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Electric Coffee Roasters: Advantages And Disadvantages Of Their Implementation

Electric Coffee Roasters

Electric Coffee Roasters

Electric Coffee Roasters : Just as there is no single way to transmit heat, there is no single way to generate it. Thanks to technological advances , more efficient options for roasting coffee have been discovered , implementing what gives the best results and discarding what does not generate a considerable contribution. 

This judgment may be valid for a given place and time but it does not mean that it cannot be reformulated according to the context, with other resources or for other purposes.Electric Coffee Roasters Faced with a world that is depleting its fossil fuel reserves, and with greater social commitment to caring for the environment, one of the challenges for the industry is to make electric toasters as functional as gas toasters.

To have a broader overview of the subject, I spoke with two specialists in roasting and its machinery. Continue reading and find out what they think about electric toasters.

How do most coffee Electric Coffee Roasters work?

Jorge Armando Devia is a master roaster at Colo Coffee Roasters , a Colombian company dedicated to roasting specialty coffees. “We, through machines, can optimize resources. Therefore, there is not just one brand of toasters,” says Jorge.He explains that most roasting companies usually opt for natural gas as their supply. This is due to its low cost, availability and easy measurement and regulation.

“Propane gas is more efficient in its heat and radiation, so it helps toast faster,” adds Jorge. He highlights that if the necessary precautions are not taken regarding installations and maintenance, it can also be dangerous.

Sergio Ríos is the CEO of Voltumachine , a company located in Denmark and with a presence in the United States, Latin America, among other countries, which provides an environmental ISO certification to be applied to roasting processes based on the control of carbon emissions Electric Coffee Roasters.

“At a global level we have a large consumption of coffee roasting machines based on gas combustion,” he says. On the other hand, he states that very recently electric toasters began to position themselves on the market,Electric Coffee Roasters but still with high energy consumption, due to the lack of implementation of more efficient technology.

Features of electric toasters

Sergio says that, currently, there are international companies innovating with electricity supply. Some of them are based on the generation of heat with electrical resistances, while others implement the electromagnetic induction method.Electric Coffee Roasters He considers that this last option is more efficient due to its lower energy consumption.

For his part, Jorge maintains that it is possible to find toasters that work with an electrical supply, mainly within the segment of artisanal or laboratory toasters. Electric Coffee Roasters That is, those low-capacity machines used to roast batches between 200 g and 3 kg. “Matter behaves in an efficient way due to the space of energy that I am going to accumulate,” he explains.

Consequently, consumption for these volumes is relatively low. In addition, both conduction and convection can be used as the main source of heat transmission, as warranted by the desired profile.

Offer of electric toasters on the market

Jorge says that in some countries like Korea, the machines are powered by electricity because this mode is cheaper than using gas.

Likewise, there is a market trend in Europe to design electric machines.Electric Coffee Roasters. The problem is that, according to Sergio, “they are machines that are just in the prototype phase and their efficiency is not optimal.”

Regarding the situation in Latin America, Sergio is making efforts to promote the restoration and adaptation of machines . Instead of buying new, Electric Coffee Roasters it is a more sustainable and supportive practice in the face of limited resource availability or supply. According to him, the industrial design of electric toasters still needs to be studied in detail to optimize their energy consumption and use.

Jorge agrees that electric toasters are not as popular because their manufacturers have not focused on the development of energy efficiency or heat transmission. Instead, what has been improved is the software to operate them and make it more intuitive.

While this represents a great advantage for inexperienced roasters, it is insufficient for master roasters

Advantages and disadvantages of electric toasters

According to Jorge, one of the main advantages is the possibility of using a supply based on renewable energy if electricity consumption is not very high, as in the case of the artisanal or laboratory toasters mentioned above.Electric Coffee Roasters In addition, maintenance is usually simpler and more accessible. These machines have a fairly stable thermal consistency between batches.

On the other hand, Sergio talks about the roasters that operate inside coffee shops: most run on gas and few are controlled or regulated in terms of safety, which is why they represent a high risk for customers and consumers.Electric Coffee Roasters workers.In this context, he maintains that using electric toasters would reduce the risk of explosion,Electric Coffee Roasters carbon emissions and even the initial investment because they do not require as much space or authorizations to operate.

Faced with the drawbacks, consider that the engineering behind electric toasters has not yet been developed enough. Consequently, they are not a viable option on a larger scale or at industrial levels. In these cases, the use of gas will be necessary to generate sufficient power during the roasting process.

Likewise, the increase in electrical supply services, added to excessive spending in adapting facilities to support this demand, can generate an increase in the cost of roasting, which is usually passed on to the final consumer.“On a cost balance it may be quite unfavorable, today, to invest in electric-based coffee roasting machines,” considers Sergio.

Pros and Cons of Electric Coffee Roasters

Electric coffee roasters offer significant advantages, particularly for small-scale or laboratory settings, as highlighted by Jorge. These benefits include the potential for utilizing renewable energy sources, simplified and more accessible maintenance, and consistent thermal stability across roasting batches.

Electric roasters also present an environmentally friendlier option, reducing carbon emissions and the risk of explosions, making them a safer choice for coffee shops, as noted by Sergio. The reduced spatial and regulatory requirements for their operation can lower initial setup costs.

However, there are notable disadvantages to electric roasters. Their design and technology limitations make them less suitable for large-scale or industrial roasting. This constraint necessitates the use of gas roasters for achieving the required power and efficiency at higher volumes.

Furthermore, the increased demand for electrical infrastructure and the costs associated with adapting facilities for electric roasters can lead to higher operational expenses. These additional costs are often transferred to the consumer, making electric roasters a less economical option at present for large-scale operations, as Sergio points out.

How functional are electric machines?

Sergio believes that electric toasters usually take longer to toast a load than gas toasters. Although he highlights that sometimes this process can be more intuitive and simple when using electric toasters.

Jorge maintains that when making modifications to the variables of the roasting process , the reaction tends to be slower in electric toasters. Therefore, there is not as much response capacity to replicate a roasting curve.Electric Coffee Roasters “When as roasters we choose a machine we base it on the reaction time of the machine, in terms of the variables I want to manipulate.” 

Despite this, he believes that if there is sufficient knowledge of the operation of this type of machines, it will be possible to make modifications in advance and not face late changes.

Can they reduce emissions generated by coffee roasting?

Although we usually attribute the generation of carbon emissions to the combustion process, Sergio points out that it is very important to take into account the efficiency and the way in which the electrical energy used in this type of toasters is obtained. If the electrical energy consumption of the toasters is high and is not obtained from renewable sources,Electric Coffee Roasters it is possible that this process is generating more carbon emissions than with a conventional gas machine.

Jorge says that at Colo   they began to measure carbon emissions and implemented measures to reduce them. Among the measures with the greatest impact is the use of solar panels to supply the laboratory and storage area, which has equipment with high electrical consumption. They even generate enough energy to have a reserve of two and a half hours of consumption with all the equipment operating at maximum capacity.

Furthermore, they discovered that of the total estimate of emissions generated, the roasting process represented only 25%. Therefore, it is necessary to take into account the rest of the operation if you really want to reduce the carbon footprint.

Projections on the development of the electric toaster market

Sergio predicts that the use of electrical energy for the roasting process of micro-roasters will become more efficient in the next five years, especially if induction technology is innovated.Electric Coffee Roasters He assures that this is the system that consumes the least energy and the one that can reach the highest temperature, with very little space and in a matter of seconds.On the other hand, he adds that if we talk about an industrial scale, in Europe there is a shift towards hydrogen as a technology to produce heat. 

Jorge believes that it is important to bet on renewable energies, optimize available resources and adapt to the needs of the roaster within his work environment to guarantee his physical integrity.Electric Coffee Roasters He appeals to the responsibility of roasters as a determining link for the industry, beyond the quality they impart to the coffee.

The idea of ​​implementing practices committed to safety and environmental care is a trend that could spread to the roasting industry in the coming years, especially if we as consumers begin to demand it.In this context, electric toasters could become a sustainable alternative if progress is made in their development and operation so that they are effectively efficient without demanding more resources than gas toasters.


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