Many places want to roast their own coffee for various reasons: standing out amongst the many, stepping up professionally, expanding coffees available, offering fresh coffee, raising coffee sales. These include: Cafés, bakeries, coffee-chains, coffee academies, specialty coffee shops, retail venues, supermarkets and, actually, any surrounding where time efficiency is important to maintain – and that can be any existing business.
-What are the benefits of shop roasting?
Quality: Roasting in-house is your own personal stamp of quality. By roasting you own coffee you’re sending a clear and visible message to your customers that you know what you’re doing; that you are a professional. Just like restaurants with an open-kitchen, you should be proud to show your customers the processes which transform the raw material – green beans – into that wonderful elixir in their cup. Freshness: The single, most important aspect about roasted coffee is freshness. Roasted coffee beans oxidize and become stale over a very short period of time. If you’ve ever tasted a fresh cup of coffee, you already know this. No matter what the brew method is – coffee is best when it’s fresh. With the Solar it’s as fresh as it gets. Food cost: Roasted coffee costs more than green coffee. That’s a fact. And once you start creating your own products you can be sure that you’ll also be selling more of them.
-Don’t I have to be a coffee expert in order to roast by myself?
No, you don’t. We have many years of personal experience in the coffee business and we know what it’s like to run a café – there are dozens of things to do, on a daily basis, other than roast your coffee. The Solar shop roaster is intended exactly for those who want to roast their own coffee but without needing to read many books, attend costly seminars and gain years of experience. It took us years of R&D until we created the Solar; our best proof of excellence is our hundreds of satisfied customers and over 1000 machines, roasting automatically, around the world. The Solar is living proof that anybody can roast their own coffee.
-In what circumstances would you recommend to use automatic systems?
In any circumstance that one has the need or desire for roasting by themselves but not the time or experience to do so manually. Two issues should be known: Roasting coffee in a small batch manual machine requires skills, attention and lots and lots of time. The other point is the challenge of repeatability of the roasting results. The fact is that the Solar produces better coffee than any other roasting machine in the market and this fact was determined in a laboratory by unbiased coffee specialists.
-How does the Solar roast automatically?
The Solar is a synergetic machine – its’ different elements work together in order create an artisan-crafted roast. Three electric heating elements sit, meticulously placed, below a perforated drum. A built-in roasting management software controls the roasting cycle, while using the temperature as a reference point, as opposed to time as a reference. During the roast, the Solar applies four different types of thermal treatment to the beans – conduction, convection, thermosiphonic and infra-red. The Solar is the only shop roaster in the world that combines the two different methods of roasting – drum conduction and hot air convection – during the roast cycle, while bringing forth the best of both methods. Throughout the roast, every two minutes the Solar implements fluid-bed roasting for exactly six seconds. We’ve placed the Solar’s blower at the bottom of the machine so when hot air is forced upon the beans, it actually condenses the air inside the drum, thus eliminating differences in bean size, density and humidity. This is one of the reasons Solar is perfect for roasting blended green coffee, in addition to single-origins.
-What do we mean by “automatic”?
The Solar comes with roasting management software of our own, embedded inside the machine. The Solar does not have to be connected to anything at all; the whole of the software is embedded in the machine’s core system and is controlled by an inboard computer. The Solar allows superb roasting of single-origins as well as blends – profiling is conducted by the simple pushing of a button while the roaster achieves one of the main goals of every roaster – consistency. Add to this the fact that the Solar performs in-drum cooling and then stops automatically and you have the ultimate shop roasting system available.
-What about maintenance and service?
Solar was built, from start to finish, with you, the user, in mind. We aimed at manufacturing a machine that will be little hassle, life-long lasting and rarely needing replacement of spare parts. At the end of the day, a good machine is a ‘smart and simple’ machine. For this reason we’ve made the Solar service-free and maintenance easy. Ordinary maintenance is the simplest you could ask for; we even use thumb-nuts for quick and easy release on the detachable parts of the machine. No need for special solvents, tools or technical know-how in order to keep the Solar up and running for years to come.
-How much coffee can the Solar roast?
The Solar has the capability to roast continuously. You are more than welcome to roast with the Solar 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Many of our customers till today use the Solar in order to roast up to 200 Kg (450 lbs) a month. Chances are that you and your employees will tire before the Solar does. As long as the simple maintenance is upheld, the Solar is good to go, regardless of roast capacity.
-Can the Solar be used indoors?
Many places can simply have a duct (chimney) connected to the Solar and tunnel the smoke to the outside; in other places this is not a possibility at all without Avirnaki. Roasting coffee indoors was, for a long time, a serious problem to face. It usually involved setting up clumsy and expensive venting arrangements and these, over time, deteriorate, might damage the roast quality, require constant maintenance & service and – in general – caused a big headache to owners and operators. Thanks to Avirnaki – our revolutionary smoke elimination system – this problem is no more. Avirnaki is a wheeled smoke trapping system which also serves as a table-top for our shop roasters. It’s simple, easy to use, requires the simplest cleaning procedures and makes roasting indoors easy; for anyone, anywhere, any time.
-How loud is the Solar?
Believe it or not – quieter than a typical microwave oven!