Sonofresco Coffee Roaster

What is it, what does it do, and how?

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.

There are many types coffee roasting equipment 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 way of 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, but most still require user interaction during the roasting process to develop the bean to finality.

Air roasters, typically smaller and less complex appliances, make use of hot air to fluidize the beans to allow for an even roasting of each and every bean. This method of heating is known as convection roasting, similar to how an oven would cook 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 aspect to a retail environment allows for the customer to experience the process for themselves and provides an opportunity to engage with the customer and educate about coffee, a truly unique experience for both retailer and customer.

So, what do we do different?

The Sonofresco roaster is a fluid bed, or air roaster, that incorporates automation and visual impact.

The heart of the roaster is an automated control system monitoring and driving the roasting process without the need for 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 on how to roast, that is, how are we going to 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 that will determine what will happen during the roast. The Sonofresco coffee roaster utilizes a single roast profile and ten end roast levels to accomplish this. Adding the Advanced Definition Software (ADR) expands the capability of the roaster by allowing user definition and creation of custom profiles unique to you.

What are roast levels?

Roast levels are simply where we are going to take the bean or how dark it will be roasted at the end of the process. The Sonofresco has ten roast levels, each preprogrammed with an end temperature that the roaster will roast to. 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 creates. Once the end roast temperature has been achieved, the roaster automatically terminates the heat source and proceeds to cool 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. The visual appeal of this roaster is enhanced by durable red black powder coated finish, or classic stainless steel color options. Produces 3 1.2-lb. batches or 3 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 is able to 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. Available in both One Pound & Sample and Two Pound sizes, you can fine-tune and monitor the roasting process 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?

Venting equipment

The roaster will need to be vented to remove the roasting byproducts, a small amount of smoke that is produced for a short period of time near the end of the roast, to the outside. There are many options for venting and are dependent on the location and type of installation that best meets local codes and fit the theme of the location.

Two Sonofresco options available:

  • Direct Vent – This is the simplest means of venting, venting directly from the outlet of the roaster and through a wall to the outside. A kit contains double wall pipes, elbows, wall thimble, and vent cap, that when installed.
  • Power Vent  – A fan assisted hood, mounted above the roaster, allows for installations requiring longer runs of venting that would otherwise add too much restriction to the roaster.
  • Custom Venting – The roaster can be installed under a wide range of commercial exhaust systems or custom made vent hoods. These options should be developed and installed by a qualified contractor.

Specialty Grade coffee beans

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.

Build a 20 Pound Box

Offers 4 bags of any green coffee combination in convenient 5 pound bags.

Build a 50 Pound Box

Offers 4 bags of any green coffee combination in convenient 12.5 pound bags.

How do I get started?

We have made it easy to get started, simply choose from what works best for you:

  • Lease – We know starting a business can add up quickly, start roasting without adding additional capital. Our leasing program will get you started for a low monthly lease payment and coffee commitment, and at the end of the term, choose to continue, opt out or own the roaster outright!
  • Purchase – Leasing not for you? Have capital available? Own the roaster now!

Learn the benefits of roasting your own coffee