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Thread: Definition of Micro Roaster?
- 10-31-2012 05:46 PM #1
Definition of Micro Roaster?
Curious, what is the amount considered to be a micro roaster. I guess
a better question is the upper limit to be considered a micro roaster?
- 10-31-2012 07:01 PM #2
Why do you ask?
I'm guessing the definition isn't set in stone.
I can roast from a few pounds at a time on our roaster up to 30 lbs or so.
- 11-01-2012 04:48 AM #3
I would consider my self a micro roaster. I have a 60 kilo and can do from about 30 lbs to 132. My opinion is anything over a 60 kilo is no longer micro."Wine is for aging, not coffee."
Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch
- 11-02-2012 10:41 AM #4
Ok, so its how much you can roast at a time, not perhaps what you produce in say a year?
- 11-02-2012 04:47 PM #5
When I hear "Micro" I immediately think small and dedicated. My idea of a micro roaster would be up to 10k roaster. I think anything above that would not be a micro. Same idea of a micro brewer for beer. The micro brewers here in Canada do a limited run at a time.
- 11-03-2012 10:24 AM #6
The reason I asked, and maybe should of mentioned first, was the company that won the catagory "Micro Roaster" in
the Roast Mag seemed to me to be fairly large. Maybe there is no specific definition.
- 11-04-2012 02:03 AM #7
A very subjective question and I like the variety of answers you've been getting. It shows that there probably isn't really a pat answer for this.
For us though we tend to think not of the size of the roaster or sales volume itself but the overall scale of the business and especially the mind-set of the owners.
As to scale, right now my wife roasts, I sell and deliver. We both label, grind, and bag. Our kids help out when they're not in school or doing kid things. Once the business gets to a point where I'd have to hire someone, where automation -- like a bigger grinder, roaster, or auto-bagger -- couldn't fill in the gaps, then I'd think we might be moving away from being a "micro roaster". Maybe too if The Lovely & Talented Roast Mistress had to get help with the roasting, in my mind that would start to put us in a different category. But with just a 10k roaster, and not killing ourselves, our family can produce about a ton of coffee a week. With things properly automated and a 60kg roaster we could produce five tons a week which works out to about half-a-million pounds of coffee a year. That's a lot of coffee!
As to mind-set we're determined to be as hands on as possible. One thing that means is regular contact with the buyers in the stores we're in. It also means not cutting corners and using the best ingredients. It means really caring about the product. I guess if that mind-set ever went by the wayside -- and in our case we consciously meter the business (yes, even turning down business that we don't feel is 'right' for us) so that it doesn't get to the point where we can't give that kind of attention to our customers and product -- then we'd no longer be a micro-roaster.
So there you go -- our two cents worth.Wrinkles only go where the smiles have been -- Jimmy Buffett (via Mark Twain)
- 11-04-2012 08:02 AM #8
I very much appreciate your two cents. Seems like we are all correct.
- 11-05-2012 09:58 AM #9
- 11-05-2012 10:45 AM #10
I guess when you compare 100,000 lbs per year to some of the roasters that are doing that much per week then it is justified to say a micro roaster is that size but I still stand by my statement that my idea of a micro roaster should be a smaller amount. I mean 8,000 pounds per month is then 2,000 per week which I still have trouble with identifying as "micro" but it would definetaly be the upper end of micro. Maybe we could have a new definition for those doing under 500 lbs per week. This would be someone who roasts just for their own shop and maybe a few customers but definetaly no wholesale.
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