Here is the info:
The roaster is called the FZ-RR 700 Baby Roaster. It is available in Manual or Motorized with the motorized version coming with a gear motor that drive the rotation of the drum via a 12V power adapter.
Manual: $250 inc GST
Motorized: $370 inc GST
Pricing has been kept as low as possible to make it affordable for domestic. I belive it also to be the best and cheapest sampling roaster for a commercial roaster.
The unique roasting result was inspired by reproducing the velox 1920.
This is a 100% conductive heat roasting apparatus with ď0Ē convection, unlike all home roasters that are mostly full convection and built like laundry dryer ;) .
The sugar and the oils, aroma and the body structure are being developed only by the conduction with hot metal.
Air is added in commercial roasting to collect the chaff, clear smoke and to rush the cycle, once conduction is between the large drum and very tiny spot on the bean surface, you cannot apply extensive heat at once, thatís where air conduction comes in, air is wrapping 60% of the bean surface with heat, but ďdryĒ heatÖso you can apply more energy on the beans because of the large contact surface but you giving up fair amount of the aroma, sugar and oil.
In the FZ RR-700 there are two hemispherical cupper domes, creating a small radius for wrapping a bigger surface of the individual coffee bean, using copper allows you to apply more conductive heat. In this roasting apparatus there is only allowance to evacuate steam and smoke via 3 restricted holes to create little pressure inside the roasting chamber during the final stage.
It is about discovering new spectrums of flavours in coffee.
FZ RR-700 can help many commercial roasters to understand and modify their profile for heavier body, enhanced flavours and wider aromatic spectrum.
I use the baby roaster for sampling as it allows espresso cupping right away with out the real need to rest the coffee and allows me to especially grasp the flavour characteristics of the origins quickly and pleasantly. Above all the process is very enjoyable and something you could not replicate in larger machines due to the need for air introduction. It is the complete opposite to fluid bed roasting. Drum roasters are a combination of both conductive and convective heating and the will vary depending on the burner configuration (atmospheric direct or packed indirect) and airflow control. Most commercial roasters will try and limit the air at certain stages of the process to help with sugar and body development. If you have ever roasted full air for a normal roast cycle you will notice the weight drop due to dehydration of the bean when compared to if you limit it. This also creates different results in the cup and can be commonly refered to as baking the bean (or simplly sucking the goodness out).
All you need additianally is a portable gas stove top which you can pick up for around $25 from camping stores and you have control over the flame regulation. There are no paddles inside the drum so during roasting you just need to give it a bit of a shake every few minutes to help move the beans around more. The end pulls off so you can view during the process. Generally the roast times are around 10-12mins but you can experiment as much as you like. Lower roast times tend to be brighter in the cup. The espresso is very smooth and sweet and makes it very easy to pick up the fruit and spice notes. I use the flavour and aroma notes taken from the baby roaster as a target for when I roast in the commercial roaster. I did a demonstration the other day for a roaster on one of his blends that he wasnt quite happy with and the result was totally different using the baby roaster which he loved in the cup. It made him totally rethink his profile and the potential he could achieve out of that blend.
On the cooling side I just use a strainer or sieve and transfer between two of them. The coffee cools in a few minutes. But I put it through the espresso machine still warm sometimes with great results. You dont seem to get the grassy/earthy tastes and smells you sometimes get from young coffees. I belive it is due to retaining more of the sugars and oils that supress these negative notes. They may still be there but just are supressed to the extent that you dont seem to recognise them. I have been experimenting on different roasts using the machine and I noticed longer/darker works better for milk based and shorter/lighter for espresso.
Sorry for the long note I am just trying to share as much info as possible as I have really learnt a lot from this little machine in a short time. It is a bit of a cult hit overseas and I think a great option as an alternative to the current domestic electric roasters in the fact that it is so very different. It is back to basics and opens the mind up to various methods of roasting and the differing results that can be achieved. As I said before I am not knocking any method as so much of coffee is subjective to individual tasted and preferences. This is just another tool that can help educate and above all it is affordable and can be enjoyed by the domestic market.
At the moment we have sold out of the motorized version but have plenty on there way and should be here within 3 weeks.
You can also pick them up from Cuppacoffee, Talk Coffee and Coffee Craft and I will update with other retailers when they come on board. I would suggest if you are interested to get orders in to be supplied once stock arrives.
Below is a video of it in operation by master roaster and cupper Ram Evgi who is the owner of Coffee Tech Engineering who manufacture the baby roaster.