My Coffee Roaster Image Gallery

My Coffee Roaster Image Gallery

In no particular order, this is a photo gallery of diverse commercial and non-commercial coffee roasters I have seen, used, sold, or none-of-the-above, in my 18+ years in the coffee business. Some are from here in the U.S., some are from my trips to coffee growing areas. Also, see my page dedicated to Homemade Home Roasters-Tom

Home Coffee Roaster Appliances

This is an antique charcoal bed roaster I bought a long time ago, probably circa 1880-1900, roasting about 1 Lb. per batch.

This is a little gas-fired home roaster with the name of an Italian sheet metal works in Brooklyn, circa 1930.

This is a neat copper roaster with an alcohol burner that I, unfortunately, do not own!

This is an odd stovetop roaster I bought a few years back, with a circular shroud to capture all the heat for the burner. Probably circa 1900.

The good old Poppery Mark II. What a fine roaster (well, sometimes you had to open it up to disable the bimetal snap thermometer, but it took about 10 minutes to do so…)

This is one of about 5 pan roasters I have from the 1920s through 1950s. I don’t have pictures of most of them, but they are all basically a long handle and a gearless crank, perfectly positioned above the roaster to fatigue your arm and catch your shirt on fire.

The roasters on this row are at Patricia Valente’s family farm in Santa Ana, El Salvador. These were used in the farm kitchen to roast coffee for their own enjoyment for many years. This is a typical sheet metal stovetop roaster.

This is a Key-wound electric drum roaster, one of 2 that Patricia has. I actually have one of these too at our shop.

You can’t quite see the home roaster (well, I mean the roaster, not the person!) in this picture, but it is the metal plate of a wood-burning stove, and the coffee is being roasted in parchment. This is at the Nueva Esperanza co-op/town in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, on a trip I took in 2001

The fully modified corn popper – roaster, with controller box to shut off heat coils and cool with air only. This was Jeff’s roaster that he built in Columbus.

Heatgun roaster made by John Gant, at La Majada mill in El Salvador.

Another view of the interior of John’s Heatgun Roaster. John brought this down to show the producer’s an inexpensive way to roast coffee samples.

It was released in 2002, but it really took until 2003 to get the machine right: here is the HotTop roaster we sell, a fancy 250-gram capacity electric roaster with a fancy price. Is that my arm reflected in the side of it? It’s very hard to photograph chromed machines!

A recent roaster, the Zach and Dani’s or Z&D is innovative in its agitation mechanism, has a long roast cycle, and has a neato catalytic converter for smoke. we started carrying this in early 2003. Now, this is called the Nesco Home Coffee Roaster, and we still carry it!

The Alpenrost electric home coffee roaster, .5 Lb capacity, made by SwissMar

The Aromapot stovetop pan roaster we sold in ’97 to ’99. It was well-made but you couldn’t remove the top and had a propensity to jam up while cranking.

The Caffe Rosto – solid, strong. We started carrying this in about 2001, and still have it!

Ah, the Whirley Pop. We have sold these for home coffee roasting since we started in 1997. And they still work! Y1k compliant too.

The reliable little Freshroast, fastest home roaster on the market. We started with this machine in about 2000 and still have it in its fairly unchanged original form.

The old Melitta Aromaroast – a nice idea but basically a very bad roaster that baked coffee for 20-30 minutes.

Here is the old Heartware Gourmet model, that spun the coffee at a dizzying rate, and was loud, but hey- it worked!

Here is the Heartware Precision, the first version was the black base model, and the second improved version was the white-based Home Innovations model. Still a personal favorite of mine.

This is a newer German model called the Roestmeister by Dieckmann. For all intents and purposes, it looks like a heat gun aimed at a mechanical drum.

A very interesting alcohol-fired roaster I encountered, not a mass-produced item, but not old wither (circa 1990s). The base is 1/2 inch cast steel – heavy.

Ancient home roasters, not mine.

Here is the Perfect Popper we used to sell. Advantage: metal gears. Disadvantage: agitator not good for coffee, tended to flame up.

This is a barbeque roaster built by Ed Needham, a customer of ours. It resembles the Estro roaster that was sold as a kit in the late ’90s, but I never had one… visit his site!
Missing from these pages are pictures of the old Siemens roaster I had – The Scirocco, and the Gothot I roasted on a long while back. Maybe I will turn up a snapshot at some time and add them….
Small Batch Shop Roasters

Here’s a 2 for 1 picture. It’s my old Diedrich IR-12k drum roaster and the 1 Lb. Coffee Kinetics roaster I was testing at the time. That’s a propane version that I didn’t like too well, and we did end up keeping a natural gas version that I still use about 2x per week. If you are wondering, I was temporarily directing the smoke from the CK roaster through the Diedrich cooling tray.

A man and his Probat – this is my current roaster, a Probat L-12 from about 1995. Great, sturdy, reliable. They have basically built the same machine for 50 years.

Me and the old Diedrich in its full glory (with brass faceplate on. I liked a lot of things about this machine, and highly recommend them to new shops who are going to roast.

10 kilo Probat, 1950’s vintage, at El 98 farm in El Salvador

Otto and I – a cool little Otto Swadlo roaster that was sitting in a corner of a dry-mill in Guatemala City, Guatemala. I believe Swadlo, like Gothot, was bought by Probat many years back.

A very smokey room in Copan, Honduras on my 2003 cupping trip to that country. This is a Royal #5 replica that is made somewhere in Latin America from what appears to be original Royal Roaster castings. The cooling tray was totally clogged though…

This is basically a very small sample roaster made in Guatemala, and is in very bad shape -well, it needs a lot of cleaning. This was in the same roasting plant as the Royal #5 replica in Copan, Honduras on my 2003 cupping trip there.

This is a very nice small-batch shop roaster from Gothot, at Intelligentsia in Chicago. This is a little war machine! I roasted on a much different, smaller Gothot from about 1905 in New Orleans a long while back.

Yet another Intelligentsia Gothot roaster; very cool, very German.

Yet another Intelligentsia Gothot roaster, their big bad boy machine. These paint colors remind me of the sparkle-painted spaceship and motorcycle kiddle rides at Disneyland!

Massive wood-fired Italian coffee roaster at Mr. Espresso in Oakland. Don’t fall in – you’ll never get out…

A very rustic, homemade roaster at Selva Negra farm in Matagalpa Nicaragua. There was no agitator for the cooling tray, and no airflow either. I doubt it cooled in under 20 minutes. But hey, whatever works…

This is one of the oddest roasters I have seen, with a drum that swivels to dump the batch and a door to the roast chamber that looks like an industrial dry cleaner. Its made in Costa Rica or Guatemala. Matagalpa, Nicaragua, from my 2003 trip there for the Cup of Excellence event.

Another primitive machine built somewhere in Latin America. This is in Panama from my 2002 trip there.

The very innovative Rosto Pro 1500. I tested it for a week or so, but it kept blowing circuits. It roasts 1.5 kilo on 110-volt electric, so its no wonder. It needs a dedicated high-amp circuit really…

Here’s a picture of Willem Boot’s (Boot Coffee) vintage 5 kilo Probat in the background and a half pound San Franciscan sample roaster in the foreground.

An Italian Victoria roaster at the Anditrade dry mill in La Paz, Bolivia. My pictures can’t really capture the beauty of this roaster. The pedestal base for the cooling tray is a work of art. This is a beefy machine, overbuilt in all respects…

A Ball Roaster (no jokes please), made in Bolivia, incredible machine. See my 2003 Bolivia Trip Page for a movie that includes a moving shot of this machine

The UnoRoaster or Uno Roaster … not sure. I had communicated with a couple of folks from Europe about these but frankly had never seen one. I still haven’t; this one was on eBay in the UK. As far as I know, there aren’t many (or any!) on this continent. But all in all, I don’t think they are exceptionally rare. The capacity is, I believe, 3 Lbs. It looks like a real coffee scorcher…

This is one of my favorite homemade roasters. Look at that smoke vent cap on top in the back! It was built and is used at Finca Los Cantares in Volcan, Chirqui, Panama. This was from my 2003 trip to this wonderful farm.

I wasn’t going to include photos from my coffee books here (I have a lot of historic coffee books… another subject!) but this is a neat on-the-street roasting setup in Paris circa 1920.

Sample Roasters

The venerable old Jabez Burns sample roaster, a 4 barrel natural gas model at Royal Coffee just a few blocks from us here in Emeryville. This is the king of all sample roasters.

Royal’s full embattlement of sample roaster barrels. See all that chaff – these things aren’t for show – they get used!

The San Franciscan sample roaster, one of the best machines out there because you can truly profile the small batches the same as large batches in shop roasters.

This is a 1.5-kilo sample roaster that Pinhalense makes, runs off propane. This is installed at Finca Hartmann/Santa Clara in Chirqui, Panama.
Pinhalense 3 Barrel Propane-fired sample roaster with a useless grinder. La Central Co-op, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
This is a Colombian-made 80-gram portable electric sample roaster I encountered in Honduras in 2003. Really cool, like an oversized lunchbox!

This will set you back about $8000+! It’s a nice 2 barrel Probat gas roaster. Is it worth it? Sort of. You cannot match drum roast profiles using this unless you roast in 8 minutes on your big roaster. So why not get a small electric home roaster?

Willem Boot’s latest roaster is a really impressive Gothot/Probat vintage sample roaster with full airflow control, solid roasting pots (drums), and electronic flame controls. (more on that later).You can use a trier to pull coffee out of the front of the roast drum during the roast, and get full access to the interior by flipping up the entire front faceplate – this design is radically different from the Jabez Burns roasters, and a really great feature. Alas, good luck finding a Gothot sample roaster of this vintage (and if you have one to sell, please email me now!)

This is actually a sample roaster the used to be made by Willem’s father in Holland.

Another 4 barrel burns at the farm El 98 in El Salvador

Okay – here are a couple of sample roaster images that were emailed to me, presumably with a solicitation to buy … but I don’t know who sent them or from where! They illustrate some interesting design ideas but I know little about them.

The San Franciscan Sample Roaster. This one is from a pair in Bolivia used for the 2003 Cupping the Mountain’s Peak competition. (I was a judge). These puppies are $4,000 but worth every penny.

This is a really cool 3 barrel Gothot sample roaster at Intelligentsia in Chicago. Geoff Watts has, in my opinion, the best sample roaster in the business!

Related Posts