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.

Ennio Cantergiani

Coffee and beverage expert, SCA Authorized trainer & certifier (Barista, Brewing and Roasting modules). Coffeologue training by Coffee Consulate in Mannheim. Consultant for coffee expertise for several international companies. R&D and Quality manager, specialist in process optimization and global quality management (ISO22000, FSSC) with strong operational experience in Europe, Africa and Middle-East. Strong competences in project and team management (Black Belt Lean Six Sigma). I am working today in process optimization, starting with coffee pods/capsules production using DMAIC methodology. I am also very active for the overall training program within the SCA Swiss chapter. My last successful project in the coffee industry is the creation of “L’Académie du Café” in Geneva where people can learn all aspects of the fantastic coffee world. All SCA modules, latte art and specific roasting and cuptasting trainings are now available. There is, today, a strong need to learn coffee like we learned wine and wine tasting in the past decade. Expertises: Barista, Brewing, Roasting, Espresso, BlackBelt Lean Six Sigma, ISO22000:2005 FSSC, Beverage technology, Quality Assurance, Analytical chemistry, Sensory Analysis and Statistics, Quality Control, Coffee Technology, Flavour Microencapsulation.

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