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The 1kg North Coffee Roaster (NC-001) ships in a single crate, dimensions and weight listed below.
Included with every roaster:
Phidget 1048 Thermocouple USB Interface
Gas Coffee Roaster Fittings Kit
To Complement your Roaster
Marshall Regulator Kit (For Propane Only)
100 MM BT or ET Thermocouple
We’ve had this roaster since 2016. Like all good roasters, this was doing its thing in the garage running on LP at first, then converted to NG through the help of MCR’s friendly tech’s. A few months later we moved it into our coffee shop and it’s been seeing frequent duty since. Since we’ve started tracking more consistently less than a year ago, we’ve done well over 1,800 batches on this. If that’s not enough to constitute commercial-grade, i don’t know what does.
This will be my final review for the TJ-067 propane fired roaster. It has been two years and 1000 lbs. plus since I put this roaster in service and it still gets a five star rating. I have not had a single mechanical or electrical failure with this machine. It just keeps going! If you make your notes as you gain experience, this roaster will produce consistent roasts of high quality. My most common roast weights are 1 kg but I frequently roast 1.5 kg which it handles with ease. I also roast the occasional 500 gm load. Early on after noticing some roast inconsistencies, I determined the issue was drum speed when all other settings were the same so I marked the drum speed knob in three places for each different roast weight, i.e., 0.5, 1, and 1.5 kg. The inconsistencies were not roast killers. I just was not satisfied and wanted better. Marking the drum speed knob made the difference and really allowed tighter control. If you are in the market this is a GREAT machine value! The service you with the purchase id five star as well!
I have been roasting on my 1kg (propane) for about 7 months now – I was going to write a review just after my first few roasts RAVING about the machine and my buying experience with Mill City, but I decided to wait until I had some significant roast time so that I could be more helpful to people who, like I was, looking for an excellently built, reasonably priced, well equipped machine to build a small coffee roasting business off of. I feel like now, after pumping several hundred pounds of coffee out of my TJ-067, I am able to give my review.
I started like many – roasting in a popcorn popper, then a Behmor 1600+, all the while gathering some steam with selling to family and friends and finding myself logging extensive hours on a home-roaster, reading blogs on how to trick it out to make the coffee better, and dreaming about what could be. I quickly felt defeated after spending months searching every known corner of the internet attempting to find a small, used roaster to get my start (including consideration of importing something from China) – there was nothing close to my location (Vancouver, BC, Canada) within my price range, and I soon found myself trying to justify to my wife spending $20k to “try” a coffee roasting business.
Enter Mill City Roasters – Steve responded to an add I put on Craigslist searching for a used roaster. We e-mailed back and forth regarding this NEW, 1kg machine, LP or Natural gas, well under $10k (including shipping). After lots of dialogue (including extensive phone calls), as well as me scouring the internet for anything comparable and coming up with nothing, and also searching for some damning review that proved this too good to be true, I decided to pull the trigger. **Particularly notable – Steve talked me OUT of spending more money on a larger roaster initially (I was concerned 1kg was still too small). Steve advised that the roaster had been excellently roasting 3lb charges no problem, and encouraged me not to over-invest in the machine initially, having more money free for greens – (honesty, integrity, professionalism are words that come to mind when thinking about my experience with Steve). He also advised me the whole way along about the best ways to get the roaster shipped and across the border (of which I had NO issues, just had to pay the duty).
After some delays (none of which were the fault of Mill City), I picked up my roaster in the states from the package receiver, drove it back across the border in the back of a pick-up truck (the crate its shipped in fit no problem), and had it set up in my garage within a few hours (its HEAVY, have some buds nearby). The set up instructions are clear and easy to follow. I seasoned the roaster that same night and was ready to get roasting. I did my first few roasts according to the Roasting 101 blog post, and I kid you not – the cupping quality of the these beans FAR surpassed my BEST roasts out of the Behmor (no offence intended, I still love that little guy!). I say this more to highlight the quality of this machine and technology on board – the gas/airflow/drum speed control allows for profiling to match professional quality roasts; the included Phigit allows for visual tracking, profiling, and reproduction; the chaff collection is efficient; the cooling ability it excellent.
I had some issue getting the Phigit working with my PC computer – readings were erratic and unhelpful. ENTER DAVE (I common refer to him as my roasting Jedi). Dave is a wealth of knowledge, and is so quick to respond to my questions I often feel guilty that he’s laying in bed at night, he wakes up when his phone beeps with another question from Brandon, and he immediately answers it. But that is just the beginning – Dave and I have had several Skype roasting sessions – me in Vancouver, him in Minneapolis – where he mentored me on technical aspects of Artisan, roast technique/profiling, roast observation and feedback…. Dave has also reviewed Artisan graphs and given me feedback for future roasting. This process has exponentially grown my abilities and skills which has resulted in even better cuppings (although as previously stated, my first few roasts way surpassed my expectations). I would have never imagined that with the purchase of my roaster came quality guidance and education – a testament to the passion this company has, not only for excellent coffee, but also the support and advancement of small businesses. Dave has given me advise on the types of bags to use, for goodness sakes. Thank you, friend.
As stated, the roaster (with additional gas regulator) has no issue with larger, 3lb charges, and I am reaching 1st crack between 8-10 min consistently. Because of the demand and my limited time to roast, I was pounded out 3lb charges while also trying to learn to profile. Jedi Dave wisely advised me to pull back a bit while I mastered profiling with 1kg charges, then grow from there. Dave was right – although the machine is very capable, there is a learning curve involved, and the larger charges may result in the loss of skill building required to actually master the techniques. I would concur with Dave – go for quality first, then start thinking about quantity. However, even with 1kg charges, I have no issue completing roasts within 12min, then slam another in, then another, then another, then another…
I have had minimal technical issues with the roaster – the drum rubbed early on during warm up, however Steve advised me to turn up the airflow, and problem was solved. The cooling tray is incredibly efficient, cooling 3lb charges within minutes. I run on LP currently – it is SUPER efficient, and in 7 months and hundreds of pounds roasted, I have filled my tank twice. I plan to switch to natural gas – necessary components were included for this conversation.
I am still learning – as I said, this is my “try” – I am not an expert roaster by any means. However, I am confident that my skills have boomed since beginning on the TJ and that I am capable of roasting very high quality coffee in this machine. The TJ gives much room for continual growth, but also proves to be an easy roaster to learn from. I am very happy with this roaster, my continued experience with Mill City, and the resulting growth of my business. If you are like me, do not hesitate as long as I did, and get your hands on this roaster. At this price, there is nothing to lose but the time you could be roasting on it!
As an owner of a Huky 500 roaster (about a notch below the roasters sold here), I’d like to comment on Mill City’s greens and customer support.
Mill City is very active in the home roasting community, and has really stepped up their support in the past several months.
I want to express my thanks in particular to Dave and Joe for producing the coffee of the month videos. They have all been good, but the September and October 2015 videos were really fantastic. The information presented by Joe is just not available in any book or on any forum. These videos are like a huge gift to the home roasting community.
My coffee has improved since I began reading home-barista, and it took a big step forward after entering the Focus on the Roast competition. But since the coffee of the month videos came out, I feel like I have really made another leap.
Thank you all!
An adult shouldn’t be allowed to have this much fun! I took delivery of my 1 kg gas roaster in April. The good folks at Mill City, primarily Steve and Dave, have been helpful and supportive. The roaster has worked flawlessly, except for those times where the operator has let it get out of hand. No fault of the equipment. I have 100 roasts under my belt and the roaster is excellent. I am roasting great coffee and I have received nothing but rave reviews. Thanks for helping to keep an old man off the streets and wandering aimlessly.
I have to say I’m glad I went with my gut feeling and choose mill city. Steve, Nick, and Dave have been a big help through the process. Very knowledgeable and willing to answer any question you throw at them. As for the roaster it’s been an enjoyment. everything works great easy to control and a great setup, never any problems. Only negative is the weight on the 1kg, but it’s the least of my worries. Overall the product and especially the customer service was SOLID. I’d advise anyone who wants to get involved in roasting to give mill city a call. Definitely won’t regret it!
I was asked to share my experience, as an owner, with the TJ-067 roaster. So a while back I spent several months reviewing roasters so I could purchase my first commercial roaster. I just needed a small roaster as I’m not roasting two or three hundred pounds a day so I scoured the internet to find a great roaster at a reasonable price. I noticed most 1k roasters were $5,000-$6,000 and up and they all offered nearly the exact same options and features. I however was working on a tight budget and quality used equipment is hard to come by. I happened to come across a forum that listed a number of small roasters and the TJ-067 was one of them. I began looking at the roaster, it was made in China so I had a few reservations but kept looking at it. There isn’t a lot out there on this roaster but I found some Chinese websites I was able to translate and find more details on it. When I contacted the company they referred me to their US rep, Mill City Roasters. When I called, Steve was able to answer the multitude of questions I threw at him and so I decided to take the plunge. For me the selling point was the price, and the few user reviews I was able to find were all stellar.
Now that I’ve had this roaster for just over a month I’ve thrown about 25 pounds of coffee through it. I have the gas fired model and am using propane to power my flame. The option is available, however, to use natural gas instead which I find is a huge plus. I am having the roaster installed in a commercial kitchen and will be able to run an existing gas line to the roaster, never having to worry about refilling propane tanks again.
This roaster is built like a tank. When it arrived the crate had been run through with a fork lift fork, right into the body of the roaster and there was barely so much as a scratch on the machine. I used about 10 pounds of coffee to season the roaster before running a real batch through. Since, I’ve roasted an additional seven or eight 1k batches for consumption and they have been spectacular. The roaster runs so quietly that I can hear first and second crack from across the room which only helps to turn out quality, consistent batches with this machine. This roaster also roasts as much as it boasts. Most other reviews I read on comparable roasters recommend running under the listed batch size. You can probably run almost 1.5k per batch in this and still have great results (although I haven’t tried). My roasts consistently complete between 12-14 minutes depending on the level of roast, and the results are always great! This is a fully manual roaster, so you can’t hook up to a computer and just hit go for a profile, but the control you have over each aspect of the roaster, and therefore the roast, are great! The gas control allows precise control of your gas flow, the exhaust fan speed is adjustable (in percentage), and the variable drum speed has helped avoid inconsistent roasting within batches. This roaster also came with a phidget 1048 and thermocouple to allow data logging with a computer which has been invaluable.
Overall this has been a great roaster which has been able to produce great coffee in any roast profile. It has been nearly impossible to screw up a batch of coffee with this machine. The price is excellent and the customer service I have received from Mill City Roasters has been second to none. I highly recommend this roaster to any home roasting enthusiast, or as a shop roaster, or sample roaster for commercial operation.
I hope this review helps anyone who is on the hunt for a great roaster at a great price.
A few thoughts concerning the TJ-067. I am not really fully
qualified to give a “review”, because I have not used many other roasters,
but can offer a few observations.
I have not found a single significant defect in the construction of this
roaster. It is fabricated and assembled with a real sense of quality. I
had to partially dismantle it to get it into the basement (removed doors,
stack, cooling blower etc), and also converted it to natural gas. In
doing this work, I was able to see more closely how well made this machine
Steve mentioned that it was capable of roasting up to 1.5 kg, and this I
verified. The roasting technique for a small batch compared to a big
batch is, however, quite different. Small batches tend to “sneak up” on
me, roasting more quickly than intended if not careful.
The bean-cooling tray, blower, and stirrer combine to make a very
effective unit. The beans cool quickly – a couple of minutes seems to do
for even a big batch – and this allows for better work flow.
The controls work well. The gas control is simple but effective. The
exhaust blower speed control is also effective, although I find that I use
it over a fairly narrow range of its full adjustment.
A minor complaint: occasionally a burnt bean emerges from the roaster.
This confused me, until I realized that there are a couple of spots inside
the drum in which beans can get “hung up”, and they sometimes release in a
later batch as very well roasted indeed.
The roaster is surprisingly heavy. Well,I suppose it can hardly be a surprise as the weight is mentioned in the specs. In any case, even for a couple of healthy and sturdy folk, it is a bear to lift. Steve – you have probably moved them so often that you have amassed some skill and techniques – you might want to pass some of that information along, to prevent people like me from fiddling with ropes and ramps and lawntractors because we did not think to recruit the defensive line of the local football team.
The conversion to natural gas went well. Once the supplied jets were
drilled out, there was ample heat. The pressure gauge, however, is not
very useful for the lower pressure of natural gas. I intend to get one with a more aqppropriate range, and will let you know how that goes.
Getting the Roaster hooked up to a computer (am using Artisan roasting software) via the Phidget interface proved vexing. Readings were incorrect and inconsistent. With the help of the Phidget website, I traced this to a ground-loop problem, apparently a common issue, and nobody’s fault but mine. For now, I am simply making do by using the laptop in battery mode, but I plan on ordering the isolater from Phidget for a less improvisational fix.
I should also mention, because a machine does not exist in isolation from entropy and you will encounter questions and problems, that the good folks at Mill City Roasters respond quickly to questions by email or phone, and the response has been consistently helpful and friendly.
Oh – and I almost forgot – the coffee beans that come down the chute of the roaster make a fine drink when you crush them and steep them in some hot water!
I am a professional coffee roaster with millions of pounds under my belt as I have worked with the Probat G240 (450lb per batch) and Probat R1500 (600lb per batch). I have also used a Diedrich L12 (25lb per batch). I bought a TJ-067P from Steve 2 months or so ago and finally am ready to put my stamp on it. First I want to caution anyone buying this for professional sales reasons and this is your only roaster, it may need additional safety and food certs than it has currently. I did not have an issue using the international certs it came with, with the cottage food people in my county, but it was fully at their discretion. I would like to point out that this roaster is currently about 10k cheaper than its american cousin, so if that means a little bit of the savings goes into getting it certified, its still not a bad deal.
As for the roasters overall performance.
I am not into hyperbole, so I will choose my words and mean those words.
Each roaster will probably have some issues with it you want to adjust. Mine had a scrapping that comes when the drum overheats and expands. This has actually saved my butt a few times when my machine was not drawing air, and does not effect anything of worth so not a negative. I did have to replace some of the nuts on the face of the roaster that hold the door on. $7 for the 4 at Ace.
This is roaster personality. All roasters I have ever had have a personality, and you need to take it slow while you figure yours out.
Steve offers some neat things. Firstly the hose and LP regulator he offers, clearly increases the BTUs. This lets me easily roast 3 Lbs of green coffee in about 11 minutes. Pretty damn impressive.
Secondly, he offers a very nice PID reader and thermocouple manager. This is the Phidget 1024, it can read up to 5 thermocouples. The machine comes with two digital and 1 analog for the vent air. There is a bean thermo that you can hook to the Phidget, and an drum chamber thermo just below the steam line that is hardwired to a readout on the machine. I am going to replace the bean TC because it hits the drum blades when the door opens, but they are dirt cheap, and anyone who has roasted day and night for years will tell you, they are consumable.
The drum RPMS are nice. I never clocked top speed, but I would guess about 60 RPM. I dial mine in at 51 RPM, this allows me to get a steady readout on my bean temp with less than full batches. Desired RPM will depend on your rostering style and habits, and largely on the air volume and ambient air temp and humidity. If you want a more “fluid bed” roast, 58 RPMs might be best with low air volume. If you have a cold wet night to roast in, thermal transfer would be best so a nice slow 42-47 RPMs. Take into account the faster you go the higher into the drum, thus into steam your beans will go, so I tend to set the fan at 28% though until about 350 F or so, then I flush the chamber with 50% for a dozen count or so to clear steam for final push, finally dropping back to my finish air % with mostly dry beans so steam will be less of an issue. I have low humidity in Ca. so you may need to increase those %
Uncreating is pretty damn fun. Cool vids to watch, however installing and understanding the Phidget could use improvement. I’ll post a video when I replace my thermocouple as time permits but here are the basics.
take the two wires from the TC and hook them up to a pair of contacts on the Phidget (you will see the contacts are numbered 1 2 3 and 0, use 0 pair for bean temp) If you get weird number readouts you have the ground wire reversed.
Hook up USB to pc, install phidget driver but then disable the program form starting up on boot it in startup of your laptop. The phidget widget CANNOT be running if you plan on using Artisan software or any other roast manager suite.
Then refer to your roast management software provider support page for their installation process. I am using Artisan, its free and awesome.
Steve provided me with some flex tubing (8 feet) for roaster to cyclone connection. Thanks, awesome. You can buy more at your local hardware store for about -20$, i suggest getting another, they are 3″, but the one steve sends is 4″, this will allow you to flow more air. However since I do not use 100% except in cases of cooldown, I prefer the 3″
Im able to roast 3 lb batches dropped in around 11, this gives me aprox 16 Pounds per hour. Double stated capacity. I have run hundreds of roasts, this is repeatable time after time. I have roasted as small as a pound, but with the overclocking of the gas regulator and everything, its a 4 minute roast on high, so I have to really drop the power, and for some reason that always makes me sad. So usually I put in about (1Lb 10 ounces) for the first batch of the day until thermal saturation is achieved on the roaster so the ambient air isn’t able to be blown into the chamber as the ventilation on this thing is overpowered (allowing rapid cooling, which is of course, good), but if you are in an area that can get even a small breeze through it, you will watch your temp delta’s jump around with each breeze. Second rost on I can go up to 3 full pounds with a bean delta of over 40 until about 350. As I stated I keep all my roasts around or under 11/12 minutes max. Usually 11. This is no problem and I am sure I could do another half a pound if needed. Not needed.
This leads me to the last aspect, the cooling tray and dumping door. Cooling tray is awesome. It can hold about 3 lbs unless you really go deep into second crack or further. It has no problems ceasing roasting in seconds. sub 120 temps usually in a minute or so but heavily dependant on ambient and roast volume/temp. By the time I have my next batch in, logs set and PC set up the beans are cool. This thing cools off the fastest I have ever seen for its volume. Its not even close. That includes the mass roasters that employ water quenching systems (up to 3 gallons!)
I am achieving remarkable roasts. I told you I am not a fan of hyperbole, I mean what I say, I want to make that clear when I say that I have been producing the best coffee I have ever tasted on this machine. I attribute this to the fact that it is overpowered in every way at its 1Kg rating. You have complete control of it, you can recover from almost anything with this machine.
A part of that is also, many 1Kg thermal transfer roasters weigh in at half the mass of this little beast. Its all, well plate steal. It is built like an old school cast iron pan, and anyone who has cooked with one of those can tell you, it rocks.
The Light is a bit frustrating because of the chinese bulb, this whole system is on chinese voltages. I am sure its addressable, but I haven’t had it blow out yet so Im ok. I am sure Steve will help with that or maybe sells them.
If your a hobby roaster, this is it. If your a shop, this is amazing but be aware of your county requirements, you may need to invest a bit to get it approved, but you will certainly still be saving around 60% over most others of this quality. Again, I was able to get approved as it was shipped, and I hear Steve is working on getting it handled over the next year or so. I would expect this of course to raise the sticker price, as it is pricy.
Overall, with certs machine would be a steal at the $7k-9k price range. It easily produces top quality, $20+ per pound coffee at a rate higher than advertised. With the bells and whistles, it quickly became my favorite roster.
Hoping to review the new agtron reader you have steve as soon as its available 🙂
I’ve been busy and just started roasting with the tj-067 last week. During setup for use I noticed many things that I did not notice with initial uncrating. This machine is very well made and heavy duty in every sense. I contacted Steve for his advise on several things and never had to wait more than 15 or 20 minutes for a return call if he did not answer right away.
Now for a roasting report. This machine will roast a kg easily. The roast is easily controlled once you get a feel for how to adjust gas output to attain what you want. I have roasted 13 pounds on it thus far and have yet to ruin any beans. Having said that I have been roasting for several years. I would recommend down loading Artisan, a free roasting software from Google. Purchase a Phidget. Steve can supply you at a fair price. It is a 4 input thermal device that is very responsive and accurate. I’ve been monitoring bean and environmental temps. Artisan will allow you to save each roast so you can compare them and help you advance your roasting skills. You can roast successive batches with out any trouble. I did it just to see how it would handle the task and the tj-067 is truly a commercial grade machine.
If I had any complaint at all it is one easily fixed. The CFL in the light is too white and could lead you to under estimate your visual level of roast. Change it our for a 2700K rated light spectrum CFL or other bulb.
In short this machine is a joy to use. Steve is great at giving you back up and talking you through any questions. Buy one from him!
I was indecisive about whether to purchase the tj-067 in electric or gas. After several conversations with Steve I decided to come to Minneapolis thinking I would purchase the electric but Steve sensed my indecision and invited me to roast on both versions and then decide which I liked the best. Both machines produced a fine roast but I chose the propane model because I roast in my garage and in the winter it is only 50 degrees at times, so I wanted the extra heat capability. Steve was very gracious and spent all the time I wanted. The tj-067 is built like a tank! The construction is very heavy duty. Steve did not have a gas version on hand so I will be returning to Minneapolis to pick mine up when the next shipment comes in the first part of April.
Steve is very knowledgeable and was a gracious host. I was so impressed I even paid him for my new roaster though I still have yet to get it. I would encourage anyone interested in a continuous duty shop quality roaster to contact him. He will take care of you! As soon as I have obtained my new roaster I will do a follow up post and report.
Excellent roaster. Had an issue with the drum rubbing, but after a few roasts, readjusted and hasn’t rubbed since (adjustments are easy).
Consistent results in roasts once I got used to the machine and figured out the process go get my 1st cracks to the 9-11 minute range.
I’d highly recommend for home and or a small coffee shop who does their own roasting.
I am a home roaster, roasting for family, friends and my own coffee addiction. Prior to purchasing a TJ-067, my roasting experience included about 600 roasts on a Behmor 1600. While I love my Behmor for getting me started on roasting, I was frustrated by the lack of control and had outgrown the batch size of that roaster. Stepping up to a more capable, professional-style machine was just too expensive for me as hobby roaster, until Mill City started bringing in the North machines.
I decided to go with the TJ-067 running on propane. Unpacking the huge wooden crate the TJ-067 is shipped in, I was struck by just how solidly this machine is built. Fit and finish are very good, but perhaps a notch below the “name brand” professional machines. Mechanically, it is operating flawlessly. With separate motors and controls for the exhaust fan, cooling tray blower, cooling tray stirring arms and drum speed, it actually has more features than some of the name-brands. I haven’t had any issues requiring help from Mill City, but I know I can rely on Steve if I do.
I have had the TJ-067 for about a month now. I have done about 3 dozen roasts so far, varying in batch size from 1Kg down to 100 gram sample roasts. The TJ-067 is very easy to control with both the gas valve and exhaust fan speed. It runs very quietly, so I have no problem hearing first or second crack. I have fitted my machine with a bean temperature thermocouple, and even so, I really enjoy having the bean tryer to help monitor the roast by sight and smell.
The proof is, of course, in the cup and my results have been excellent. I am finding a depth and variety of flavors I haven’t gotten before, even in roasts of the same beans I had done many times before getting the TJ-067. I am enjoying this roaster!
I am in the market for a 1 kg gas drum roaster ,but after doing some research found most to be out of my price range. When I came across this web site and found exactly what I was looking for (For half the price ) of most of the others, I was more than skeptical. So I went to Minneapolis to meet with Steve from Mill city roasters, and at least have a look . With a background of repairing & rebuilding commercial espresso machines, I have a good idea of what quality workmanship looks like and was really expecting to see a cheap, poorly made knock off ,but with my budget I thought it was were it to check it out. Wow, did I ever get a shock !! Not only was it very well made, the fit and finish was outstanding for a roaster made with such heavy steel . The electrical was also overbuilt and was laid out really nice. This was definitely built by someone with a coffee background. Steve is definitely qualified to help you with any aspect of the roasting process, as well as any technical questions you have (He knows his stuff). To sum it up, I am picking up my roaster this Friday ,and couldn’t be happier.
Not that bad
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