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A Heated Comparison: Ikawa vs Probat

8 Minutes read


By Aïssatou Diallo 

Quality and Sales Manager Europe

When it comes to sample roasting, coffee professionals have two main options in terms of equipment: a traditional drum roaster or a modern hot air roaster. The first involves three forms of heat transfer to roast coffee (convection, conduction, radiation) while the latter is solely dependent on the control of convective heat transfer. Some claim that one type of roaster is better than the other for quality assessment purposes, but little research has been performed to properly analyse these claims.

For almost 20 years, Caravela QA teams have relied upon traditional drum roasters at our origin labs and global import offices. However, with the growing improvements in air roaster technology and our proximity to Ikawa’s manufacturers, the office in London has used both air and drum roasters to assess quality and roast samples for customers.

We have experienced notable differences in drum and air roasters, which centre around ease-of-use, consistency/replicability of roast profiles, and sensory results from cupping. For the purpose of this experiment, we will compare how these two different roasters affect the perception of flavour in the same coffee. We will analyse the sensory results to provide insights into the cupping experience of each roaster, which will allow buyers to make more informed purchasing decisions based on the type of roaster they use.

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