A Different Roaster
We did a lot of research before choosing our roaster and our choice turned out to be unconventional. To begin at the beginning, our ‘shopping list’ included:
- Fluid-bed technology by preference
- Small enough to integrate inside a coffee-bar
- ‘Hands-on’ artisanal roasting but with a high degree of control over roast parameters
- Consistently repeatable roast parameters
Most roasters quickly fell by the wayside. Some good designs were too large, costly or automated. Smaller drum roasters were not really what we were looking for and few, if any, had all the capabilities we sought.
By chance we came across the Artisan 6 by Coffee Crafters of Liberty Lake, WA, USA. Compared with a conventional drum roaster the Artisan 6 looks somewhat funky, owing its ancestry more to roasting nuts than coffee. The more we looked at it, the more we saw both its functional logic and its fit to our requirements. On moving to the UK from Australia we took a second hard look and decided to import one. It has since proved to be a uniquely flexible machine with a blend of both simplicity and sophistication that is rewarding to work with. Coffee Crafters are very serious about their product in the best American tradition and are a pleasure to do business with.
Aside from its degree of control, this machine can work down to a very small batch size – small enough for an individual purchaser – up to larger batch sizes with a high throughput. Roasting with the Artisan 6 is an involving process as everything happens in front of your eyes, not hidden away in the bowels of the machine. Roast parameters can be tweaked as and when desired, with very quick response, but can also be set and changed accurately to repeat a profile from batch to batch. The operator is very aware of the differences in bean characteristics and batch sizes and how they affect the target, so each roast is truly crafted with a customer in mind.