What Size Coffee Roaster Do You Need?
Finding the right-sized coffee roaster is a determining factor for matters that aren’t exclusive to the quantity or volume of your coffee production. Every coffee business must ask a series of questions and make educated decisions before committing to a high-priced piece of gear. It isn’t merely a debate of how much coffee you want to roast in one batch— it’s also about how you want to set up your roasting facility, which one is the best value for money, and so on.
Most coffee makers are unaware of the details they need to consider when purchasing a roaster. In this blog, we break down the most important parts to look for when finding the right coffee roaster size for your business.
Coffee roaster sizes: Knowing what’s out there
There are six major categories of commercial coffee roasters based on capacity: sample, small batch, medium commercial, large commercial, and extra large commercial.
Sample roasters (50 g to 500 g) evaluate samples of coffee before committing to a large quantity purchase. Small batch roasting machines (1 kg to 3 kg) are great for sample roasting in larger batches or identifying the right roast profile for a new coffee.
Next up, there is the small commercial roaster, starting at around 5 kg to 15 kg. These machines are suited to teams looking to roast coffee at scale rather than small businesses or cafés looking to diversify. Machines with a batch size of around 15 kg are most suited to existing roasting businesses that have established a solid clientele. Many successful specialty coffee roasters will find this is the biggest machine they will ever need.
Moving past the 15 kg bracket, such as the medium to extra large commercial coffee roasters, is only necessary when you have an expansive, wide-reaching customer base. These machine sizes go up to or over 70 kg in capacity.
Efficiency and Output
Remember, buying too big can be just as disastrous as buying too small. Some coffee makers look for larger roasters, rushing the possibility of expanding their business, while others make the mistake of committing to a small machine, thinking they can start a business from it. It’s not that simple. Roasting doesn’t equal making money; selling does!
Questions to tackle first and foremost: How much coffee do you need to be able to roast in a day to match your output goals? Are you roasting for your own cafe, selling your roasted beans to breakfast spots around the area, or supplying your specialty coffee to an entire region?
It’s worth noting the Between Batch Protocols, too. How much automation will you want to use? More automation means more output per labor, which also means your team will be freer to do other tasks, such as sales.
Facility and Needs
Are you working with a lot of floor space? Lots of room is an obvious requirement for larger coffee roasters, but there are a number of other building features to take into account. For example, a gas roaster with around 3 to 5 kg capacity will require thorough planning around gas connections, ventilation, green bean storage space, building permits, and the list goes on. Some coffee makers would even construct a chimney to support a proper afterburner system.
Consider the space you will be working in before purchasing a coffee roaster.
Whichever you opt for, every coffee roaster and coffee equipment will take time for you and your team to get the hang of before you can start selling and growing. Older machines with lower-tech builds may take much longer to learn, but smart-tech machines are now rising.
There’s no harm in planning ahead. Are you looking to play it safe and buy small? Or are you a risk-taker looking to make big leaps in the future— go big or go home? You can always meet yourself in the middle.
Berto Roaster machines come in the following capacities:
- Berto Essential, for micro-roasters and coffee shops: 1 kg
- Berto D Roaster, for small to medium commercial roasters: 3 kg, 6 kg, 12 kg
- Berto R Roaster, for large commercial roasters: 8 kg, 20 kg, 60 kg
Whether you are an artisan cafe looking to roast specialty coffee in your shop, or a coffee distributor considering scaling up your business, there are many points to consider before you can make an informed decision. With Berto Roaster machines, there is a whole range of sizes to choose from according to your needs. We can help you to select the roaster machine that is right for you.