We're in Chicagoland, and interested in a used roaster...


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Apr 17, 2013
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We're looking to buy a roaster.
It's a group of 5 people (one point of contact, and one payer only, so not a hassle) that is planning to open a small roast shop in an area with no other fresh coffee options.
We aim to open in July, and we've debated getting a brand new roaster, vs used, and I need to see what's out there on the used market.

We also know that we're okay with as small as a 3 Kilo roaster, if it's the right product. If things go swimmingly, that could end up being a shop roaster for an actual coffee bar. If things go slowly, we won't outgrow it.
Ideally we're looking in the 5 Kilo range--but that we wouldn't pass up an opportunity to get something larger.
I have to imagine anything larger than 12 Kilo is going to be more than we want to roast at a time--we'd rather buy a used roaster, and potentially outgrow it and expand, than start off with too much roaster for the product we can move, etc.

Anyway, 2 of our guys are in love with fluid bed roasting, and the rest of us prefer a drum.
We all agree that we can partially base this decision on what is available on the market, because we intend to eventually run a small fluid bed and a drum... so if an 8lb Sivetz were to appear, that would probably impact our decision making process. We have friends who roast (professionally) on fluid bed, and obviously friends on drums, so we know the upside and downside of each, and are just lucky enough that our best work with either option is light years better than what you can get in town (seriously... it's McD's and DD coffee only out here...)

I am interested in vintage drums, American or European, and in more modern products, mostly from the US.
At this time, there are exceedingly few fluid bed options I am comfortable with (no Sonofresco, etc... never seen ANYONE use the one from Washington, and I won't be the guinea pig) and we are not going to consider any of the Chinese roasters on the market at the moment, even though I do expect to see great things in the future. I have read every lick of information on the North lines and several others... I know they could work for us, size and price-wise, but I have concerns that make it not worth dealing with.

Posting this in case anyone is looking to move something, or in case anyone cares to hip me to some options.
We will do what we have to do to procure the right product from anywhere in the lower 48 states.
We are prepared to purchase within the next 2 weeks, and have budgeted up to 3 months to decide whether we have to just say "forget it, I'm ordering a SF6 or a USRC M5."

Thanks for your time!