The "Perfect" Roaster?

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A funny thing happened the other day on Facebook Coffee Roasters Forum.

Another numbskull posted that his company was engaged in the exercise of building the “perfect” roaster and asked people to chime in about what they thought their “dream roaster” would look like.

I have several problems with this entire exercise.

First, if your commercial coffee roasting experience is so limited that you have to ask, you have no business building roasters. The coffee world is already awash with wildly oversold mediocre “perfect every time” equipment. Consumers the world over have endured oceans of lousy coffee. Maybe these guys could be part of the solution by sticking to used car sales or maybe run for Congress? I guarantee both are easier money than building and supporting a successful roaster line.

Second, it’s obvious to even the most casual observer that the “question” was just another “broey” marketing ploy. Go to dudes sparkly new website. It’s all “BRAND NEW” and “STATE OF THE ART” and “MADE IN AMERICA” but about the only thing that’s actually changed is their color scheme. It’s still your dad’s roaster. They’ve just taken a couple of new pics and invested in a fresh batch of hyperbole.

Third, and maybe most important, if everyone is building the best and only roaster worthy of the name “Roaster”, how is it possible that we’re still stuck with so much crappy coffee? I mean, the entire industry has been on this kick for at least 20 years now. When are folks going to wise up to the fact that these guys are all hat and no cattle?

Here’s a news flash:
We already build your dream roaster and the guys that are kicking ass are probably roasting on one.

  • Simultaneous roasting and cooling? Check.
  • 4 dedicated motors? Check.
  • State of the art thermometry and datalogging? Check.
  • Drum temp and gas pressure logging? Check.
  • Digital gas control and roast profiling? Check.
  • Full batch capacity at performance? Check.
  • Double walled drums? Check.
  • Ease of maintenance and easy disassembly? Check.
  • On call warranty and service support? Uh, yeah. Like, duh. Check.
  • Next day delivery of replacement parts? Check.
  • Roast automation? Check.
  • Automated between batch recovery? Check.
  • Installation support and custom venting kits? Check.
  • Roaster education from people that actually make a living producing and selling coffee? Check.
  • Sight glass and tryer(?!). I thought this was a joke, but Check.
  • Variable drum and fan speed control? Check.
  • Digital drum pressure gauge? Check.
  • Modular roaster upgrades? Sorry, no. There are no “options.” Everything we offer is standard on every machine.


All of this stuff looks enormously easier than it actually is and we work 24/7 to keep all of these balls in the air simultaneously in pursuit of continuous improvement.

Which pretty much means that we’re too busy helping real people build real businesses to conjure up a bunch of marketing bullshit to sell machines.

So vote Mill City with your dollars. At the very least, you’ll get a lot more than you pay for.


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