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Fluid vs Drum

CoffeeQban

New member
Jul 24, 2007
15
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Curious about your opinions regarding the taste and quality of coffee roasted via fluid bed or drum. Prefer comments from those who've tried both methods.

Thanks
 

CafeBlue

New member
Dec 8, 2006
121
0
Toronto
roaster type

Qban;

An interesting topic that can stir many long-winded and highly opinionated discussions beween participants holding diverse opinions - especially at a venue such as the roasters guild. I once heard a roaster state that "drum roasters suck", while another responded cheerily that "fluid bed roasters blow".

I have done extensive comparative cupping and have roasted coffee with several different machines of different brands and styles. While I have some well-formed opinions and preferences of my own, the only useful disclaimer to the following statements is to: avoid seriously flawed equipment.

Nearly any roaster can roast coffee. Many can roast coffee quite well. FRESHNESS, QUALITY OF RAW MATERIALS (green), & THE SKILL OF THE OPERATOR mean much more in the equation than the particulars of the equipment.
Furthermore, a coffee can not become better then the intrinsic character of the green. A skilled roaster can reveal more of the cup characteristics and can tailor the roast for different brewing styles. However a poorly skilled roaster can easily dull the coffee during roasting or blend and roast a coffee poorly suited to the brewing style (particularly when brewing espresso). Similarly the coffee can yield a cup far below the potential intrinsic character - if the coffee is poorly blended, poorly roasted, poorly packaged, poorly stored, not fresh, not ground/brewed fresh, brewed poorly, or served poorly.

Concern yourself less with the specific details of your roaster's equipment and more with their cup quality, commitment to freshness, and commitment to service.
 

Davec

New member
Oct 18, 2006
314
0
Old England (UK)
Re: roaster type

CafeBlue said:
Concern yourself less with the specific details of your roaster's equipment and more with their cup quality, commitment to freshness, and commitment to service.

My god...yes agree absolutely. Although I suppose it is harder to bollox up a roast in a fluid bed roaster and have it be obvious :wink:

Although I suppose it's also hard to tell a "shake n bake" in a drum roaster :-D
 

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
874
0
Seattle,Washington USA
Yeah, I also agree with what CB says. If the roaster is skilled, he or she can only bring out the best in the greens they are using...I would without a doubt go with DRUM :twisted:
 
OP
C

CoffeeQban

New member
Jul 24, 2007
15
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  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
roast

It's funny how some people can have such strong opinions about one or the other and have never tried the opposite.

I used to think air roast coffee was crap, until I tried some in Seattle at Coffeefest. The coffee was roasted right in front of me and I got to tell you it was pretty good. It was full flavored, nutty with a mild acidity and very smooth finish. I was impressed. It was a dark roast, not Starbucks dark, but darker than full city, but it didn't have that burnt aftertaste you sometimes get.

Drums have and do make great coffees, but I think it's foolish to discount the advancemnts being made with fluid air technology.

But that's my opinion nd I want to hear more of yours.

Thanks
 

Davec

New member
Oct 18, 2006
314
0
Old England (UK)
I have tried both.

It depends on so many factors, no simple answer.

Some coffees take well to it some don't
If you roast too fast, then again it can be a problem with certain coffees
Water quenching isn't a good thing on the very large FB systems
It's cleaner than drum roasting (smoke wise)
Operator require a little less skill on FB than drum
Not all drum roasters work the same way (gas, electric and also the heating methods, conduction, convection and radiation)
There is FB and Hybrid type roasters

A lot depends on the coffees you wish to roast, the batch sizes, skill of the operator and any smoke/problems or issues....there isn't a clear answer.
 

rgs2rchs

New member
Mar 12, 2007
17
0
I have found many drum roaster sites but who sales the fluid bed systems? The only one I have been able to find so far is Sivetz. Looking to see what is available for shop use with a capacity of 5kilo's or so.
 

scotthark

New member
Mar 11, 2006
12
0
Carlsbad, CA
I have used both on a commercial level, as well as home roasting versions. The a drum roaster will produce better(read...more complex) coffee, than a fluid bed air roaster. But this topic always comes up, and causes problems, and each have there own place in the industry.
 

brewer3401

New member
Sep 4, 2007
23
0
Southeast Louisiana
New here and see the complexity of roasting will not be an easy thing to do. I brew beer, and there are many combinations of grain, hops, yeast. Looking forward to roasting.
 
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