by Janet Stayte February 07, 2023 4 min read
Here atRumble Coffee Roasters, it’s essential for our roasters, particularly head roaster Matt and Q-Grader Alex, to have the right tools and equipment to roast the best coffee possible. Suitable tools allow our roasting team to make informed and quality purchasing decisions about new coffee lots.
From coffee machines to coffee roasters, good equipment can make the difference in the quality of the coffee that we produce. One such tool is the Ikawa Pro Series Sample Roaster, which we source throughBrewtech, a coffee-machinery company, and the official Australian importer of Ikawa products.
Sample roasting is when we roast small test quantities of green coffee beans. These small samples are usually 50g or 100g, and they allow us to test-roast our green coffee samples to our preferred roasting profiles, and try out different coffees before we commit to purchasing a large amount of coffee beans and production roasting them.
Some coffee importers or even coffee producers will pre-roast coffee samples and send them to roasteries. The problem with that is we can’t control the age of the coffee since the roast date, the roasting profile or the consistency across roasted samples. This restricts us from making informed and unbiased purchasing decisions about the coffee lot itself, rather than how the importer might have roasted it. When we can’t roast our coffee samples ourselves, the variables affecting the flavour of a coffee are multiplied. If we don’t roast the samples ourselves, we can’t affect the development time since the coffee was roasted, the settings used in that roast profile, or the way the beans were stored after the samples were roasted. With all these factors, it’s hard to just taste the coffee, and judge that alone, without it being affected by these variables.
We like to sample roast, right here in our Melbourne coffee roastery, to reduce many of those variables, and feel confident about our purchasing decisions of different coffee lots. Consistent repeatable roasting is a key to success in the coffee industry and one of the core benefits of the Ikawa.
We also like to test roast profiles and the roast degree, before commencing production roasting. This smaller-scale experimentation is invaluable in determining the final production roast profile.
The Ikawa Pro Series Sample Roaster allows our roasting team to experiment with different roast profiles, airflow, and temperatures to find the best roast profile for that specific coffee. Because of the Ikawa’s efficiency, we can roast multiple small samples (with different sample profiles) in under an hour, which allows us to compare various roast profiles, and decide which tastes best. We can then control variables such as development time, roast time, and the way we store the coffee after we roast it. It’s a great quality control tool for any coffee roastery, and the time that we spend sample roasting enables us to produce higher quality coffee, and save time and money too.
The Ikawa Pro Series Sample Roaster is designed specifically for coffee roasters who are looking to test the quality of their green coffee samples before committing to purchasing a particular lot of coffee.
The Ikawa Sample Roaster works by exposing small batches (50 or 100g, depending on the model) of coffee beans to hot air. The beans are consistently moving during the roast, to ensure an even roast. Our roasting team can control the airflow, roast time, and temperature to create the desired roast profile, and ultimately, the desired taste. These roasting profiles can be saved in the Ikawa pro app, and re-used for future batches, ensuring repeatability and consistency in roasting. These roasting profiles can then be transferred to our larger production roasters if desired. We can also adjust the roast profiles easily and quickly, based on factors such as the moisture content or processing methods of new coffees.
As a small team, we appreciate the efficiency of this sample roaster, which allows the head roaster to experiment with different roast profiles and roast levels, and make informed and nimble purchasing decisions based on the result of the sample roasts. Our team at Rumble uses the Ikawa Pro Series 100, which allows us to sample roast batches of 100g. This roasts enough coffee for us to do a coffee cupping, which is one of the best ways to professionally taste and judge a coffee (you can read more about coffee cupping here), and determine the optimal roast settings if we do a production roast.
One of the most important features of the Ikawa Pro Series Sample Roaster is its’ connectivity with other devices. The roaster can be easily linked to a computer or phone, allowing one of our Roasters to set and save roast profiles, and track the roast time, temperature, and roast level. This data can be saved and used to create detailed roast profiles, and to make adjustments to future sample roasting batches to improve the taste and quality of the roasted coffee.
There are a few sample roasters on the market, so the only question is why our team at Rumble Coffee chose the Ikawa Sample Roaster over other options.
There are a few factors that led to us investing in the Ikawa Sample Roaster, but the key aspect that stood out with the Ikawa was the quality control improvements that it provides. Rumble Coffee has always been a business of coffee professionals focusing strongly on roasting and selling high-quality coffee, and so any steps we can take to ensure we’ve got rigid quality control processes in place is a step in the right direction for us.
The Ikawa is also light and portable, meaning when our head roaster Matt visits the coffee-growing regions where we source our green coffee from, he can pack it in a suitcase, and take it with him! This allows us to test roast coffee samples, and determine the best roast profile - all whilst on the road!
In summary, the Ikawa Pro Sample Roaster is a great sample roaster that we highly value here at Rumble. Our roasting team uses it every week, and think it's the best roaster in the world for roasting green coffee samples.
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