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Thread: Help in buying commercial roaster

  1. #1
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    Help in buying commercial roaster

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello
    I am considering buying a 10kg Has Garanti machine,Toper, Roastmax, or joper coffee roster. Which is the best. Which gives the most consistent results and even roast.
    Last edited by johnsa; 17th July 2015 at 08:38 PM. Reason: spelling mistake

  2. #2
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    Help in buying commercial roaster

    Hi Johnsa, Has Garanti from site sponsors (Mark of CSA and Chris of Talk Coffee) is very hard to beat. Having the pleasure of dealing with Mark and Chris, I can only speak very highly of them both. They are more interested in getting you the right equipment rather than peddling their goods. Do contact them if you haven't already done so, you will be pleasantly surprised as I was regards Arief

  3. #3
    TOK
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    Hi there,

    You have mentioned 3 x Turkish brands, which are at the budget price end of the market, and 1 x European brand, which puts it in a higher price bracket.

    You ask, which is "the best"?

    What do YOU want in a roaster? What is the definition of "best"...for YOU?

    If it is price, then the Turkish brands are the best because they will undoubtedly be the most price convenient.

    If it is the standard of build, then there will be no question it will be the european roaster.

    If you are talking roasting/roaster technology, then as a general group you will also find that european brands are "the best", and the best of the best will go to two only brands: BRAMBATI or PROBAT, neither mentioned in your post.

    Its really up to you and what you expect or want from a roasting plant, INCLUDING there is also what you expect in sales service and support, both before and AFTER the purchase.

    Do you have the projected or real turnover to support the purchase of a 10 kilo plant?

    EDIT:
    Suggest you talk to the importers of the machines you are interested in, to get a feel for the kind of service you can expect from them both before and after the sale.

    Ask them also, for references to people in your area (and if not somewhere where you are prepared to travel to), so you can telephone and visit them and ask what they think of the equipment and the service they received from the importer/agent of the brand... A pro dealer will not object to that and may even take you to visit their clients, without obligation.
    Last edited by TOK; 17th July 2015 at 07:09 PM.

  4. #4
    TC
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    Welcome johnsa,

    I don't think that this forum is likely to provide you with an answer. "The best" will come down to a whole heap of variables including aspects of build and price, gas train and many other factors.

    An example. Locally to me is a $50k+ 15kg setup. It's beautifully built and well and truly capable of producing brilliant coffee. Sadly the drivers of said roaster use it badly and produce garbage.

    You need a roaster capable of producing great coffee. The intangibles in the process are beans and most importantly you.

    Whilst we may choose brand X as "the best" car, for many I see on the road, the fact remains that many at the wheel would be better off catching the bus. The same analogy can be used with coffee roasting. You gotta learn to drive real well and if you think you know it all, it's back to the bus.

    The best or the worst roaster could well be staring at you when you look in the mirror. Learn, learn and then do some more learning.

    Chris
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    This is going around in circles and telling me nothing. Please don't give me airy fairy answers. I looking or coffee roaster not a dress.

  6. #6
    TC
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    Ok.

    No airy fairy for you mate. You asked a ridiculous question and there is no answer. If you think that a 1 word answer will suffice, you're dreaming.

    Good luck. You will surely need it.
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  7. #7
    TOK
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    I think I have the direct answer you are seeking.

    Which is the best washing machine?

    You choose what suits best your situation, needs and wants.

    If you dont know what you need or want, then you need to speak with the importers of all the brands you mentioned, to try and work out what woill work best for you.

    Walk before you run.

    Cant get any clearer than that.
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    TOK, good analogy. At least in my opinion the potential range of capability and price is even wider for roasters than it is for washing machines!

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    The response I have received leads me to conclude that all machines are created equal.

  10. #10
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsa View Post
    The response I have received leads me to conclude that all machines are created equal.
    Well then, please yourself, I would suggest....

    Mal.
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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsa View Post
    The response I have received leads me to conclude that all machines are created equal.
    Good luck with that... you'll need it!
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    If you don't already know the basic differences between the roasters you've asked about you're in for a long ride on a bumpy road. The reason you got "airy fairy" answers is because your question was so broad.

    I would suggest you put that money you're about to spend on doing some roasting courses and getting more knowledge and experience in the field because it seems as if you're lacking in that area. Knowledge is key in this game. There's nothing worse than spending $25k-$50k+ on a machine you have no real idea about how good or basic it actually is as compared to its nearest rivals in the market.

    You probably have no idea but some of the people that have responded in this thread have more experience than you're most likely ever going to have in your lifetime so don't be blunt to them, because when you reach out your hand next time for help they may not offer their help/services again.
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  13. #13
    Coffee Nut fg1972's Avatar
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    Get a quote for each of the roasters you mentioned and the one that is cheapest is the best roaster for you since they all roast coffee beans and are all capable of making 'good coffee'. There's no point paying extra for different brands as they are all made equal as you say.

  14. #14
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    I'm more inclined to say check the second hand market to get a feel for resale value, as I don't think you'll be roasting coffee for long.

    If you're this short with people giving you genuine, useful, free advice, I don't know how you'll go with unreasonable, demanding clients.
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  15. #15
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnafunk View Post
    If you're this short with people giving you genuine, useful, free advice, I don't know how you'll go with unreasonable, demanding clients.
    I do....
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  16. #16
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    It's just a troll kinda feelin' moving with the beat!
    https://youtu.be/ubDruL2rElk
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  17. #17
    Junior Member eugenm's Avatar
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    Hey guys,
    I do think that Johnsa attitude was a bit rude, because I REALLY do think getting free advice from long time roasters is a rare thing in a world were the little "secrets" of the craftsmanship won't be shared so easily by those who master it.

    On the other hand, as someone that wants to become a decent roaster, the first steps are hard and getting accustomed with all the terminology and the "science" of roasting is frustrating because there are chlorogenic acids that a you need to get rid of but at the same time retain the quinic acid, you need to understand sugar caramelization, Maillard reactions, Strecker degradation, water evaporation, etc. I'm trying to understand ALL this things just with a paper and pencil in my hand. I'm convinced that many of those theories MUST be tested by putting your hand in the green coffee and roasting it, trying to understand the profiling process, "burning" some hundred kilos of coffee, until this (hopefully) make any sense. I can only do that if I have a roaster in my "backyard".

    Up to some point I can understand that there are some differences between a drum roaster and a tangential one, that there is radiant, convection and conduction heat transfer, that there are several parameters a roaster can control (gas flow, air temperature, rotational speed, etc.), but in the end the synergy between all these concepts can only be achieved by roasting first hand. So, the decision is fairly straightforward, you need to buy a coffee roasting machine. And know comes the "magic" question 'What roaster should I buy among these manufacturers ... ?'

    Not knowing what to expect on the long term, not understanding why one costs triple then other, not being able to get into contact with a seller (this is particular to my case) in your country because there isn't one, not knowing if on the long run I will be able to become a decent coffee roaster, ALL of this makes us ask "stupid" questions like "X brand vs Y brand". Reading so many things about how to roast coffee, at one point you feel the need to know that maybe there is a "secret" recipe to success and if someone will tell you "buy X" all your struggles will disappear by magic !

    So, I (and many newbies like me) DO REALLY appreciate you guys take the time to answer our awkward questions, and we please ask you for some patience because we are like teenagers trying to get our driving licence asap and looking for a fancy car not knowing that on the long run is all about reliability, good service from the dealer, good gas consumption, etc, inexpensive car parts, etc.
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  18. #18
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenm View Post
    So, I (and many newbies like me) DO REALLY appreciate you guys take the time to answer our awkward questions, and we please ask you for some patience because we are like teenagers trying to get our driving licence asap and looking for a fancy car not knowing that on the long run is all about reliability, good service from the dealer, good gas consumption, etc, inexpensive car parts, etc.
    Thank you eugenm,

    You will find few problems getting support from those with some experience here when (as you have) a question is asked with a little respect and some level of interest in the actual responses. I'm happy to help wherever I can.

    On the other hand, when a new member arrives with a silly question and behaves like a petulant teenager/troll/d!ck, there will never be anything forthcoming from me.

    I remember names and as far as the OP is concerned, he blew it in his second post and he will receive nothing. He can now return to dress shopping ;-)

    Cheers

    C
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    Alright I will ask a more specific question. Which roaster do you believe gives you the most control over airflow and burner. Do you think its best to control airflow and burner controls with touch screen computer. Will computer control allow more consistent roasts.

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    Talk Coffee I asked in my original question.

    Which coffee roaster gives the most consistent roast?

    Your response was to blame someone for bad roasting on a $50k setup you had seen. I see your point that the roastmaster can make a difference. Do you really think that answered my question.

    If ever had any issues, blame the roast master is not always the answer? That is not an appropriate response to my original question.

  21. #21
    Junior Member eugenm's Avatar
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    I will try and make a short summary of what I managed to collect as information as up this moment :

    1. Anyway you look at the approach, an initial investment on a roasting machine makes sense if it is a 5kg one. I've made some 'simulations' and on average a machine like this can roast 1 tone of green coffee per month. A new roastery needs at least one, maybe two years until it builds some awareness on the market and 'wins' sufficient clients for a tone a month. On the other hand a 5kg machine give you enough "room" to organize the roasting "sessions", which is the case of a 3kg machine is not necessarily the case. Also on the long run I have enough capacity to build a solid clientele.

    2. For a newcomer in the roasting business a basic machine helps you to understand the roasting process, because it 'forces' you to understand the details of the machine, the different 'variables' that can be modified in order to gain more control on your roast profile, basically it helps you to understand how roasting works ;

    3. Focus on the built quality of the machine and its materials. I assume that one of the most important parts is the drum itself, so you want a good quality material that can handle different temperatures and that, in case you do a proper roasting, do not make your different origins 'borrow' one another's flavor. So, we can have :
    - Steel which has great metallurgical properties, meaning it will have a long life ;
    - Cast iron is a good material, even though I know it has a great heat absorption capacity, which means the roaster needs to be careful with the temperature hysteresis (once you 'cut' the gas the drum will still transfer the coffee batch absorbed heat. But still, cast iron is a great long lasting material and uniform distribution of heat ;
    - Stainless steel, I don't have any information about it and I also don't have any opinion about it. I can only assume it can help a little bit with the 'oil' transfer between different coffee origins and better endurance with respect to corrosion ;
    - Copper, but this is serious 'bucks'

    I assume steel would be the most logical choice, it is easy to work with, relatively easy to maintain and it is cheaper then other materials. This is way a Turkish roasting machine is somehow appealing to me, because I understand the quality of the steel work is great !

    I also understand a particular attention must be payed to the gas train, but my understanding is that this can be altered easily and you can improve it or modify it.

    The airflow is something I still need to learn about, I don't know exactly what to look for. I assume the flow needs to be easily adjustable, and the maintenance of the 'circuit' needs to be easy to make.

    About the cooling process I still need to do my homework !

    4. You need good aftersales, because I assume that if a part fails you don't want to solve your problem in a month time risking going bankrupt in the process.

    With all the information above I still find it hard to choose a particular manufacturer. Because at the end of the day is a question of costs, I need to have a backup plan in case the roastery business proves to be a failure and I need to get a decent exit. BUT on the other hand I don't want a machine that will not help me to achieve a good quality roasted coffee.
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    I have seen some surface rust inside the drum of Turkish roasters particularly Has Garanti.

  23. #23
    Junior Member eugenm's Avatar
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    I don't think rust is something you can avoid in the case of 'crude' steel, unless you pay extra attention to the humidity conditions. If you don't want to have rust no matter how you handle your machine, then you need a steel that has extra layers, like zinc or have a stainless steel.
    But I do believe that extra 'love' in handling and maintaining the drum can give you a 'rust-free' environment.
    This is just my guessing, I maybe completely wrong about it !

  24. #24
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsa View Post
    I have seen some surface rust inside the drum of Turkish roasters particularly Has Garanti.
    Only if they're not being used on a regular basis
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  25. #25
    Junior Member eugenm's Avatar
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    @Vinitasse,
    But I assume that a basic de-rusting process like light acids (vinegar) or electrolysis, or other unobtrusive methods can solve easily the problem ?

  26. #26
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsa View Post
    Alright I will ask a more specific question. Which roaster do you believe gives you the most control over airflow and burner. Do you think its best to control airflow and burner controls with touch screen computer. Will computer control allow more consistent roasts.
    Hello Johnsa.

    I doubt there is anyone on the forum, or anywhere in the world that has used all the roasters you mention in a productive, commercial environment. At best you are going to continue a "ford / holden" debate that just cannot be answered.

    Do you think its best to control airflow and burner controls with touch screen computer
    No.

    Will computer control allow more consistent roasts.
    No.

    Knowing what you are doing live and what worked well last time will help give you some consistency, you can do that with a $80 meter and free CoffeeSnobs software.
    CoffeeSnobs - BeanBay - Other Stuff - USB Temperature Data Logger


    I'm of the opinion that someone that knows what he's doing can produce excellent roasts with a rubbish-bin and a blow-torch for under $100. As some of the above posts hint, you would do far better to learn how to roast at a domestic level before purchasing a commercial roaster... and as a bonus then you will be able to answer your own questions about the pro's, con's and "worth" of commercial roaster features.
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  27. #27
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenm View Post
    @Vinitasse,
    But I assume that a basic de-rusting process like light acids (vinegar) or electrolysis, or other unobtrusive methods can solve easily the problem ?
    I wouldn't know... my roaster has never sat still long enough to get rusty

  28. #28
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsa View Post
    The response I have received leads me to conclude that all machines are created equal.
    After this point, im surprised anyone wanted to continue this thread and offer anymore advice on what you asked..
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  29. #29
    Junior Member eugenm's Avatar
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    Hello coffeechris,
    I feel somehow "guilty" because I for one wanted this thread to be alive given the fact that I'm trying to sort out the "what roaster is good for me ?" question also.
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  30. #30
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Everyone has an opinion and a way about them. You and anyone else deserve the right to find the infomation available for what you are looking for. All of the infomation posted by the members who know what they are talking about here with the roasters is extremely valuable. I actually dont know where it went wrong for the OP as all the info from the guys well in the know prior to the OP's question was fantastic info and very vauable.

    Buying a roaster is like buying a brand new car. Your not just spending $500 and what might suit one persons needs may not suit another. So to get what you want you need to be specific and ask the questiosns and be prepared to take adice.

    Cheers,

    Chris
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  31. #31
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    It all went wrong in post #5, which (for whatever reason) lacked common courtesy. However, there's plenty of good advice in the follow-ups (whether it sinks in is another matter).
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  32. #32
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    Yeah, BO'S, it went off the rails in post #1, airy fairy questions are hard to get your teeth into; by post #5 it fell into a heap....

    petulance will get you nowhere.

    How much research and thought went into the OP? Not much by the look of it.

    As others have mentioned there is no 'best roaster'... just look at the last three overall Golden Bean Winners.

    2012 .... our Andy, winning on a roaster of his own design, built in collusion with an engineer friend.

    2013..... Proud Mary, a Probat UG15 (at the time of their win) and a Giesen 1 or 2 kilo.

    2014..... Uncle Joe's, who roast with a 15 kg Has Garanti.

    So which one is the best......?? You tell me. If you look further back you'll probably see some other well known

    roaster brands in the winner's circle, as well.

    There are only a couple or three criteria that people use when choosing a new roaster...1) Budget. 2) Reputation. 3)

    Availability. 4) What's hip.

    Even from a cursory overview it should be obvious that what is more important are the operator, the beans and the

    roast profile.

    Like Andy said..... a rubbish bin and a flame thrower.....

    The issue re rust got the scorn it deserved and is a PLC controller better? No, not if you don't know how to roast,

    develop a profile and translate that into a program. And you need a roaster that is programmable to the extent of

    your desired parameters.

    So..... Budget. Availability. Build quality? Maybe it's current specs that will sway a decision. Has Garanti SR roasters

    as configured by Mark of Coffee Roasters Australia are on the up and up ( can't wait for my new 15kg..... but I have

    to!). Joper? Well, word on the street is......... maybe not.

    If you know diddly squat then start home roasting, go to cuppings that roasters frequent and LISTEN to what others

    say and then go and make up YOUR OWN mind.
    Last edited by chokkidog; 19th July 2015 at 09:39 PM.
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  33. #33
    TOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    ......So which one is the best......?? You tell me....

    There are only a couple or three criteria that people use when choosing a new roaster...
    1) Budget.
    2) Reputation.
    3) Availability.
    4) What's hip.
    ...

    The issue re rust got the scorn it deserved and is a PLC controller better? No, not if you don't know how to roast,

    develop a profile and translate that into a program. And you need a roaster that is programmable to the extent of

    your desired parameters.

    If you know diddly squat then start home roasting, go to cuppings that roasters frequent and LISTEN to what others

    say and then go and make up YOUR OWN mind.
    Just to clarify further for the greater readership.

    Points 1 to 4 of CD's excellent post are pretty well on the money.

    Re PCL (computer) control. Lots of readers and also newcomers to roasting seem to think that if you buy a roasting plant with computer control, you can open your door and start roasting and selling coffee with your new automatic gear. This is NOT SO.

    Computer controlled PLC's do not magically contain default programmes so that you can dial one up and just throw a bucket of greens in the top and it will all take care of itself and fall out the bottom, done.

    There are no default settings. You work out a roast profile manually and when you are happy with it you memorise it into the PLC. Only after that will the PLC reproduce YOUR prpgrammed profile.

    If your expertise and resulting profile is rubbish, your PLC will faithfully reproduce...rubbish.

    So it is not the be all and end all of life as we know it.

    There would appear to be one further misnderstanding. Computer (PLC) controlled machine have motors and rams that open and shut things on the roaster to make everything happen automatically. That is entirely different to regular manually controlled machines where you add roast profiling software so you can LOG a profile for yourself, and then use the software to allow YOU to FOLLOW the logged profile manually as you roast.

    PLC control equipment in the main, is not something you fit to small, small end or budget machinery....it is the stuff of larger and often expensive roasting plant, and also higher end equipment. Generally the expense and level of expertise required puts that type of equipment in the SME sector rather than in the small end of roasting. Essentially, roasting businesses that have done their time in the small end, learned their ytade, and are moving ahead. It is not stuff you start with if you want to learn anything and keep on keeping on (ergo, the opposite to what people seem to think).

    ****************

    At this point, one other sentiment comes to mind.

    Too often it seems, people seem to think that you buy a small roasting machine and turn yourself into a...."roaster", and that people will start buying your product.

    What is the definition of "roaster"?

    Is it someone that simply roasts coffee?

    OR, is it someone that runs a roasting business that offers ALL the products and services that clients expect from their ROASTER, and where the provision of roasted coffee beans is only a very small (albeit important) part of the overall business conducted. Add into the equation, that a roaster is also a bank, where he/she has to offer credit to his business clients without which he will severely restrict his level of activity and ability to grow his business.

    All of that is something *big* to ponder, much more than choosing what coffee roasting equipment to buy, and perhaps it will eventually dawn on some, that there is more to being a roaster than the apparently romantic act of roasting a few beans from a starting expertise of nil.

    Always happy to help those displaying an appropriate level of good attitude, when they are seeking help.
    Last edited by TOK; 20th July 2015 at 10:07 AM. Reason: add, subtract, multiply and divide where required...

  34. #34
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Very well said, and explained TOK...

    Mal.

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    Bazooka Thought they are reputable and put it out there with a number of other brands to see if others held the same view. Here in Adelaide one coffee roaster who is a major player even built his own.

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    Actually you have a good point. Maybe free advice is not a good idea. I'm off to the bank, maybe I should employ someone for advice, maybe expecting straight answers for free is expecting too much. cheers.

    C
    h
    ee

  37. #37
    TOK
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    Hi John,

    regarding the posts you placed directly above, i.e.posts #35 and #36.

    #35, specifically "...one coffee roaster who is a major player even built his own...." My view is that you probably shouldn't believe everything you hear because even if it is true, you would never be privvy to the *real* reasons behind something like that. And if it is quite true, it doesnt really help you...

    #36, actually I agree with some others above in that I cant really see anything wrong with the free advice you have received so far. It's all kosha, and the best advice, which has already been given, is that you should contact the importers of the equipment brands of your choice and seek their assistance.

    Because you can rest assured....their assistance you certainly will be needing

    Good luck in your endeavours.
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  38. #38
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsa View Post
    Actually you have a good point. Maybe free advice is not a good idea. I'm off to the bank, maybe I should employ someone for advice, maybe expecting straight answers for free is expecting too much. cheers.

    C
    h
    ee
    Have you ever run a business of any type?

    Anyway, good luck to you.
    Vinitasse likes this.

  39. #39
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsa View Post
    Actually you have a good point. Maybe free advice is not a good idea. I'm off to the bank, maybe I should employ someone for advice, maybe expecting straight answers for free is expecting too much. cheers.

    C
    h
    ee
    With an attitude like that I am pretty certain that success in any venture, coffee roasting or otherwise, will be more than a bit of a challenge.

    I would wish you the best of luck but I'm really not feeling all too kind or generous at the moment. My suspicion is that you'll get all the luck that you deserve.

  40. #40
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    It's just a bit hard to know what exactly it is you want from us!

    Do you want something served up on a plate? Silver spoon style?

    Your initial question is so broad it has no meaning; do you want us to tell you that you should go and spend 20k++ or 40k++?

    And then add another 5-7k++++ on maybe a plc.....

    Are you even aware of the differences in the styles of machines you have nominated?? Do you know the meaning of 'hybrid'

    when applied to roast plant. One of your nominated types fit that category. Do you know the term 'turkish' and what it means?

    You have no idea about what you are asking.

    Some very busy people have given you some very valuable time and their wisdom, yet you let your ego run your mouth.

    It's no wonder you can't see the pearls you've been handed......for free.

    So go to the bank and I hope you get the birthright fridge you demand they give you.

  41. #41
    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    It's just a bit hard to know what exactly it is you want from us!


    So go to the bank and I hope you get the birthright fridge you demand they give you.

    I thought it was a washing machine???
    chokkidog and TOK like this.

  42. #42
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    All I got was a toaster
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  43. #43
    Senior Member
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    I can't even choose the right toaster
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  44. #44
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    In fact a toaster and roaster are about the same in variability. But in the end the consistent results in a roaster come down to the skill of the person operating it and deciding on the settings etc.



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