The Coffee Kinetics Roaster

The Coffee Kinetics Roaster (also called the Syd & Jerry’s Roaster)

(Note: the company that manufactured this roaster was sold, and it is supplied by another vendor now. So we took down the links. This is a very old article!)

We have been testing the propane model of the Coffee Kinetics roaster, and now have a natural gas model in use at the shop. It is also called the Syd & Jerry’s Coffee Roaster after the fellows who invented and build it. In short, it’s a powerful little air roaster (fluid-bed) that has a capacity of 1 Lb. roasted coffee. The price on it is $3495 and it is definitely intended for the small-scale coffee business, cafe, bakery or restaurant. Not cheap! There’s a few home roasters that might be able to justify the cost.
Here is an image of the roast chamber in action early in the roast cycle. The roaster operates according to finish roast temperature, not on a timer. The RTD thermo probe is in the exit air stream, after it has passed through the coffee. The roaster has a setting of 1-9 and each represents a finish roast temperature 4 degrees Celsius increments.
Later in the roast, the coffee is more elevated in the chamber since it has lost some of its weight. The roasts are exceptionally even. The roaster does take a bit longer to roast Decaf coffees and you will need to set it 12 degrees Celsius higher than an equivalent non-Decaf roast. The reason is that the lower density of Decaf coffees does not absorb heat as efficiently in a rapid air stream as non-Decaf coffees.
While testing, we simply vented using laundry dryer hoses into the bed of the 12 Kilo Diedrich roaster (set with the cooling fan on and drawing air down through the cooling tray). The roaster requires ventilation to the outside!
The unit we tested was a propane unit. The one we will be installing more permanently is a natural gas unit. The idea of the propane unit is very attractive for its portability though, and each propane tankful will deliver about 125 roasts. A permanent propane setup should not have the propane tank next to the roaster indoors but it was great for testing… amazingly easy to set up the machine and fire it up, since its fully assembled.

A gas flame means plenty of muscle to maintain the heat with such a rapid airflow. It also draws very little electrical since you are only powering the controls and the fan. I have serious doubts that ANY electric burner could put out the heat to attain the necessary BTU required for a unit like this…

This is the roast chamber and chaff collector. I find that a Shop-Vac is a great item to have on hand to clean the chaff collector between roasts and to remove the few pieces of chaff that might fall back down on the coffee. The roaster cools the coffee rapidly and completely. The roast batch results in slightly MORE than 1 LB of roasted coffee per batch, so it takes about a maximum of 1.3 lbs of green coffee.

You can roast batches back to back with little to no lag time in between.

This isn’t the best image… but here is a Light French roast of a Mexican Organic coffee we were testing with. I see one bad bean but that’s the coffee, not the roaster… The roaster produces very even roasts but those who want a very exact degree of roast will want to stop the machine manually, more often than not. The exact same volume/weight of one type of coffee will not roast to the same precise degree as the same volume/weight of another. Yes, it’s partly due to the coffee, but differences in bean size and surface influence the roast in this machine too.
We now have the natural gas model installed permanently at the shop. I find it very handy for roasting large samples or stray 1 lb’ers for sale. It’s easy to use, fairly consistent, and the results are quite nice. While the target “degree of roast” is a bit hard to nail, the results are always even, and cup well. Click on the small image at the left for a larger version.

If you are interested in purchasing this roaster I suggest you contact the company

Coffee Kinetics 1 Lb. Coffee Roaster. Natural Gas or Propane option. Approx 70 Lb ship weight FOB Washington State.

$3495 available from Coffee Kinetics 

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