What size roaster should I buy?

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I'm starting a coffee business where I expect to sell anywhere from 4lbs to 20lbs of coffee a day. I believe it's important to the business to roast in house.

Conclusions - Home Roaster is too small and not durable enough for up to 40 roasts a day. SonoFresco Roaster is costly for only 1 lbs roasting ability. Larger Commercial Roasters are hard to set up in a Coffee shop, require more attention and have EPA issues to deal with.

Which way should I go and do I really have EPA issues at this level of roasting?

-- Chuck Field (ravencef@theramp.net), April 04, 2004


I'm looking AeroRost Coffee Bean Roaster. Looks like it will roast 1- 2 lbs at a time. I don't own one yet, but the price makes it very appealing. http://www.cafecoffees.com


-- Charles W (chuckie@vrtlweb.com), April 06, 2004.

Hi, I've been looking at roasters myself and the SonoFresco was all I came up with initially. With a little more searching I found Ambex roasters (http://www.ambexroasters.com) While I have not tried one (I'm in Australia) They have been recommended by a variety of roasters in the US. They have 2,5,10 and 15 pound roasters.


-- Anthony (rover3500@iprimus.com.au), April 09, 2004.

Roast your own is a big committment and often ends up setting the theme for your retail business - like a miniture factory that serves coffee by the cup, too! Please buy best from "source" and if your operaion looks like too small of a miniture and not the real thing - they (the customers) will treat it and you like a toy and not like a source. You pay a wholesaler $4 per pound for delivering you coffee at wholesale prices and the choice then is to pay that to yourself. 20 pounds daily @$4 - $80 and that is $1680 per month if you do it 5 days per week. You can buy a lot of professional roaster for $1680 bucks per month. Food for thought.

-- Jay Endres (jay@coffeetec.com), April 15, 2004.

Thank you all for the help. I think Iíve moved away from everything except the traditional roasters. Something in the 3-5 lbs range seems right. Iím currently focusing on the Ambex YM-2 and the Coffee- Tech Torrefattore. When I called Ambex, they started out by asking me more questions than I had for them. They instructed me on what was needed or required for my store and let me know they had free training available (three days worth). Needles to say, Iím leaning toward the Ambex, considering the level of support Iíve gotten. I decided to make a trip to Atlanta (SCAA) and look at both first hand.

-- Chuck Field (charles.field@javanationinc.com), April 15, 2004.

I have a 5 lb roaster I love, It is a rair industries roaster although we have closed our shop I am selling this equipment if anyone is interested please call me at (615) 485 - 1181 Jamie

-- Jamie Salano (salano@comcast.com), April 28, 2004.

We own 2 of the Cafe Roasters from MonsterCoffee.com. (They're the exclusive dealer for the Sonofresco units). We put one in each of our stores and are building a 3rd which will have 2 more. You might find it interesting that we started roasting about 4 years ago with an Ambex 5lb unit. The drum roasters are too hard for our employees to operate which meant I was always stuck roasting at our main store. These little roasters are absolute work horses. They're simple, consistent & reliable! Never had a breakdown, and not a single call from our stores with any problem. The coffee's great and actually tastes better than the old drum stuff. I know of several others that have these units and everyone agrees it's the best thing going for a retail roasting operation. At any rate, for what it's worth, there's my opinion. Keep it simple and you'll be happier!

Best of luck & happy roasting!

-- Dave Nash (coffeefreakin@yahoo.com), May 22, 2004.

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