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Thread: Importing a roaster - 500g to 1kg

  1. #1
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    Importing a roaster - 500g to 1kg

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All

    I've been roasting for a few years now on various equipment (currently a Behmor) but lately I've been thinking it's time to step things up a bit. I'm not looking to roast massive quantities but I'm looking for something that will give me proper control over roast temps/profiles. I have dreams of one day having a go at a small roasting side-business and the idea of this roaster is to be a step in between a Behmor and a proper commercial roaster. Something that will allow me to learn as well as to get an indication whether or not such a business would be something that I'd actually want to do.

    I'm willing to consider any recommendations but so far my research has led me along the following lines:
    1) Yang Chia/Bella Taiwan mini 500
    2) Santoker 500

    Basically I'm looking for gas-powered, moderate level of roast control and 0.5-1kg capacity (mainly for price and wastage considerations)

    So far I have tried the obvious searches and CS sponsor websites but I'm struggling to find Australian importers for such roasters (although I have initiated discussions with a company in NSW over the North TJ-066). Most seem to be either in the style of basic home roasters or higher-end commercial roasters. Is anyone able to point me in the right direction here? Sorry if this has been asked before, I couldn't really see anything along these lines.

    Thanks
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  2. #2
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    At that size, why not electric?
    I have been very happy with a coffee tech torrefattore 2kg for 6+ years. Easily handles roasts up to 1.5kg without gas/ventilation issues, roasts are predictable and repeatable. They are expensive but I have never since considered re-investing. It is a commercial level build and backed by an Australian importer. You need to learn the roast and think 1-2 min ahead to control the roast with electricity, not necessarily a bad thing if you want to get a grip on the process and would possibly help you manage the transition to a bigger gas roaster.
    Importing a cheaper gas roaster sounds like a flawed plan to me. I asked the exact same question to myself back then. I still love my roaster, but I will never go commercial.
    Good luck with your decision.
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  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Wouldn't try to import a gas fired roaster, way too many hurdles to jump in order to satisfy Aussie Standards and Regulations. You'd have similar issues importing an all-electric unit too but could be overcome at less cost than that required for a gas fired unit.

    Have you considered something like this one, that Talk Coffee is going to be importing?
    Aillio Bullet R1 | Talk Coffee

    Mal.
    TC and sprezzatura like this.

  4. #4
    TC
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    Thanks for the plug Mal!

    Site sponsor Espresso Company Australia are the appointed importer of the Aillio. We have an order already with them for a goodly proportion of their first batch and this order is pretty much all pre-sold. A couple of deposit slots remain.

    The Aillio promises to be a good transition roaster in that induction should overcome the heating limitations of traditional electric elements- it will be easier to control and reacts rapidly. The Aillio also offers great airflow control and the software interface is "commercial".

    I'm quietly confident that this roaster will provide a great platform for commercial training and for the keen home roaster looking for more capacity. They're not looking cheap, but they are much cheaper than existing 1kg options and will also comply with Australian regulations. Plug one in and the learning curve commences.

    Chris
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  5. #5
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    I like it - the phone/BT interface sounds appealing to me!

  6. #6
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    Inherent risk to me would be a lack of safety standards. If the machine imported arrived DOA, then there are issues of return. We had a new member some weeks ago who imported an espresso machine. It is faulty and needs to be returned to Italy. Time of year with shipping means there is little hope he could have a new machine until early 2016. Not ideal for a new venture really

    Using accessible dealers/Sponsors would really work in your favour. They know the OZ market, they know the equipment. They can deliver to you quality and service. That is your bottom line, and a bonus for your bank account.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I'd like a dollar for every time this subject has been discussed, of course the response from those in the retail industry is predictable, and in most cases rightly so.

    Perhaps a sticky, explaining the pros and cons of importing electric/gas appliances would save a lot of repetition.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ganon5 View Post
    Hi All

    I've been roasting for a few years now on various equipment (currently a Behmor) but lately I've been thinking it's time to step things up a bit. I'm not looking to roast massive quantities but I'm looking for something that will give me proper control over roast temps/profiles. I have dreams of one day having a go at a small roasting side-business and the idea of this roaster is to be a step in between a Behmor and a proper commercial roaster. Something that will allow me to learn as well as to get an indication whether or not such a business would be something that I'd actually want to do.

    I'm willing to consider any recommendations but so far my research has led me along the following lines:
    1) Yang Chia/Bella Taiwan mini 500
    2) Santoker 500

    Basically I'm looking for gas-powered, moderate level of roast control and 0.5-1kg capacity (mainly for price and wastage considerations)

    So far I have tried the obvious searches and CS sponsor websites but I'm struggling to find Australian importers for such roasters (although I have initiated discussions with a company in NSW over the North TJ-066). Most seem to be either in the style of basic home roasters or higher-end commercial roasters. Is anyone able to point me in the right direction here? Sorry if this has been asked before, I couldn't really see anything along these lines.

    Thanks
    The models you mention are discussed heavily on the American HB forum. In Australia, they are self import only, which means you have to ensure they meet Australian regulations (additional cost). There are no importers here, as the market is small, and the cost of certification very high.
    Bear in mind that each roaster is different, and you have to learn what your roaster can achieve. The two you mention will not necessarily give you the skills to automatically be proficient on a commercial roaster.

    From a leaning point of view, the option is either the "Bullet", a second hand small commercial roaster (rare), or paying the big bucks for a 2kg unit.

    Many have considered the units you mentioned, but have ended up with a KKTO or equivalent.

    There are lots of people with similar dreams to yourself, and a word of caution. Australia is the most heavily saturated market in the world for boutique roasters. Our population is small, so do your research very carefully.

  9. #9
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    Thanks all for the responses. Very helpful but unfortunately you've all pretty much confirmed my fears haha. The certification issues were the main reason I was trying to track down an Australian distributor rather than self-importing one of these monsters. I can imagine that adding that work onto import costs could quickly see the cost/hassle skyrocket. I find it a bit funny that there seems to be such a big gap in the market here!

    And yes, I've been following the Aillio very closely over the last couple of months. It definitely looks good and they seem to be pretty close to a final product there and that is shaping up to be my most realistic option here. In fact a couple of times I've been very close to putting down a deposit for one Chris Just waiting for a bit of feedback before I bite the bullet on that one.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ganon5 View Post
    I've been following the Aillio very closely over the last couple of months.... Just waiting for a bit of feedback before I bite the bullet on that one.
    Very droll ... or no pun intended?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by WantRancilio10 View Post
    Very droll ... or no pun intended?
    Haha going to have to claim that one now

  12. #12
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Have you seen this one mate? Recently posted up in 4-Sale section...
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-har...melbourne.html

    Mal.
    JojoS likes this.

  13. #13
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    I just had a coffee at a small cafe here in Nicosia, Cyprus. They use a North Coffee 1kg electric roaster that they imported (this is a small island with no distributors for anything fancy). It is a nice machine, and reminds me of Soviet time machinery: very solid and simple. The motors are also standard and could be replaced with any electric motor, the controls are functional and the result was good, electrical safety is about insulation and connections and looked good. Then not long ago I was in Italy and Germany, and last week in Montenegro and all over I find boutique cafes that use 1kg roasters of the same Chinese kind. Some electric and some gas fired. For some reason they all seem to work without problems, and without any electric/gas safety issues. They seem to be very similar, and I am not sure if North Coffee actually make the roasters they sell. Or where 'millcityroasters' source their version. The thing is this:
    -I would actually like a 1kg roaster
    -my Hottop is perfectly ok but...
    -these 1kg shop roasters things are simple and can be repaired
    -they cost around Euro/USD4500 ( I do ask and get the same answer) and that includes VAT in most countries.

    It seems perfectly viable, the rest of the world does it, so why is it such an issue in Australia? Do we simply know so much better than a vastly larger market in Europe/US with perfectly good and effective regulatory arrangements?

    Buying a 1kg roaster for A$15k is way over my budget, and the 'Bullet' looks strange. But at 7k I would be tempted to save and skimp and have one of these in my garage. Yes it is over the top but I save on other things, so what is wrong with me wanting a 1kg roaster? As far as electrical and gas safety, personal imports will not be stopped and no statutory homologation is required. I even doubt that it would be required for use in a cafe. It is much the same as with many vintage machines, they get checked and used.

    Has anyone recently imported one of these?

  14. #14
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    i) A fact that is always forgotten - this is a commercial forum, whether we like it or not.
    ii) If you do choose to self import, there's the risk (servicing, safety etc) associated. It's up to individual to judge if it's a risk worth taking. If you do, rest assured it won't be condoned here as mentioned in point i.
    evro50 likes this.



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