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Roasters for Third World Design Build
Can you let us know a bit more about the situation? How often and how far are we talking about this setup being moved? It takes a while to get a wood fire going - is that the only heat source available or is their access to propane/NG? You still haven't mentioned how much coffee should be roasted per batch so that's information we need.

Unless I am missing something I'm with Scott and others that a homebuilt rocket stove and cast iron pan would be best. If you build the rocket stove smartly it could be easily moved around on a small cart pulled behind a bike, would be cheap, and you cant get more visual (or cheap) than a pan.

If I saw a kid stirring coffee beans in a skillet over a diy stove with smoke wafting off in a poor area I would buy them if only to throw them out down the road :)
Honey badger 1k, Bunn LPG-2E, Technivorm, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Vibiemme Double Domo V3
Hi Steve,
Sorry about burying you in questions but.......
What sort of materials are available and what is the mechanical capacity ? (will it be built on site?)

Pretty hard to beat the simplicity of roasting in a pan, over a fire.
I worked on some third-world designs in grad school and at one time I considered applying to a London-based industrial design house that developed projects for such situations.

You are on the right track with local materials, fuel and roaster labor. You also need to include local artisans for its construction. The trick isn't to design, build, or ship a roaster "for them," but rather to "show them" how to design and build their own. Therefore, its not the roaster you'll be designing (although you'll have to make some prototypes to demonstrate the possibilities), but rather design a coffee roaster building workshop.
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