The roaster we use at Mobjack Bay Coffee is called The San Franciscan. It is manufactured by Coffee Per, Inc, in Reno, NV.
What is so special about our roaster? Glad you asked...
When we started the process of buying a roaster we investigated six different manufacturers, spoke to either sales reps or executives from each of the companies and listened to their sales pitches. They all asked us which roasters we were considering, and in the spirit of full disclosure, we let them know. Then we asked them their opinion of the other manufacturers we were considering and how their roasters stacked up. The only roaster that received a "well that's a nice machine" from every manufacturer we spoke with was the San Franciscan.
Why? The San Franciscan is entirely American made.
It is 100% schedule 40 steel, has 5/8 inch thick face plates, and uses well known American made motors, sprockets, and componantry. This is significant because it ultimately lowers maintenance cost and down time. But the real magic happens when all these parts are assembled to create a roaster that is as capable as it is attractive.
What does this mean to a roast?
Well, the sum of the parts creates efficiencies throughout a day of roasting. Here's how it works. Once the roaster is heated, the thick steel absorbs and then radiates the heat from the burners. As we move from one roast to another, we use less gas because the roaster gives off even and consistent heat. In other words, it carries enough heat inertia to require less energy input (fuel) to get the same job done (roast beans.)
There is an afterburner behind the machine that incinerates the heavy smoke that can be a by product of darker roasted coffee. By burning this smoke at temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees farenhiet, we reduce its negative impact on air quality. The afterburner also incinerates the smoke particulates associated with soot into smaller, less damaging particles. The result is a cleaner burning roasting cycle.
The chaff that is created from the roast is collected with the help of the chaff cyclone. The cyclone works like a vacuum cleaner, drawing the chaff out of the roasting chamber and into a collection tube at the bottom of the afterburner assembley. We take this chaff home and compost it for use in our garden. It's a natural organic by-product of roasting that isn't wasted.
It is inevitable that roaster manufacturers will continue to strive towards more efficient and technologically advanced roasters. For now, we feel like this machine fits nicely into our belief system. It's efficient in its intended function, beautifully simple in its design, but full of character and charisma. It's the perfect partner in our pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee.