Post By Otago
Post By Janus
Nuvo eco and Zen ceramic coffee roasters
At the start, a BIG qualification. All of this is relevant to a single coffee consumer in the household and an average 3 brews per day.
Having used a Dr Mahn Handy Roaster for roast duties on remote camping trips for some time, I have found it to have some limitations in our particular camping routine where a good set of accessible coals are not always practical.
On return from our most recent trip I decided to give one of the Nuvo Eco Ceramic Roasters from Korea a try. While this only allows 50 - 70 grams per roast, the ability to use LPG or butane gas will mean roasts can fit more easily into the camp routine. While at home, a simple "lunch box" butane stove keeps the roast outside where smoke and chaff are not a problem.
Having now completed several roasts I am very impressed with the intuitiveness of this little roaster.
I have found that the smaller roast batches:
- fit well with my particular coffee routine and needs.
- provide more frequent roasting opportunities; which has already improved my roasting experience and skills.
- provide more opportunities to try different beans, and have also made blending more practical for my level of consumption.
Because the Nuvo Eco roaster might be on the fragile side, I thought a spare would be useful and this opened up the chance to buy a Zen Roaster from Japan. Paradoxically, the Zen is probably more fragile than the Nuvo Eco.
These roasters hold their heat and you definitely have to keep the beans moving otherwise tipping is likely. The Nuvo Eco has a waffle shape base to the pan which is claimed to assist in keeping the beans circulating. On the other hand the Zen Roaster has a flat base. However, having marked several beans it was soon evident that this roaster is also quite efficient at circulating the beans.
The Nuvo Eco is 135mm wide with a 34mm opening and is 35mm deep. The Zen Roaster is slightly larger at 140mm wide with a wider 85mm opening and is 50mm deep.
As previously mentioned, the Nuvo Eco has a suggested load of 50 to 70 grams, while the Zen Roaster people do not make any recommendation. I have been loading 60 to 70 grams in both.
With the small opening in the Nuvo Eco you definitely need a light to be able to inspect the beans during roasting. I have found a head torch to be handy, leaving both hands free to swap hands as the warmth becomes too much, and to use an infrared thermometer to measure temps.
Both roasters have leather-clad handles but I have found that a pair of leather work gloves helps. The hollow handles are very handy to blow off chaff during the roast, and to easily dump the beans at the end of the roast.
As with the FZ RR 700 Baby Roaster, these ceramic roasters provide conductive roasting and roasted beans do not need to be rested before use. This is borne out by the low level of blooming during brewing. This attribute also makes the ceramic roasters very handy as sample roasters.
These roasters are so simple to use, and fit so well into my needs and level of consumption, that I will be parting with my FZ RR 700 Baby Roaster and Dr Mahn Handy Roaster.
Admittedly, maybe not for everyone, but I like them.
My wife gave me this (from Japan) for my birthday last year, similarly I've found it to be excellent. Benefit with this unit is the handle being wooden means no need for gloves, holes at end allow some airflow too. My wife's Japanese and found this through research in japanese on google, I've had no luck finding this on google searching in English, great little unit though.
Similar situation here, for the amount we drink smaller batches like 50-60g work quite well, we found the beans good to go soon after roasting, usually peaking around 2-3 days.
Ive been lucky enough to upgrade to a small drum roaster which I'm glad can manage down to 100g, allowing more regular roasting.
these small hand held roasters offer excellent bang for buck and fairly repeatable results, it was a massive upgrade from saucepan roasting we were doing before, I'd highly recommend something like these for anyone looking for an easy upgrade from a saucepan.