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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    2

    WTB: Giesen W6A (or San Franciscan, Probat or Joper in the 2.5-6kg range.)

    I'm looking for a used Giesen 6kg roaster, but I would consider San Franciscan, Probat or Joper in the 2.5-6kg range.

    Thanks for any help you all can provide!

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2
    Also interested to hear any thoughts on the San Franciscan in general. How does it stack up to Probat and Giesen? There is a significant cost difference, would SF be considered top tier? I've noticed that most competitions are won on Probat, Giesen, and SF, in that order. Confirmation bias because so many people "grow up" and are trained on Probat? There's certainly cult appeal, but they're out there winning competitions....

    What do you guys think?

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    CT
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    71
    Quote Originally Posted by WillyP View Post
    Also interested to hear any thoughts on the San Franciscan in general. How does it stack up to Probat and Giesen? There is a significant cost difference, would SF be considered top tier? I've noticed that most competitions are won on Probat, Giesen, and SF, in that order. Confirmation bias because so many people "grow up" and are trained on Probat? There's certainly cult appeal, but they're out there winning competitions....

    What do you guys think?
    I will share my roaster shopping feedback with you seeing that I have been shopping for a roaster now for 3 months solid.

    I have roasted a limited amount on Probat, Giesen, Diedrich, Coffee Tech, and have a buddy who owned a San Fran 6lb. They are all very good roasters.

    One conclusion I have come to since starting my search for the right roaster, is that if they are available new on eBay there is simple a reason. No demand.

    If you are looking at ordering one of the roasters you listed new, then expect AT LEAST 2-3 months before you get your roaster since none of these companies have one in stock. They build to order or are backed up on orders to where that 2-3 months is realistically 6 months (7-9 months for one guy I know who ordered a custom build from an American company).

    If you are looking at purchasing a second hand roaster that is one of the brands you listed, then it is a lottery chance on finding the right unit for the right price. Refurbishing companies know the availability on these higher end units that you listed, use relationships to purchase second hand units before they hit any classifieds, and then charge you thousands more based on the shipping/parts/labor. Not to mention the additional time it takes to ship the unit to their facility prior to repair before they ship it to you since they act more as a used broker. They post a picture of the roaster, then commit to the refurbish after you express interest.

    There is even a group in California (who's name I won't mention) that sells both refurbished roasters at almost new prices, as well as NEW roasters marked up several thousands because they know how long you will wait for a new custom built roaster directly from the manufacturer. Which is messed up. I can't believe manufacturers would allow them to sell a unit as "new" when all they did was order one to flip to you at a higher price.

    One of these US roaster manufacturers has to figure out that they can dominate by stocking new units. People want to give them money, and they just don't want to take it from us. It is mind boggling to me. Makes me want to go into the coffee roaster business instead of the coffee roasting business seeing that I am presently on my 5th negotiation for a roaster because my last one fell off its palate during shipping.

    Good luck and sorry to vent my own frustrations to you. Perhaps you will have an easier shopping experience than I am having.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by WillyP View Post
    Also interested to hear any thoughts on the San Franciscan in general. How does it stack up to Probat and Giesen? There is a significant cost difference, would SF be considered top tier? I've noticed that most competitions are won on Probat, Giesen, and SF, in that order. Confirmation bias because so many people "grow up" and are trained on Probat? There's certainly cult appeal, but they're out there winning competitions....

    What do you guys think?
    I think buying a roaster because someone won a competition using it is like buying the same tennis racket Serena Williams used to win the US Open. The best equipment with not make you a good roaster. And the problem is, coffee roasters are like drivers, no one thinks they're bad at it.

    FWIW, Ian Picco won the 2018 US Roasters Championship on a Mill City 500g sample roaster. https://millcityroasters.com

    I'm in the same boat as Mr. GreenBean, looking for the right roaster to fit my needs. I'm in the 3.3-7kg market.

    SF has the new SF-10 which would be perfect, but it's $30K before it leaves their door. I can get a very nice 6kg from Mill City for half that.

    If you want some automation, and I do, it's another $4-5K.

    The names I'm look at beside the ones you mentioned are US Roaster Corp, Mill City (no auto), Coffee-Tech (Silon ZR-7) and Diedrich. I'm open to overseas roasters, but I'd prefer not to add $3k shipping to the cost.

    I'm good new or used. I'm not in a hurry, roasting 5#/ batch now on an air roaster, but I want to try a drum machine and see what I can do with it.

    The funny thing about used roasters is that they demand much higher than reasonable prices. There's a 7# 1990s Diedrich for sale by me, but the guy wants a ton for it. For my thinking, it's like a 20 year old car...it's worth $500-$1000, not 2/3 of what a new machine costs! Who knows what could be wrong with it? My son has a 1994 MB E320 with 80K miles on it that just needed the entire wiring harness replaced because the insulation dissolved. Imagine having to rewire a 20 year old coffee roaster and sourcing all the possible parts!

    So I'm still in the weeds looking for the right roaster for me.
    Last edited by almico; 07-25-2018 at 11:26 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    766
    Here is my take and experience with shop roasters. When I purchased my roaster a few years ago I was focused on US made machines so outside of this I don't have a ton of experience.

    Probat - tried and true machines that have been around for years... the cult following is due to the fact these machines are built like tanks and last for years. I attempted to contact them to purchase one of the new series machines but nobody would ever call me back so they were eliminated.

    USRC - solid built us machines out of Oklahoma... it was my choice due to a number of factors. Their close proximity to me and the price point for the machines was the tipping point. Overall pretty happy with the machine, I've noticed that there is a lot of variations from machines from year to year... very difficult to compare two 'like' machines. Love the fact the motors are universal and I don't have to go back to USRC for a lot of parts.

    Diedrich - solid built machines... in my market most people use Diedrich. I have roasted on them a few times.. the infrared burners don't respond quite as fast as flame burner but it was simply not what i was used to. I don't see how you could go wrong with one of their machines.

    San Fran - it was my favorite of the us manf roasters. Solidly built / excellent sales and customer support. At the time I purchase they didn't have the 10 pound machine and the 25lb machine was only sold with the afterburner which made it cost prohibitive. If I was making the decision over again I would look heavily at the 10lb machine... its the sweet spot for startup volume.

    Giesen - I don't know a lot about these machines. No-one is running one of these machines in my market but I did talk to a few folks out in Colorado that were running them. Overall build quality looks fantastic... no hands on experience. When I looked into pricing they were very expensive when you included the cost to import.

    Mill City - they are importing the North roasters out of China. No hands on experience with their machine... one or two in our market and they are fairly well received. When i purchased my machine there was not the Mill City infrastructure (training / importing / green /etc) and I was concerned about support. I don't think that's an issue now... however its still a Chinese manf product. I'm personally willing to pay the additional amount for a US made product.

    I didn't purchase automation software... I think your better off spending money on software like Artisan (don't forget to donate to Markus) or Cropster. Craft Roasting has blow up .. the manf simply can't keep up. Used pricing seems to run about 2/3 original value for a well maintained machine.

 

 

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