FAQ: North TJ-073 vs. Diedrich IR 2.5?
Please note: this post dates from early 2014. We have since completely redesigned our “3kg” roaster with double walled drum, greater capacity, drum pressure gauges, better thermocouple placement, CSA certification, and new for 2020 optional colors and finishes and the addition of a new digitally controlled model with advanced data logging functions.
Details at the links below:
Our 3 kg and 500 gram machines have also been chosen 3 years in a row for the live roasting portions of the US Roasting Championship.
See link below:
To sum up, our new 3kg is now much more powerful, more capable, and more flexible roaster than the IR2.5.
The IR2.5 is still a nice machine and Diedrich is still a good company and we wish them well, but we’ve worked tirelessly for over 6 years to redesign and refine our entire line into what we think machines optimized for specialty coffee should be. The payoff for those 10000+ hours of engineering and design time is that we now build an enormously better roaster.
You do not have to take my word for this. See link below:
Feel free to call the office anytime.
Michael from the great state of Texas asked:
“How does the 3 kg version compare to a Diedrich IR 2.5?”
Ask a good question, and hopefully, get a good answer:
Diedrich is a great company and makes a terrific roaster. I’m familiar enough with their product line to know that if your business is established enough to justify the expense, you can’t go wrong with any of their machines.
Side by side, the major differences between the Diedrich and North roasters, from my perspective at least, are simple. Diedrich offers a very efficient IR burner capable of limited adjustment where the North is constructed with direct flame variable output burners. This is the reason the Diedrich 2.5 you asked about is normally operated at less than full capacity (50-75% depending on who you talk to) where the North is capable of profiling full capacity charges (100% or greater).
The Diedrich is a marginally more polished and more sophisticated roaster. Having sampled a bunch of coffee over the years roasted on a variety of roasters, I sincerely challenge anyone to find a difference in the cup between the two designs.
I had a discussion last week with a gentleman who is currently employed roasting on a large Diedrich, but will be purchasing a 6 kg machine from us to start his own roastery. He spoke about uncertainty and “payback.” His motivation was quality and expense. He felt we could provide a commercial quality roaster at a price that didn’t force him to borrow money. Not having a large roaster payment during his first 6-12 months of business was going to help him sleep at night. He broke it down to making $4 a pound and paying off his roaster by the 20th bag of (green) coffee or about 50 hours of total roasting time. His exact words were: “It’s a no brainer.”
Whether or not our roaster is right for you will depend on a couple of factors. The first is a regulatory. Although we are CE, ROHS, and IEC certified, these are European standards and although largely compliant, we are not UL listed. As a piece of production equipment, this isn’t the end of the world, but it can occasionally be a headache. Second, while I am nearly always available via phone or email for tech support, our documentation is rudimentary. We don’t have a comprehensive manual for each machine. Third, our roasters are manually controlled, meaning you’ll need to “drive” each roast with the gas and air flow adjustments necessary to create your unique roast profile. We do not offer the option of an automated system the way Diedrich does.
The simple fact is, we’re new. Diedrich is a respected, accomplished and established company. They have paid their dues. We’re still earning ours.
We’re priced at a level where we make it a little easier for would be artisan roasters to live their dream. As screwy as it sounds, for me, it’s like they trust me to deliver their baby. I take that responsibility very seriously and work very hard to make sure that the machinery part of their fledgling business is not the limiting factor of their success. That means getting you a good machine out of the crate, being available to guide you through your initial installation, and being accessible when/if something goes wrong.
A low price is meaningless without reliable support. These roasters are production equipment. Guys are often out of the coffee business when one is down. We’re building our brand by providing you great equipment at a great price and providing you with better service more quickly than most guys can imagine.
At the end of the day, no matter how hokey it may sound, my promise to my guys is that we’re in this together and I’ll be with you every step of the way.
Thanks for thinking of us and best wishes no matter what you choose to roast on.
Special thanks to Tong of Cafe on 1st for making our roaster look good!