Why Do We Need A New Roaster?
Every journey has its first steps, and for us, that took the form of some pretty humble beginnings. After spending time in Sumatra and deciding to take the plunge into the world of coffee upon returning home, Rounton Coffee Roasters was born – but we had nothing to roast coffee with!
We started out by buying a 10kg drum roaster from Toper, imported from Turkey. In our infancy, the roaster would be turned on once a week, and we would roast a handful of batches – enough to cover us for the farmers’ markets we’d visit, and pretty soon after, for the people who wanted to use our coffee in their shops.
Now, six years later, our roaster is roasting back-to-back batches for about 50 hours each week. It’s safe to say it’s the hardest working member of the Rounton Coffee team! From home brewers to wholesale partners, the coffee we supply flies out of the door as quickly as we can roast it. So far, we’ve had an incredible journey, and we’re now lucky enough to be able to take the next big step and buy a new, bigger roaster.
Our new Mill City roaster has a 30kg capacity, which essentially means that for every three batches that we roast at the moment, we’ll be able to do it in one batch on the new roaster. As you can imagine, this is going to streamline our production to an unimaginable degree and will free us up to dedicate more time to quality control, and source the best sustainably traded coffees we can get our hands on. What’s more, the wonderful people who we supply coffee to will be able to have as much support from us as they desire – it’s really a win/win!
Building The Beast
It’s no small undertaking, building a 30kg roaster. The heavy-duty construction of a Mill City roaster means that there is an incredible degree of thermal stability when roasting, which overall should allow us to roast coffee more consistently than ever (and without losing energy to the room through heat). Mill City were fantastic during the construction of the roaster, giving us updates every step of the way. The day we got to see a picture of the roaster for the first time was almost embarrassingly exciting!
We’re really really looking forward to roasting on this machine. Aside from the consistency that the Mill City roaster promises, it also gives us a degree of control over the roasting process that we’ve only ever dreamed of. We’re sure that being able to control airflow, drum speed (and more) will allow us to roast coffee that’s even more delicious than usual.
From There To Here
Mill City’s machines are manufactured by their partners in China, who have been crafting machines for over 20 years, and now dedicate their entire production to Mill City. The roaster, once completed, was shipped over to the UK, where we finally came face-to-face with it last month. We’ve been preparing The Granary for the roaster’s arrival, where we now have a dedicated roasting room.
The roaster arrived in three huge crates, and after unpacking the parts and piecing them together, we could at long last take a step back and marvel at our new toy. Next to our trusty little Toper, it’s an absolute giant, and we’re all itching to load that first batch of coffee into the hopper!
We’ll be putting together the finishing touches to The Granary over the next few weeks, and before we know it, we’ll be familiarising ourselves with the Mill City roaster, with all its bells and whistles.
Looking ForwardThis next step for us isn’t just about a bigger roaster – not really. It’s the culmination of years of forming relationships with people who love coffee as much as we do and being fortunate enough to find ourselves in the position we are in today. Without people who believe that coffee should be treated with the care it deserves – from sourcing to roasting – we’d not be doing what we do.
We’re grateful for the support of everyone who has been on this journey with us so far – whether you’ve just found us, or you’ve been around since the farmers market days – we’re going to endeavour to keep learning and keep improving, and our new roaster will be at the centre of it all.
– The Rounton Coffee Team