-users, and the subscription price won't be a problem for them.

I think the Home has always been intended for people who really aren't interested in developing profiles. They just want to push a button and roast the coffee, happy to leave the often complicated and tedious task of dialing-in roasts and editing profiles to someone with roasting expertise. Assuming the Roast Degree ad Development Time controls are included in the free app, end users will have the ability to easily try different roast levels and DTs for a given coffee they got from the greens vendor / profile creator. I think there are many potential home roasters out there who will be delighted with that -- i.e., "I can roast the bean to my particular taste without learning how to create and edit roast profiles."

Of course, the downside is that the end user is locked into buying coffee from Ikawa or greens vendors who provide full-featured 100g Home profiles for their beans. For the strategy to truly succeed, Ikawa has to market more aggressively to roasters who serve the Home market. That'll be a chicken-and-egg effort, to be sure.

One thing to bear in mind is that Ikawa must avoid cannibalizing its Pro market or really p*ssing-off it's current Pro customers (like me), who paid 4x-5x the 100g Home price for their machines. Leaving out the all-important exhaust temperature probe and including the profile editor in the free app are the two ways they're doing that. It would have been a harder decision for me between the new 100g Home and my Pro V3, but in the end I probably would have opted for the combination of exhaust temperature monitoring and ability to edit profiles without paying a monthly subscription fee.
I think you are spot on. I noticed the FAQ shows what you get with the paid subscription:
In Advanced Editing, you can edit roast recipes with up to 6 roast inlet temperature points, 3 airflow points across 12 minutes and customise bean cooling for up to 3 minutes. It's available as a subscription at £29.99 (facilitated via the iTunes store) or free for users with app accounts created before the 1st of November 2021, when these controls were the primary mode of our Roasting System.
So the "free" app has the DT and Roast Degree (Light, ML, Medium...) with the paid app adding inlet temps etc. Not sure what airflow points is. No mention of exhaust temp, which seems to be still exclusive to the pro version.

mathof

#13: Post by mathof »

GoodOmens wrote: So the "free" app has the DT and Roast Degree (Light, ML, Medium...) with the paid app adding inlet temps etc. ... No mention of exhaust temp, which seems to be still exclusive to the pro version.
You can add exhaust temp to the home version by tucking a thin-wire thermocouple between the top edge of the drum and the glass top, and running the output through artisan. I've been doing this for years, although recently I moved the tc into the swirling bean pile.

_Ryan_

#14: Post by _Ryan_ »

Peppersass wrote:I think we need more details before concluding that this new product is a paperweight. Specifically, when they say "premium-feature advanced roast curve editor", which is only available by subscription, do they mean the ability to edit the inlet temperature and fan speed curves, or do they mean the new Roast Degree and Development Time controls?

If included in the free app, the new roast controls could be a game-changer for home roasters who don't have the desire and/or skills to create or edit roast profiles. They're similar to how I manage roasts on my Ikawa Pro V3. I pick a profile and experiment with different DTs to produce the color and level of development I want (i.e., I pick a profile with a longer time between 1C and end than I expect to need, then drop the roast when DT gets to the target I've selected.) The simple buttons shown in the app prototype appear to do something similar.

That said, I'm not clear on how the magic is achieved. First, the app must allow you to mark 1C, which AFAIK isn't possible in the current Home app. Second, the profile editor must be more complex than even the Pro app editor because it has to take into account multiple possible roast levels and development times. Third, each profile must apply to a specific bean, probably sold by Ikawa, where they've tested, measured and tasted different roast level and development time combinations.
<snip>
I've done a bit of consulting on transitions to consumption-based and "as a service" business models, including product pricing strategy. I've seen a lot of things not work. :lol:

Why I reacted so emotively, is that they're expecting a consumer to pay for an asset, the capabilities of which are unlikely to be materially changed by software development, whilst locking features behind an ongoing software charge.
They then expect the buyer to pay for ongoing software access (and potentially development and lifecycle that may not have been factored into the product cost), software which unlocks the key value proposition of the product they purchased (assuming they target "enthusiasts" considering the price point.)
If you want subscription model with an asset, lease the hardware to the client and bundle the lot.

If there is value in buying beans from them to unlock roasting profiles, that R&D shouldn't be charged as a subscription that is also blocking roaster features, it should be positioned as "hey, if you buy beans from us it's easy to get a great roast as we provide a proven roast profile for $1, or our roast membership[or whatever, or build into the bean cost]".

/rant.

I'm annoyed as other than the capacity (which I could kinda live with due to back to back batches) I'm hesitant to buy a device that I can't be sure I'll have full control over- and this roaster sits in a sweet spot budget-wise. (and I've seen too many companies make similar silly mistakes)

_Ryan_

#15: Post by _Ryan_ »

Peppersass wrote: One thing to bear in mind is that Ikawa must avoid cannibalizing its Pro market or really p*ssing-off it's current Pro customers (like me), who paid 4x-5x the 100g Home price for their machines. Leaving out the all-important exhaust temperature probe and including the profile editor in the free app are the two ways they're doing that. It would have been a harder decision for me between the new 100g Home and my Pro V3, but in the end I probably would have opted for the combination of exhaust temperature monitoring and ability to edit profiles without paying a monthly subscription fee.
How many Pro models (% of sales) do you reckon went to the home market? I wonder if they'll address it with a loyalty discount on the next version if there is enough noise...

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Peppersass
Supporter ❤

#16: Post by Peppersass »

GoodOmens wrote:I think you are spot on. I noticed the FAQ shows what you get with the paid subscription:

[FAQ quote omitted]

So the "free" app has the DT and Roast Degree (Light, ML, Medium...) with the paid app adding inlet temps etc. Not sure what airflow points is. No mention of exhaust temp, which seems to be still exclusive to the pro version.
Yes, except that there may be more to the paid app than just setting inlet temperature and fan speed points. Each button for DT and Roast Degree must alter the profile. The question is whether they apply fixed modifications to the profile, or if they can be customized for each profile. I can see where the DT buttons might each apply a fixed time after 1C, such as 1:00, 1:15, 1:30, 1:45, 2:00, 2:15, etc. Changing the Roast Degree, however, is more complicated. I think that could require making changes in several places, like charge temp, various temp and fan speed changes throughout the roast, etc. And it would interact with DT as well. I would think all those variables would have to be set on a per-green basis, and if the app lets you do that it's worth more than the existing app. If not, it could be a very basic alteration of the profile, like altering charge temp, altering the temperature ramp to shorten or lengthen the overall roast, etc., and the app wouldn't be worth more than it is now. If the new roast controls are basic, and not editable for each profile, then I'm somewhat skeptical about how useful they'll really be across a wide variety of greens.

Again, I believe the subscription model represents a change in the target market and/or business model for the Home product (at least, the 100g model), in which Ikawa has decided that the target customer base wants an easy-to-use appliance with enough flexibility to make very general but important modifications to a roast (e.g.," I can roast this green to the level I like rather than have to buy it roasted to a level I don't like"), but doesn't require a deep knowledge of roasting, ability to edit profiles, etc. We just had an extensive thread about this, where the OP wants to roast her own coffee but doesn't want to dive into the complexities of roasting. Like most coffee/espresso enthusiasts, she needs more than 50g capacity. I think she's the target market for the 100g Home. If Ikawa can sell enough of these 100g Home roasters, they may be able to recruit greens vendors to buy a 100g Home with the editing subscription to provide Home users with profiles for their greens.

My guess is that the Home hasn't been a particularly successful product, especially compared with the Pro series, which has been very successful. In addition to the small 50g batch size, which is fine for sampling and experimenting (and singles-drinkers like me!), the editing capabilities of the existing Home are quite limited, and having only inlet temperature and fan speed to play with, and a limited number of set points, makes achieving the desired results quite difficult -- something that may require professional-level skills to get right for a particular green.

Once again, Ikawa has to justify the price of the Pro series, which is intended for professional roasters. If there isn't enough differentiation between the Home and the Pro, the Home will eat into the Pro market. Bottom line, if you want professional roasting capabilities, you have to spend more money.

GoodOmens, in answer to your question, the airflow points are set points for fan speed.

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TigerStripes

#17: Post by TigerStripes »

Peppersass wrote: Once again, Ikawa has to justify the price of the Pro series, which is intended for professional roasters. If there isn't enough differentiation between the Home and the Pro, the Home will eat into the Pro market. Bottom line, if you want professional roasting capabilities, you have to spend more money.
IMO, the smart solution here would be to somehow make the pro a better product or more attractive buy for professional roasters - not to cripple the software controlling roast on their home roaster.

For a roaster at this price point, I'd expect to be able to do more than tell it I want "light, medium, dark" and adjust the DT. My $300 fresh roast setup can roast 230g batches and has more control than you get with the Ikawa.

If you're paying $1000 for a home roaster, you're probably the kind of person who cares about adjusting roast profiles yourself. It's a pretty deep level of hobby to be willing to spend $1000 on roasting equipment for 100g batches.
LMWDP #715

ira
Team HB

#18: Post by ira »

Or $1000 is not out of reach and you want a roaster where you can be relatively certain you can get good results without much effort and are willing to spend the money to insure always having fresh coffee. The Roaster and $25/month gets you a kilogram of curated coffee every month with recipes presumably designed to get the best out of the supplied coffee, or at least supply a really good starting point. From my perspective, it's very attractive. I gave up roasting because I could never get consistent results, Mostly I blame the roaster, but I'm not much for keeping notes so I'm sure a lot of the blame lies on me. This removes all those issues and means I get always fresh coffee for relatively low effort. Even if I need to roast every three days, since it's just measuring 100 grams and pressing start, it's hardly a burden.

In my opinion. That's what the Behmor was supposed to be when I started my second attempt at home roasting, but never was. All the feedback on Ikawa is that it succeeds at that goal and if I'd spend $1000 for this instead of buying a refurb Behmor for $199, I'd be way ahead.

Ira

baldheadracing
Team HB

#19: Post by baldheadracing »

I'm interested in this. My collection of long-out-of-production iRoast2's won't last forever. I have played around a lot with profiles on the iRoasts and pretty well stick to just four - small load, washed, natural, and low-grown/low-density.

Am I reading this right and It seems like early buyers will get a roaster/software with more flexibility in profiling than the existing 50g home model?
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

Espressoman007

#20: Post by Espressoman007 »

ira wrote: That's what the Behmor was supposed to be when I started my second attempt at home roasting, but never was. All the feedback on Ikawa is that it succeeds at that goal and if I'd spend $1000 for this instead of buying a refurb Behmor for $199, I'd be way ahead.

Ira
How are you going to pay $1000? It costs £970 ($1318) in England, if shipping to US is free, you don't pay taxes for importing?
"Customers after this date will have to pay a monthly fee (£29.99/m) to access this feature - more details will follow."
£30 (40$)
Do people from US get a special price or there is a misunderstanding?

Cheers!