What is coffee roasting, and how is it done?
Coffee roasting converts an unroasted coffee bean from its dense, green, raw state; to the toasty brown, caramelized sugar, and flavored oil miracle that is roasted coffee.
Many types of coffee roasting equipment are on the market, each offering differing roasting techniques. One of the oldest techniques is drum roasting, typically larger machines, both in size and weight, are constructed with heavy materials and typically located in a roasting room unseen by the public. The drum roasting process requires preheating of the roasting drum, manual monitoring and manipulation of the roast process, and termination to a cooling bin. The beans are roasted by conduction from the hot surfaces of the heated drum to the bean. The recent introduction of profiling software has aided in the repeatability of the end product. However, most still require user interaction during roasting to develop the bean to finality.
Air roasters, typically smaller and less complex appliances, use hot air to fluidize the beans to allow for even roasting of every bean. This heating method is known as convection roasting, similar to how an oven cooks food. The constant movement of the bean allows for even roasting; no bean will sit on a hot surface long enough to over-roast. Most air roasters incorporate a visual aspect of the roasting process, allowing the roasting professional to witness the development of the coffee throughout the roasting process. Adding the visual element to a retail environment enables the customer to experience the process for themselves and provides an opportunity to engage with the customer and educate them about coffee, a truly unique experience for both retailer and customer.
So, what do we do differently?
The Sonofresco roaster is a fluid bed or air roaster incorporating automation and visual impact.
The heart of the roaster is an automated control system monitoring and driving the roasting process without user intervention during the roasting cycle. The user selects a roast level for the desired degree of roast and initiates the roast cycle; the control system does the rest! Behind the scenes, the control system will follow a roast profile, making adjustments throughout the roast cycle to progressively increase the temperature of the beans over time.
What is a roast profile?
A roast profile is essentially a highway or instruction set to roast; how will we roast the coffee to bring out the desired characteristics of the bean, fast, slow, or both? It is a series of points to create a curve to determine what will happen during the roast. To accomplish this, the Sonofresco coffee roaster utilizes a single roast profile and ten end roast levels. Adding the Advanced Definition Software (ADR) expands the capability of the roaster by allowing user definition and creating custom profiles unique to you.
What are roast levels?
Roast levels determine how dark the bean will roast. The Sonofresco has ten roast levels; each preprogrammed with an end temperature to which the roaster will end the roast. Adding the Advanced Definition Software (ADR) expands the capability of the roaster by allowing user definition of these ten individual endpoints for each custom profile created. Once the end roast temperature has been achieved, the roaster automatically terminates the heat source. It cools the beans to a temperature low enough to place into a bulk storage unit, espresso grinder, or even directly into a Kraft bag.
What happens next?
This is where the real work begins; the next step is to clean the roasting components, which will require about 45 seconds of labor, removing the chaff and oils to keep the roaster working at its best, add the next batch of beans, press the start roast button and the next roast starts, it’s that simple.
What is chaff?
Chaff is a paper-like flake of the innermost skin of the coffee fruit expelled during the roasting process; it contains no value to the end product and is discarded.
What’s best for me?
One Pound & Sample Coffee Roaster.
Designed for batches ranging from 1/4 lb. (120 g) to 1.2 lbs., the one-pound coffee roaster is ideal for a wide range of environments, including home-based coffee businesses, drive-through coffee shops, farmers’ markets, and cafes. A durable red or black powder-coated finish or classic stainless steel color options enhance the visual appeal of this roaster. Produces three 1.2-lb. batches or three 1/4 lb. sample batches per hour. Available in natural gas and propane.
Two Pound Coffee Roaster.
This model is the workhorse of Sonofresco roasters and can produce up to 55 lbs. in an 8-hour shift. Same colors and gas options as the One Pound model but with the capacity to power larger retail businesses and commercial operations. Still need the smaller batches? Add a one-pound model for the ultimate flexibility.
Advanced Definition Roasting (ADR)
The Profile Roaster pushes flavor and customization to another level using the Advanced Definition Roasting (ADR) software. You can fine-tune and monitor the roasting process in both One Pound & Sample and Two Pound sizes without departing from the simplicity of push-button operation. Specialty coffee businesses will love the ability to construct the perfect flavor profile for your customers. Available in stainless steel, cherry red, and black. Bluetooth control allows you to monitor the roasting process, while ADR gives you the edge when looking for that perfect flavor profile.
What else will I need?
The roaster will need to be vented to the outside to remove the roasting byproducts, a small amount of smoke produced for a short period near the end of the roast. There are many options for venting depending on the location and type of installation that best meets local codes and fit the theme of the installation site.
Two Sonofresco options are available:
- Direct Vent – This is the simplest means of venting, directly from the outlet of the roaster and through a wall to the outside. A kit contains double wall pipes, elbows, a wall thimble, and a vent cap.
- Power Vent – A fan-assisted vent hood mounted above the roaster allows for installations requiring longer venting runs that would otherwise add too much restriction.
- Custom Venting – The roaster can be installed under various commercial exhaust systems or custom-made vent hoods. These options should be developed and installed by a qualified contractor.
Why have a coffee roaster without coffee beans? Sonofresco offers a wide range of single-origin and our signature blends in many certifications to round out the experience. Check out our selections. For your convenience, join our Coffee Club for automatic reoccurring orders and a 5% discount on every order.
Beans are shipped in 20 and 50-pound boxes via UPS.
For greater flexibility, both options are available as a Build a Box. Choose any four selections in a single box.
Offers 4 bags of any green coffee combination in convenient 5 pound bags.
Offers 4 bags of any green coffee combination in convenient 12.5 pound bags.