The specialty cycle
Jens Roelofs, Sales Manager Probat Shop Roasters, discusses the latest in shop roasting trends, and why education is key.
At Probat, we’ve noticed a general increase in the demand for roasters under 60-kilograms worldwide. This has been in both traditional markets, as well as new ones, such as China and Taiwan. In these countries we have noticed a particularly high interest in shop roasting equipment.
We think this is due to different trends in specialty coffee which intertwine, and are therefore mutually dependent, as one is the result of another.
The growing number of cafés, coffee bars and coffee shops is due to a rising consumer demand in specialty coffee products that cannot be bought in ordinary cafés and supermarkets. People want to know more about origins, blends, roasting and the preparation of coffee. The higher the demand for specialty coffee, the more specialty coffee shops open, and the cycle continues as more and more people get interested in specialty coffee.
This is supported by successfully giving the public access to coffee events, which – until a few years ago – were only open to a select number of coffee professionals. Nowadays, more and more coffee enthusiasts are drawn to these events to learn more about coffee. This, again, leads to a growth in the education of consumers, and here we come full circle.
Of course, one cannot simply buy a roasting machine and start his or her own roasting business. This is where education comes in. High-quality coffee roasting equipment doesn’t enable you automatically to roast good coffee. Professional and comprehensive training is inevitable for coffee entrepreneurs. At Probat, we attach the highest importance to the education of new entrants to the market. It is the focal point of our Shop Roasting Segment Philosophy. For us, knowing how to handle a roasting machine is a crucial factor in achieving high quality and consistent roasting results.
We pass on our knowledge to our customers through high-quality training courses. We hold intensive training programs for small groups of up to eight people. Various roasters are permanent fixtures in our training centres, which can be used depending on the training content.
Probat trainers are SCAE-certified. We offer beginners complete packages to enter the world of coffee roasting through our basic roasting courses. More advanced customers who would like to delve deeper into the science of perfect coffee roasting can receive more in-depth training. This involves looking at the effects of temperature, roasting time and degree on the roasting results. We not only train on-site in our own training centre in Emmerich, but also offer training worldwide. Our agents in China and Australia, for example, provide their clients with coffee roasting training courses and workshops.
Trends we’ve observed, in what customers are looking for in their roasting equipment, certainly includes energy efficiency. However, artisan roasters are also looking for technological developments in control and consistency. Most roasting machine suppliers are putting the majority of their efforts to meet these demands and requirements.
At Probat, we are able to provide roasters with a homogeneous roast of coffee beans thanks to the Probat-specific air-to-bean ratio and a special shovel mechanism. Our cutting-edge burner technology provides for reliable heating and higher energy savings. A better isolation of the roasting drums assures less thermal loss, and our infinitely adjustable gas regulation guarantees maximum flexibility and control.
Our customers also ask us for reproducible results. We do this through our control software Pilot Roaster Shop. It enables roastmasters to record, edit, analyse and store roasting profiles, that can be called up at any time. This way, relevant parameters such as roasting time, product temperature, burner output or roasting profiles can be seen at a glance any time during the complete roasting process.
This is getting more and more important, as roasters are showing a growing interest in the capability to understand every single aspect of the roasting process, how it is effected by the individual parameters, and how they influence each other mutually.