Buying 5kg roaster for coffeeshop/lab/showroom - help!


New member
Mar 5, 2014
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Hello all!

we are coffee company in Europe, expanding our operations and planning to buy small roaster.

It is primarily for sample roasting and small batch roasting of single origin coffees (3-5kg/roast).
Right now machines that are considered are: Diedrich IR5, Probat Probatone5, Giesen W6A and Toper AKS5.

Could You please help me to understand: does any or all of above mentioned roasters meet demand of sample roasting (i.e. ±200g but not more) + 3-5kg batches, "two in one"? Which You would choose and why? What is Your experience?

I've digged into Diedrich's approach to roasting with infrared. Any feedback or comments on that? Why it is (acc to Diedrich's claim) better, more accurate than "normal" gas/propan powered?

I would appreciate very much Your time and feedback!

Many thanks, Nidas


New member
Dec 10, 2013
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I have roasted samples on an Ambex YM2, which is very similar to a Toper, a Diedrich IR3, and probat 1 and 2 barrel sample roasters. I've been able to mess around with a couple Burns open barrel roasters as well as a Quest M3 and a couple other non commercial home roasters. Ultimately, whatever your budget allows, you will find a way to operate the very best that you can, and you can certainly do a great job with whatever tools you have to use.

Many roasters use larger batch machines to roast samples, because commercial sample roasters can be very expensive and are often seen as fairly impractical. While it is indeed true that one has the ability to "roast" any size batch on any size machine, the major issue is control and energy. It is exceptionally challenging to roast super small batches on larger capacity roasters, even on 2 and 3 kilo machines. I have found scorching to be a major issue in this application. Obviously, you can have far too much energy for such a small batch of coffee in this case, so you can singe the surface of the coffee at various contacts with the drum. Further, you can encounter the real dilemma of roasting the exterior of the coffee to a point where appears fully even, while the inside doesn't absorb the heat efficiently to roast it thoroughly. Then there is the issue that many samples are often 100 grams or less. Utilizing an actual sample roaster allows for the opportunity to roast multiple batches of a sample to many different development levels. Plus I have I found them really useful in determining an excellent profile for production batches without using much inventory in experimenting.

Specifically addressing the roasters you are considering, I would opt for the most versatile and responsive machine. I love Diedrichs, but they lack good dynamic responsiveness in super small batches. It can be great for fuller capacity batches, as you can make minimal adjustments throughout, but not very positive in batches below 25% capacity. A Toper is very similar to an Ambex, very good design, and very responsive, but not often put together with high quality components. I have roasted 200 gram samples in the YM2 with good results. Probats and geisens are really well made, but I have never used any of their smaller capacity roasters, other than the probat sample roasters.

One final thought for you. Consider how many samples you will be roasting on a weekly basis. If you intend to roast beyond 4 or 5 samples per week, you might want to consider investing in some sort of sample roaster. It can be extremely time consuming to get your roaster recoup to good charge temps for micro batches. You can easily find yourself taking 2 or 3 hours to roast a few samples on a 2 or 3 kilo.