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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Air roasted or drum roasted?

    Which is better in your opinion?

    International experts and coffee aficionados all agree that air roasted coffee causes less harm to the bean during the roasting process and the resulting roasted bean is less bitter and more evenly roasted.

  2. #2
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    I've got to totally agree with this. Not only is it a more even roast, but I also know that much less smoke is circulated around the roasting beans. This way darker roasts can be achieved without a real charcoal or overly smokey taste. The cooling process is also much different in the air-roasters.

  3. #3
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    how do the "international experts" and "coffee aficionados" feel about heat control? and are these the people from monster?
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  4. #4
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    oh and what about air-flow control?
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    As a drum roaster I have to disagree. Although as you say,

    "International experts and coffee aficionados all agree that air roasted coffee causes less harm to the bean during the roasting process and the resulting roasted bean is less bitter and more evenly roasted."

    I'd like to ask you what came first, drum roasting or hot air roasting? Although you say that the beans are more evenly roasted, which tastes better? In my opinion, drum roasted beans tastes much better. In addition true roasters know how to adjust the flame along with air mixture to produce consistent roasts. We also have the freedom to create whatever profiles we want for our customers. I have yet to have a customer that preferred an air roast over a drum roast.
    "A Word of Difference"TM

  6. #6
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    Qld, Australia
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    My vote goes to drum as well,

    Last time I posted info on this subject my inbox was flooded with nasty e-mails so please, this is my opinion only...

    In regards to evenness of the roast, it is true that an air roaster produces a more even colour. This is only with one type of bean, I've found that drums tend to have more even roasts when it comes to roasting blends.

    Also, and this is not fact, I find that drum roasters produce better body. Both types will highlite different characteristics of the flavour, and it comes down to personal preferance in the end.

    Although, altering roast times will vary flavour, air roasters roast faster - this is the argument behind the body of the coffee discussion.

  7. #7
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    Madison, WI
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    Drum Roasters Rule


    Seriously!

    From a strictly scientific view, drum roasters typically take longer to roast the same amount of coffee as an air roaster. So the chemical process of pyrolysis can work longer, causing (in my opinion) fuller development of the flavor compounds in the coffee. This is part of what nzroaster is referring to.
    Also, and this is not fact, I find that drum roasters produce better body.
    Drum roasters also have better controls in virtually every aspect; temperature control, air flow, and time. A roaster who knows how to control these variables will produce a superior cup every time. (Again, in my opinion.)

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2004
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    AIR or DRUM

    It's all about applying temperatures to the product.
    Drum Roasters use secondary heat Air Roasters use primary heat.

    DRUM: heat source heats drum, drum heats air, air heats beans
    AIR: heat source heats air, air heats beans.

    Heat transfer rates in air roasters are probably twice as efficient as in drum roasters.

    Roasting process in a Air Roaster is faster, about half the time.
    That gives you the time to exactly design your taste profile.
    In a drum roaster you do not have that time, normal roasts take 12 minutes how long do you want to roast coffee 24 minutes? That is not going to do any good for the aromas. Of course you can buy computer controlled Drum roasters, go get a quote. There is only so much a simple drum roaster can do. The contact the bean has with the secondary heat source causes heat spots, you will never have that in an Air roaster.
    How do we roasters check the quality of a roast: we break the bean and look if we have one even color from surface to surface. But look at the hotspots, having hot spots you already have two degrees of roast in one batch. How are you going to control that? You cant.
    Even you look at the top end equipment in big setups today it is a combination of drum and air, and believe me if they could do without the drum they would.
    However it is impossible to move 120 KG of beans with air alone. So the Drum in newer developments has the task to move the beans, that’s it.
    Primary heat, drum movement. Still, the temperature control is not perfect.
    The Roast is the foremost component that determines the taste of the end product.
    The most important stage for aroma development is the medium stage, and with an Air Roaster you are in control of airflow and temperature.
    Meaning: the bean temperature can be stabilized because of the vast throughput of air. In a Drum roaster the beans after some roasting have become a heat source it self. It is difficult to stay at the same temperature for a while to accommodate better aroma development.

    This clearly puts Air Roasters ahead of Drum roasters.
    Drum Roasting is more romantic, Yes and it is definitely something for romantics.

    Computers have taken over control and that will also be the future in coffee roasting. Profile roasting is the future too and total control over process will be the aim of development. Drum Roasting will not be the future, in fact it has been the past for quit a while.
    I also would like to add that it is taste at the end of the day and who likes smoked coffee likes it, probably because he never had a clean product.
    Its time to move on, no offence.
    I think the biggest Air Roasters can take 2 – 4 pounds per batch, however they roast espresso in 7 minutes spending some extra time in that medium stage of bean dehydration (between 7-2%), which is the stage where most of the aroma compounds are developed.

    Regards

    Georg
    Good Espresso is the equivalent of millions of tiny angels pissing on your tongue.

    Some like smoked coffee; I like to smoke while having coffee.

    Roasting 50000 pounds of coffee a month in 60 different locations.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator
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    do you own a popcorn...sorry air coffee roasting company? Air roasting is the future eh? Haha your telling me a company could stay in biz while only producing 34 lbs per hour...lets see...if I was to roast on an air roaster I would have to roast 90 hours to produce the coffee I need today. Maxtor you said "Its time to move on, no offence" Non taken and I am not really to worried about my future as a drum coffee roaster.
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    28

    AIR or DRUM

    Thanks for the reply,
    The only point you are making is that the capacity of an Air Roaster for your business would not be enough; I mentioned 120kg per batch, Air roaster.
    Roasting times 3.5 to 10 minutes.
    I believe that this would suffice don’t you think?

    But than Christopher likes to roast in small batches “Smaller batch size allows our roasters precise control of temperature and humidity during the entire roasting process. This careful attention to detail ensures superior quality.
    Good Espresso is the equivalent of millions of tiny angels pissing on your tongue.

    Some like smoked coffee; I like to smoke while having coffee.

    Roasting 50000 pounds of coffee a month in 60 different locations.

 

 
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