Once reserved for processing plants, commercial coffee bean roasters are now commonplace in coffee shops, allowing customers to enjoy the freshest possible brew. While commercial coffee bean roasters used in processing plants can easily roast thousands of pounds of coffee beans in an hour, those used by coffee shops have much smaller capacities.
If you're considering adding a commercial coffee roaster to your equipment repertoire, you must first determine what size roaster you'll need. Typical coffee house roasters process batch sizes of 1.75 a 2.5 pounds and roast 10-13 pounds of coffee per hour, with an average batch roasting cycle of 3-30 minutes.
Commercial coffee bean roasters operate at temperatures between 370 and 540 degrees Fahrenheit, with heat supplied by natural gas, electricity, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or even wood, and can be either indirect or direct-fired.
With indirect-fired commercial coffee bean roasters, the coffee beans are in contact with combustion gases rather than the burner flame, while with direct-fired roasters, the beans are in contact with both the burner and combustion gases. Depending on the model, additional venting, wiring, or air flow may be required.
There are an astounding number of manufacturers and features available, ranging in price from several hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. As with any piece of commercial equipment, it's strongly advised that you conduct thorough research on each model before purchasing. If new equipment is out of your price range, you may want to consider purchasing a factory refurbished or previously owned commercial roaster.
When you invest in a commercial coffee roaster, you'll be equipped to provide your customers with the freshest coffee available.