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  1. #1
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    Advise Please: About Coffee Crafters Artisan Series Roasters (Commercial Roasters)

    I have read many threads discussing coffee roasters. Sizes, makes, a guy pretending to sell another guy's roaster in California, etc.

    I have been looking into roasting small batches at a local farmer's market (via BBQ grill), and local health officials are making this difficult. I need a commercial kitchen. Now I am thinking of just diving in and getting a commercial roaster to set up in a place of business.

    There is a local group that is opening a coffee shop that employs mentally disabled individuals, and I am aligning myself with their location as a separate business entity (I roast on the location, special pricing for the shop, I will also sell online.) If and when I get to the point of hiring others, I will be set up as a benefit corp that will also hire IDD folks having worked with the Special Olympics for many years (not as a non-profit because having run non-profits in the past, I hate them.)

    Here's the thing... I have a family, mortgage, etc. I am not afraid of 60-80 hours a week to make my business a success, but I do not have $5000-$10,000 for used roaster, let alone the money for a new one (can't seem to find any used in CT anyway). Nor would I trust starting a business that relies on a used piece of equipment.

    Do any of you have any experience with the Coffee Crafters Artisan series roasters? They are electric, have two models, and I have yet to find any chat about them on this forum. They look like hot air popcorn poppers on steroids, and I have no idea what quality they put out. But they are affordable.

    Any input would be very appreciated!

  2. #2
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    I understand your concern on cost of equipment. It is expensive. I wouldn't be afraid of used. I have a 2001 60 kilo that I bought in 2003. I have been roasting on it for about 15 years now and it is amazing. I had it rebuilt about 6 or 7 years ago. the thing with roasters is that if you keep them lubed and clean you are good to go! I roasted on an antique royal for a couple of years(mid 90's). It was built in 1896. Still running in 2018. As for air roasters...I personally am not a fan. I feel the coffee lacks body and development. I would suggest going to a whole foods and ask for coffee they roasted in house. I would then go to a local roaster that uses a drum roaster and then compare the 2. If you are able to do that I would love to hear your thoughts. Good luck!
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    You should be able to see one in person, there’s enough of the original 5 pounders around; give the factory a call. I’ve seen the Artisan 6 at a buddy’s house; they’re noisy and you can’t step away for a minute; which is possible with the drum machines

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by topher View Post
    I understand your concern on cost of equipment. It is expensive. I wouldn't be afraid of used. I have a 2001 60 kilo that I bought in 2003. I have been roasting on it for about 15 years now and it is amazing. I had it rebuilt about 6 or 7 years ago. the thing with roasters is that if you keep them lubed and clean you are good to go! I roasted on an antique royal for a couple of years(mid 90's). It was built in 1896. Still running in 2018. As for air roasters...I personally am not a fan. I feel the coffee lacks body and development. I would suggest going to a whole foods and ask for coffee they roasted in house. I would then go to a local roaster that uses a drum roaster and then compare the 2. If you are able to do that I would love to hear your thoughts. Good luck!
    That was my thought as well. I like your feedback topher! There is something to be said about the chemistry of the bean with the combination of convection and conduction occurring within a drum that is lost with air alone. A different sort of "burn" to the surface of the bean that effects the taste.

  5. #5
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    Also good points Hankua. Noise I can handle. But being able to walk away for a minute can cost money in the long run.

  6. #6
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    I like this forum. The replies to my thread are making me realize that I can easily fail if I start out by thinking with my wallet. Loving the taste of delicious, perfectly roasted coffee and the drive to share this passion with others is my sole purpose. Yes, I would also like to eventually employ some local folks with disabilities, but that is because I enjoy working with people who are intellectually disabled. Not to mention IDD folks can be extremely reliable employees, and routine is quite often a comfort factor for folks with disabilities.

    My mission now is to find a classic drum roaster. In the northeast. In a land where Dunkin Donuts and Cumberlain Farms coffee goes perfectly with that first cigarette on the way to work in the morning.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone!

  7. #7
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    This thread is done. No longer looking at this brand. thanks for the feedback!

  8. #8
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    I've been using one for 4 years. I moved from farmers markets to my own coffee bar and roasting about 100# a week for the bar only.

    The Artisan 6 has been extremely reliable. I have added thermocouples and use Artisan software to monitor my roasts, generate and repeat roast profiles. My coffee is known to be the best in an area with several micro roasters that all use drums from Deitrichs to Probats.

    The nice thing about air roasters like the Artisan 6 for someone just starting out, other than the affordable price, is that they are practically maintenance free with very few moving parts. I use mine in my garage at home where I have a commercial kitchen approved by the local health dept. I just needed to add a hand washing sink. The exhaust, without after burner is very clean, relatively cool (140*) and smells like coffee cotton candy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.GreenBean View Post
    Also good points Hankua. Noise I can handle. But being able to walk away for a minute can cost money in the long run.
    You can walk away for a minute, not 3. I print labels and bag coffee while roasting. It's a bit of a juggling act, but it's doable. A helper comes in handy.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.GreenBean View Post
    I like this forum. The replies to my thread are making me realize that I can easily fail if I start out by thinking with my wallet. Loving the taste of delicious, perfectly roasted coffee and the drive to share this passion with others is my sole purpose. Yes, I would also like to eventually employ some local folks with disabilities, but that is because I enjoy working with people who are intellectually disabled. Not to mention IDD folks can be extremely reliable employees, and routine is quite often a comfort factor for folks with disabilities.

    My mission now is to find a classic drum roaster. In the northeast. In a land where Dunkin Donuts and Cumberlain Farms coffee goes perfectly with that first cigarette on the way to work in the morning.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone!
    I'd love to hear what you've decided upon. I need to increase my capacity and am looking for a 5kg roaster. I like the air roasting taste profile, and am looking at hybrid drum/convection roasters. The Loring Smart roast is my dream, but t 15kg, it's just too big. US Roasters makes a similar roaster in the Revelation series. The 5kg looks like a honey, but it $45K+.

    BTW, more businesses fail from not thinking with their wallet. First and foremost, before you buy anything, you need a thorough business plan.

 

 
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