How New Technologies Impact Coffee Equipments? (Part 1)

I am not a «geek» or maybe a « coffeegeek » interested on coffee and how to prepare the best final product based on coffee. As an AST (Authorized SCAE Trainer) for Brewing, Barista and soon Roasting modules, I am very interested on how will new technologies impact the Barista or Roaster work. Let have a look to some of the innovations that came into the coffee market the last few years:

  1. Ikawa sample roaster
  2. Barista Drive System
  3. Rocket V60 – home barista espresso machine
  4. The Ripple Maker
  5. Bruvelo
  6. Apps coming with refractometers and allowing better brew

The goal of this very nice equipment is to roast up to 50g of green coffee. The technology is hot air roasting, so more convective heat exchange than conductive one. The roast profile and all the necessary information including photos can be stored in a database on your smartphone or iPad.

A sensitive temperature probe is located inside the small machine and allows controlling the roast profile that can be managed very easily using a smartphone or an iPad.

This is a very interesting equipment despite its high cost (>2000 USD). It is useful for professional roasters making a lot of cupping.

Ikawa announced a “home” version cheaper, but less accurate and with less options than the professional one. It was announced for end of 2016, but it looks that the launch was delayed for technical reasons.

So, is it a good tool or not ?

For professional using drum roasters, Ikawa will hardly help to transfer new roast profile from hot air to drum roaster. For quality control of raw materials, Ikawa could be a nice tool even with the limited 50g of green coffee beans. If we need part of these 50g for other tests (water content, colour measurement, etc.), 50g is certainly a limitation.

I have suggested to Ikawa to try to implement a colour measurement inside the machine in order to follow in real-time the colour development. Let see what they will develop in the next few years !

Nevertheless, Ikawa has done a very good job using new technologies to facilitate the roast management of coffee beans.

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