Using an Ikawa Home Roaster as a sample roaster for our Roastery
Coffee roasteries need to be able to sample roast coffee samples consistently and pretty often. Speciality coffee suppliers will of course send you roasted samples, but for better control over how your coffee is sampled it's better to do it yourself.
What is sample roasting?
Put simply, sample coffee roasting is exactly that. You get a sample of green coffee then you roast it using a consistent profile (the roasting recipe) so you can test potential coffees in a more 'scientific' way. You see, the way you roast coffee has a distinct impact on what it tastes like. So if you don't sample your coffees in a consistently roasted way, then you can't really evaluate them.
What's up with the Ikawa?
Ikawa has two models of their hot air (fluid bed) roaster: pro and home. The pro version is pretty expensive but offers a lot more control over your roast profile. More on that if I ever get one! But for now I'm going to focus on the Ikawa home roaster (https://ikawahome.com/).
Using the Ikawa app, you can control:
3) Fan Speed
Temperature over time are the most important variables here and as the Ikawa used hot air to roast the coffee it is very controllable. However, typically you'd want a consistent heat profile applied to the coffee so maybe the Ikawa Home is good for sample roasting? Because you don't want to mess around with the profile when sample roasting.
It would be a different story if you had a Ikawa Pro roaster and a fluid bed main roaster. Because then you would be able to sample roast on the Ikawa, then develop a roasting profile which could be (sort of) transferred to your fluid bed roaster.
Profile building on a fluid bed, then using that for a drum roaster isn't really relevant as you're mixing up two different roast methods.
Anyways, on the Ikawa Home Roaster you can select a predefined roast profile (based on what they send you if you sign up to their subscription service) or build your own. I copied on of their profiles and then adapted it.
You can then adjust the points on the roast profile to increase or decrease temperature and also time (fan speed is the bottom line). ** note too much fan at the end will result in all of your coffee being prematurely dropped into the collection tub.
For those who use drum roasters, you'll eyes will be popping out of your head when you see those roast times! But that's the reality of fluid bed roasting and another reason why these profiles aren't easily transferred to drum roasters.
I'll get a video up on here soon with some of our green coffee offers used as examples.
In the meantime you can buy those here:
Here's the Ikawa!