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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Coffee Roast Analyzer Questions

    Hi All,

    I'm an optical scientist, and also have a love for coffee, so I've been kicking around the idea of developing a coffee analyzer. I'd be curious what others think might be important to measure for roasters in particular. My target device would probably be in the ~$1000 range, so not super expensive but also not something a hobbyist would likely purchase- I would expect medium sized and up roasters might find it valuable. Given the price range there's going to be some trade off in what can be done without making an expensive or difficult to use analyzer. I envision a handheld device that you could put up against some ground roasted (or green) coffee beans. Here's some ideas I have so far:
    1. Roast color- visible color indication
    2. Infrared roast color- similar to Agtron
    3. Oil content- not sure if this is important?
    4. maybe some volatile gases in the freshly ground sample? Sub 1 mg/L (1ppm) values are likely not possible but maybe.

    Would any of this be of potential use to test either the coffee quality or roast quality? Are there other parameters that might be of importance? Any advice on potential parameters to measure as well as whether the price range makes sense are appreciated.

    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
    sae
    sae is offline
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    have you heard of agtron?

    Agtron Inc. Coffee Solutions

  3. #3
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    Yes, I have heard of them. My understanding was that their device is ~$10k and only measures the roast color in the IR- I think there's room for improvement to that both in price and measured parameters.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Thomaston, CT
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    Hello Coffeescience --there is always room for true technology. Especially when it may be cost effective for small batch roasters to utilize such a tool.
    And maybe not so small roasters! Often though in marketing, the big names(out there), such as Sae mentioned(Agtron), and others with proven products
    also established in the coffee world have a great advantage. But not insurmountable. So consider this encouragement in your endeavor. Who knows,
    someday you may be the best new product at one of the many Coffee Fests. I have often thought of purchasing some "tools" such as color comparisons
    and true bean moisture. The problem often is when you set aside $ for the purchases, other bills or needs appear. Such is life.

  5. #5
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    I think the more information I can get pre- and post-roast the better roaster I can be. So all the measurements you've mentioned, if tracked over time, could give me quite a bit of important data that could impact my roast quality. If you can work it in, pre- and post-roast moisture content would be nice measurements to have. Like JumpinJakJava, there are several pieces of coffee equipment on my wish list so something that gives the the measurements of device A, but at 10% or 20% of the price, makes it much more likely that I can move that from my wish list to my roastery and actually make good use of it.
    Wrinkles only go where the smiles have been -- Jimmy Buffett (via Mark Twain)

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Thanks JumpinJak for the encouragement and info- I'll be doing some testing in the upcoming months to see what kind of accuracy I can get. It sounds like moisture might be a good one to look into as well, hadn't thought of that but it's pretty obvious and likely possible- thanks expat.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    By the way expat, I lived in Ireland for a few years back in 2007 over in Galway. Even in trendy Galway there wasn't any real gourmet coffee roasters, seems like Ireland would be a ripe place for a roaster...

  8. #8
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    If I could have 1 handheld device that measured moisture content in green beans and doubled as an agtron (or other measured parameters)...I'd buy it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Thomaston, CT
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    Coffeescience, here is an ebay auction that shows a coffee analyzer almost half the price of the Agtron. Are you familiar with this device?

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Thomaston, CT
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    Javalytics Degree OF Roast Analyzer | eBay

    Sorry! Forgot to post link last reply.

 

 
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