I need to buy a new 5 kg drum roaster, and i would like to know your experienced opinion.
My approach is to find the best compromise between price and quality, but I'm able to consider the most expensive choice since I'm looking for quality first...I'm willing to economically dedicate the most important "slice" of my business plan for the "best" roaster available.
I just finished to read the Willem Boot's article on Sept-Oct Roast magazine issue about what to consider before making a conscious decision.
I'm evaluating all the model from the main manufacturer like Ambex, Diedrich, Giesen, Toper, US Roaster corp, Brambati, Petroncini, San Franciscan, Has Garanti, Ozcaffe, Scolari engineering, Wampa, Coffetech, Sivetz, Joper, Gothot and........PROBAT.
It seems that the best roasting companies lean towards Probat (like sweetmaria's founder Tom Owen...my "morning star" for this business), but I saw great roasting company using Diedrich, Gothot and others as well.
I want to know why Probat is the most expensive, and I would like to know it from a technical prospective, please don't just tell me that "they are the market leader".
Are their drum better? Why?
Are their airflow better? Why?
Are their components material better? Why?
Are they burner better? Why?
Do they roast the beans better? Why?
Talking about a very important aspect of the purchase for me, that is the full roast profile automation system, it seems that they don't offer the best choice out there.
For example, it seems that the "logofile artisan" system from Praxis International is much more extensive.
I'm also looking with interest at the evolution of the "artisan" opensource roast project http://code.google.com/p/artisan/
Ditto Dan's suggestion on Roasters Guild being a good resource although, keep in mind that with roasters as with cars, audiophile equip and football teams, "the best" is often very subjective.
Probat doesn't have a corner on the "best" roaster or drum design although they do a great job when properly utilized. Folks have produced exceptional coffee on a Probat with the double wall drum as well as the models with single wall design. Most of the roasters you've listed will most likely produce equally great coffee when the pilot has figured out how to fly it.
After speaking to many in the roasting trade it seems that Probat has more sex appeal than many of their competitors and when given a choice between two equally capable and dependable brands there's a tendency to choose the Probat.
When choosing profile control automation be sure to do some thorough detective work as there are a lot of differences between makes and models with how user friendly and intuitive they are. Talk to end users for the real story. Most manufacturers of these controllers will be happy to give out a list of customers to talk to.
If you decide on one of the ultra low priced roaster brands (one from Turkey comes to mind) beware of the need to do some creative modifications right out the box similar to what you have to do with a lot of the super cheap import tool house items.
As Dan said, think seriously about used roasters especially if you've got even basic mechanical fix-it skills. If a roaster hasn't been in a serious fire they can be brought up to "like new" status with a few replacement parts and a little elbow grease.
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
Well, first of all I would like to express my great appreciation for your kindness and willingness to share your knowledge. I found this forum to be the "best" and most informative...and that is a great merit to their members! :-)
If so, they post over at the Roasters Guild forum.
How can I post there? I'm not a member of SCAA so I won't be able to request a Roaster Guild membership. Is it correct?
Dan wrote:If I were you, I'd be looking at a used roaster.
I consider your suggestion. But again, which roaster brand? :-)
Dan wrote:Have you looked at Roasters Exchange?
I just checked, no used 5kg roaster at the moment, but I'm going to let them know my need for that so maybe they can inform me when they have one available to sell
allenb wrote:When choosing profile control automation be sure to do some thorough detective work as there are a lot of differences between makes and models
This is going to be my first focus! Many roaster manufacturers offer their own full automation profile system (I think of Ambex, Diedrich, Giesen, Probat,US corp...) but I'm aware about "independent" full automation profile system manufacturers, and I post here the list I know:
- "Logofile artisan" from Praxis international
- "Artisan Roast Management System" from Just Quantify Coffee Academy inc
- "Artisan" opensource project http://code.google.com/p/artisan/
- "RoastLogger" from T. R. Coxon
- Pawlan Communications http://www.pawlan.com/commercialroaster.html
- "Profiling Dynamics" from roaster dynamics