Roasters. Cost vs. Quality

Roasters and roasting

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Roasters. Cost vs. Quality

Postby cofeeed » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:42 pm

I've been looking to upgrade to a more sizeable commercial roaster as our little 3kg can't really keep up with demand, is inconsistent, lacks control and breaks down too much.

What bothers me is the cost of the Probats, Geisens and Lorings out there next to some of the others (Toper, Garanti, Tecnomatic).. Am I comparing Ferraris and Porsches with Skodas and Vauxhalls? Better build quality, better looking, brand etc. but essentially still does the same job? What is the overwhelming factor when choosing one of these roasters? Is it reliability? Quality of roast? Ease of use? Something else?

I can't help but feel like everyone jumps on the bandwagon and has to have a Probat to be taken seriously/look the part when a cheaper, less known brand can do as good a job.

Having no practical experience on a bigger roaster I don't know where to start and as the investment is quite significant I'm a little apprehensive!

Throw some knowledge at me, fellow coffee nerds!
8-cup Chemex - 2-cup V60 - Aeropress - Tiamo Hand Grinder - Hario pouring kettle
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Re: Roasters. Cost vs. Quality

Postby Chris » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:02 pm

Hey! If you have no experience on the larger roasters maybe make a shortlist and contact the people selling the roasters and ask/arrange to roast some of your coffee on them. Arrange a test drive. Then you can get a better idea of your options and see what you'll be spending your money on rather than relying extensivley on other peoples experiences. You'll be better informed overall and can ask all the questions you need in person. I think the points you mentioned which are negatives for your existing roaster would be the exact reason you'd buy a more expensive roaster, better build quality, better fittings, easier to clean, more options, additional controls, automation options and so on.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Roasters. Cost vs. Quality

Postby cofeeed » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:21 pm

Thanks Chris, fair points and also sounds quite fun!

Meanwhile, I managed a cheeky roast on a probatone 12 earlier in the week. What a dream!

Watch this space.

Ed
8-cup Chemex - 2-cup V60 - Aeropress - Tiamo Hand Grinder - Hario pouring kettle
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Re: Roasters. Cost vs. Quality

Postby RolandGlew » Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:46 pm

We had Ambex originally, but have moved mostly over to Probats now. We're still running a 2kg Ambex, and the difference is all the things really - Probat build quality is better, design is more functional (and easier to fix), roasting is easier. One of the big things you pay for is build quality and how well they keep the heat. Oh, and we'd recommend older Probats if possible. 2nd hand re-conditioned should be a little cheaper and build quality of the drum and structure tends to be better than new ones (also electrics more basic, which is both a good and bad thing!).
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Re: Roasters. Cost vs. Quality

Postby Jasonscheltus » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:04 am

You can roast coffee in practically anything, so whether a particular roaster can "get it done" or not is beside the point, in my opinion.

You would choose a good quality roaster for the assurance that it would work time after time, evenly, cleanly, that you would have after sales support from a company that won't disappear in a year or two, and that you can resell it for practically the same value for many years to come. If you don't have the capital, then it's not really an option, but if you do, and its a question of "is it worth it", then I think it is.

Personally I find the flavour from Probats better than that of other roasters, but that said I am also frequently surprised! It's easier to get a good flavour from Probats than other roasters, but that's not to say it isn't possible to do.
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