Marcelo Pereira Magnere | How IKAWA Pro roasters are helping improve coffee quality in Myanmar

Marcelo is the proud user of one of our first ever IKAWA Pro Sample roasters. He first got in touch back in 2012, and waited for months while we developed our the first ever 120 Volt version. 

We ran into Marcelo at SCAA Atlanta after the Re:co Symposium and were delighted to hear the roaster was still helping with his day to day work, his one request was a new collection jar – one was still in pristine condition in it’s original box, the other got chipped and replaced by a coffee mug! 

Marcelo is now based in Myanmar and is at the forefront of developing quality in this exciting origin. It’s a real pleasure to share his experience and insights using the IKAWA.

Marcelo with Alex at SCAA Atlanta where we were able to give him a new collection jar!

Marcelo with Alex at SCAA Atlanta where we were able to give him a new collection jar!

Over to Marcelo

"My name is Marcelo Pereira Magnere and I am a coffee quality specialist currently working for Winrock International in Myanmar (Burma), I have worked as coffee quality consultant for the Coffee Quality Institute in different projects and countries, such as Ethiopia, Uganda and independently in Rwanda, Costa Rica and Brazil, for both Arabica and Robusta coffees as well.

My focus has always been smallholder farmers and coffee processing. Especially how coffee processing affects flavour and final quality.

Marcelo in the field

Marcelo in the field

I found out about IKAWA Professional coffee roasters during my time in Brazil in 2012, back then I was working trying to improve coffee flavour by improving coffee processing techniques along with farmers who wanted to move from commercial grade type coffees into the speciality grade ones. They ambitioned their coffees, to get speciality price premium, traceability, access to direct trade and face the market directly as farmers. However first, they needed to have a minimum quality score of 80 points or more by SCAA standards and no visual defects whatsoever. 

Adopting quality standards was a difficult task, it was always compromising efficiency and final volume, so we tried different approaches for sundried and washed coffees and different drying and fermentation length periods. I ended up with many lots to compare. I started comparing lots at a coffee lab but there was a variable that was always changing, the roasting. Flavor differences between lots were minimal and even though I was roasting consistently, I could feel slight differences in flavor from different roasts from same samples, and it was unacceptable.

"I chose the IKAWA Pro Sample roaster because I could eliminate the roasting variable."

I could create a roasting profile for the coffee and then run all samples by using the exact same profile. The IKAWA Pro Sample coffee roaster worked as advertised and it provided me consistent roasts every time. Finally, I was able to eliminate the roasting variable, results were clear and easy to detect.

I felt very confident about the results. We changed the whole coffee drying and processing techniques at the coffee farm and those are the standards they adopted until this day with great success.

When I ordered my IKAWA Pro Sample roaster, they were recently introduced (back in 2012) and they only run at 220 Volt only, I was at Brazil during that time so I needed an 110 Volt one. Andrew made the first 110 Volt IKAWA roaster just for me, so I am the proud owner of the very first 110 Volt IKAWA coffee roaster ever made. 

It works solid until this day, Andrew and the IKAWA team have always been supportive, they have answered all my questions. The IKAWA coffee roaster is the most precise roasting tool I know, I have use it at work and at home as well.

Marcelo Pereira with the two winning farmers (Daw Phyu Pu, left, and Daw Mya Hnin, right) from Myanmar's first national coffee cupping competition in 2015. Photo credit - The Speciality Coffee Chronical

Marcelo Pereira with the two winning farmers (Daw Phyu Pu, left, and Daw Mya Hnin, right) from Myanmar's first national coffee cupping competition in 2015. Photo credit - The Speciality Coffee Chronical

For people familiarized with roasting, you might know, it is possible to emphasize acidity, flavour and body depending on how accentuated the roasting profile slope is. This is usually hard to do using conventional lab roaster but using the IKAWA Pro Sample roaster is a breeze. There are robotized commercial roaster at that level of control but at lab level, only the IKAWA roaster can provide it.

I would recommend the IKAWA Pro Sample roaster to any coffee professional looking for control over roasting, whoever wants to experiment and learn about roasting and anyone trying to push the envelope finding new ways to roast coffee. As you can imagine I am very satisfied with the product, it has been an excellent and powerful tool at work and a pleasing and enjoyable hobby at home.