New Roasting System

Fresh Roaster

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Jun 30, 2006
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We are currently looking for test users for a exciting new roasting system.

Although the system has been in successful commercial use for almost six years now as a test program, we are finalizing the design and preparing for a full rollout. Over $12 million has gone into the devlopment of this patented system and it represents what many who've seen it in action, say is a "revolutionary" development in the industry.

What makes it unique? First the system is entirely smokeless and ventless. Using catalysis the system transforms the smoke via chemical reaction to CO2 and water vapor. The catalysed exhaust is then routed through a heat exchanger which heats the new incoming fresh air intake. (After a few roasts, the stored heat accumulates and the computer starts to reduce heater and electrical usage as it create its own heat through the combustion and reaction. Your coffee becomes fuel!) The exhaust is then condensed and cooled and sent through three different filter media, the last of which are two very robust HEPA filters. Finally, it exits out of the top of the system (over six feet up) as slightly warmer than room temperature (90-115 degrees) clean smokeless air. We actually often run the machines in our lab without any filtration other than the catalyst. The system is also fully enclosed. No afterburners, chimneys, expensive venting or dangerous "hot" spots. It can sit anywhere inside a retail establishment safely, which it has now at 28 locations in the past five years of testing and development.

In addition to the advanced catalysis which was specially designed for this system by industry pioneer Englehardt, the system utilizes many other high tech approaches. State-of-the-art process control software, a touch-screen PC, simple user interface tools and our patented system of laser reflectometry complete the package. With the laser we track and control the roasting process "in-line" through color. This basically allows anyone, experienced or not, to create a perfect and consistently identical roast every time. The system replaces the "roast master" with unmatched computer and laser precision.

The operation is simple. The user uses the touch screen to select a bin (variety), a poundage and a type of roast. Done. (There are plenty of advanced features as well, such as creating blends and customizing the roast profile on the fly). A "carousel" or merry-go-round as some call it, with 16 bins (hence 16 different varities) storing almost 300lbs. of green coffee spins to the selected bin or bins inthe case a blend was selected. The beans drop into the scale and then into the drum. That's it and you can walk away! While you're off doing something important, a laser beam is being projected through a window in the drum that sends back a color response to a colorimeter. That in turn is fed into the computer which makes adjustments to the roast profile (real-time) and monitors the roast development adjusting all of the machine's individual systems as needed. When the coffee has been roasted to the selected roast parameters, the heat treatment is terminated and the coffee is dropped into a cooling system, cooled and then dropped into a canister. All one needs to do is empty the canister after each roast. Pretty simple.

In most of our current locations a low level clerk is put in charge of roasting. The "roast master" at one of our locations in Santa Barbara, CA is a 16 year old part time high school student now roasting around 3500 pounds per month for a single store and coffee bar. Her boss just got her a second machine. The point is that the system makes anyone not only an expert but perfect. You can't fool the laser!

This machine finally solves the inconsistency problems of time and temperature and provides a truly automated system which does not require experience or monitoring. It is unaffected by water content, ambient air, humidity, etc. Roast times vary by weight and frequency of roasts. A 5lb. French roast can take anywhere from 11-19 mintues depending on the state of pre-heatedness. The roaster has a maximum 5lb. yield (roasted) and a minimum of 1lb.

The last item of interest is the econmics. What this machine also does is remove a level of distribution and cost. With fuel prices where they are this is becoming increasingly important. With the FRS system you shed the component costs of the wholesale roaster. Our average user is generally getting a fresher product for anwhere from as little as $2.60lb. to $6.00lb which includes our fee. Those same locations were previously paying $5.50lb to $12.00lb for the same coffee. That's an incredible margin increase that can't be ignored. But when you don't have the cost of the roaster's drivers, truck, insurance, bags, boxes, rent, equipment, taxes, repairs, maintenance, personnel... I think you get the picture.

And just for the record, the system has already been recognized by many industry professionals for its ease of use and outstanding consistency as it was made the official roaster of the Kona Coffee Festival a few years ago. Virtually every cupper made note of its ability to acheive such a high level of precision.

We are seeking roasters, coffee shops and other venues looking for increased margin, fresh roasted coffee and to help us finish development for our national rollout. This stage will only involve the West Coast, preferably, from San Francisco south to San Diego and potentially selected areas in Greater Seattle. There is no equipment cost and we do not and will not sell the machines. We will charge a roasting fee per pound and require only an operating agreement. We pay for all maintenance (except for air filters). Simply, you pay only for what you roast. We can pretty much guarantee it will be about half of what you pay now for coffee that is not nearly as fresh and nowhere close to the level of consistency you will be able to achieve on your own.

The machine is not small. It is roughly the size of a large refrigerator at 72"H x 34"W x 50"D and weighs approxmately 1200lbs. It is easily moved as it is on large industrial grade locking casters. It requires 208, 220, 240 single phase 50 amp service (60 amp recommended). This is not a home roaster nor is it really designed for heavy commercial wholesale roasting although we do have people doing that and will consider wholesalers. We seek those requiring between 20 and 100 pounds of roasted finished coffee per day. You must also be willing to spend limited time with our engineers regarding usage and provide feedback for improvements or changes to our staff. We may also ask to visit your site with potential customers. A non-disclosure agreement is required. Roasting fees vary with volume but genarally start at a maximum of $1.50 per pound. We will be selecting only fifty sites for this program stage. If interested please contact us. Looking for some team players!

Matt Weisberg - General Manager
Fresh Roast Systems, Inc.
2536 Pulgas Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94303

T: 650-325-1795
F: 650-325-1796

[email protected]

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