Ah, coffee—a beloved drink that is appreciated all over the world. Coffee is a big business. It has a retail market value of around $83 billion. In 2018 and 2019, 165.35 million 60 kilogram bags of coffee were consumed worldwide. Coffee also has a significant carbon footprint. Studies have revealed the roasting stage of coffee roasted on a gas roaster, on average contributes approximately 15% of the overall carbon footprint, about 1.2 pounds of carbon emissions.
When roasting coffee, there are two key ways that the beans can be roasted: with an electric roaster or a traditional gas one.
The heating element is generally what sets roasters apart. As the name suggests, a roaster that runs on gas uses a single-pass system that intakes fresh air from outside the roaster, flash-heats it to roast the coffee, then releases it as exhaust through ventilation stacks.
At Kunjani we use the Bellwether Roaster, which uses an electric heating element that surrounds the roasting drum and achieves the same roast quality without using gas. It takes the exhausted air, cleans it, and reuses it. This provides hot, stable air throughout the roast cycle.
The Bellwether is a ventless, electric, zero-emissions roaster that produces higher quality coffee, while allowing us to operate a sustainable business model.
Roasting coffee beans the traditional way involves using a machine that runs on gas. Usually, aside from getting a gas fitter, there are certain permits involved. It is incredibly powerful and wonderfully responsive. That said, these devices allow temperatures to change quite rapidly—something that isn’t always helpful given the sensitive nature of coffee beans.
Even if there's a need to correct a profile mid-roast, a sudden spike or drop in temperature will impact the final outcome. The person roasting can end up putting too much energy to the point of ruining the final roast result, hence why the coffee at other coffee shops might end up tasting burnt or bitter. Other machine variables (burner power, drum speed, and underpressure) can also impact the final flavor of the roasted beans.
Advantages of using a gas roaster include:
- Greater range of capacities so roasters can make larger batches
- Responsive control over the heat supply
- Generally, gas roasters have move power
When coffee beans are roasted this way, the process is gradual and smooth. Electric roasters take the time to move towards the settings you. The software will reflect the decrease or increase in temperature, depending on what you're trying to set it at. They use an electric heating element and smart energy storage, achieving the same roast quality without any need for gas.
Also, the moderate response is a good safety measure. That said, someone that is more used to gas-operated coffee roaster machines will need some time to get used to the electric ones.
There is also cost-efficiency that comes with using an electric coffee roaster. The reliance on electricity, along with the unique air cleaning system, means our electric roaster is not subject to strict permit regulation because there are zero emissions.
With no smoke, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), or particulate exhaust, the Bellwether Roaster is the only commercial coffee roaster that requires no additional ventilation or afterburner. It’s capable of being placed almost anywhere.
Advantages of using an electric roaster include:
- Zero emissions
- Consistency in every roast
- More sustainable and ecological
- No gas connections needed
- No required permits needed
Coffee is one of the most well-loved drinks all over the world. You will find amazing coffee beans that have been roasted on either a gas or an electric roaster. Both the traditional gas roaster and the electric roaster have their pros and cons.
Don’t want to roast yourself? No problem—it’s hard and expensive to do! Pick up your new favorite single-origin coffee beans from Kunjani, a small batch coffee roaster in Naples, FL! We are a women-owned coffee shop and coffee roaster. Check out our coffee line-up to get the freshest bag of beans!