20 Apr 2023

The all-new Pro100x Sample Roaster

How can we help our customers save more time and produce more consistent roasts? That’s the question we ask ourselves all the time.

Now we’re also asking “how powerful is this Moisture Release Graph?”. And “is peak Rate of Moisture Release the best definition of 1st crack”. And “what else can this Humidity Sensor do?”

We’re proud to introduce the all-new Pro100x, our latest and most advanced Sample Roaster to date.

The Pro100x includes a host of new features, and some industry-firsts. We’ve spent significant time with the roasting team at Square Mile Coffee in London who have not just helped test our Auto-Detect 1st Crack feature but guided the development of the Moisture Release Graph, an incredibly valuable new tool.

What’s New with the Pro100x?

The Pro100x has a group of features designed to make sample roasting easier, more automated, and more consistent. And as a result of the innovative new IKAWA Humidity Sensor we have the industry-first Moisture Release Graph, a brand-new tool that provides a map of when and how quickly moisture is being released from coffee during roasting.

 Why did we make this?

Sample roasting is incredibly important. Every coffee is sample roasted numerous times along it’s journey, and each time it’s usually to assess quality and characteristics. Often for the purpose of purchasing.

Sample roasting is also time consuming.

After spending many months interviewing customers, tracking how coffees are bought and sold, and how people evaluate them, we knew that our customers would value any time they could get back. More time to do things like cup coffees, or respond to emails, or write better feedback.

We also knew there was a need for more consistency in roasting and even easier to use roasters.

So, we set out to find ways to achieve those goals.

Auto-Detect 1st Crack & the IKAWA Humidity Sensor

While we experimented with other methods, the absolute best method for identifying 1st crack automatically was by measuring the change in humidity in the roasting chamber.

This was objective, reliable, and less susceptible to environmental impacts (sounds in the room for example) than other methods.

By using the IKAWA Humidity Sensor data we can find the point of Peak Rate of Moisture Release, which has shown to correspond to audible 1st crack in almost every case.

This 1st crack detection measures what is happening with the beans directly.

Rob Hoos first gave our founder, Andrew Stordy, the idea to investigate humidity for 1st crack. Andrew set out to learn more about this, and found the helpful article by James Davison of Williamstown Roasters. Andrew quickly prototyped an idea and began the process of trial and error with various sensors and software.

Testing continued and Tom Flawith and James Haydon of Square Mile Coffee Roasters contributed months of time and expert insight into helping us validate and fine tune the custom algorithm needed to intelligently detect 1st crack.

After more than 40 different coffees and many many roasts, the resulting Auto-Detect 1st Crack system is reliably marking 1st crack, and corresponds within a few seconds of an audible crack.

“An” audible 1st crack is noteworthy because one piece of feedback from Square Mile was the roaster has better insight into 1st crack, and so those times when there are slow and spaced out pops they were happy to defer to the Pro100x. So much so, that they now say that it can mark 1st crack as good as anyone in the roastery.

Target Development Mode

If the roaster knows when 1st crack happens, why not save more time by having it end the roast for you as well?

Target Development Mode uses adaptive profiles to make sure your roast finishes at whatever development time or ratio you want (within some broad limits).

If you would like all of your roasts to finish 60 seconds after 1st crack, simply preset that before you begin your roast on the Pro100x and the roaster will do the rest. Even if 60 seconds is past the end of your original profile.

Moisture Release Graph

We are so excited to learn more about how the coffee industry can use the new IKAWA Moisture Release Graph. Right now, we know from some of our early user testers that the Moisture Release Graph is an incredible new tool for production profiling.

As Scott Rao states in Coffee Roasting – Best Practices, moisture release during roasting causes evaporative cooling on bean surfaces. He then states that “the more moisture beans release during a roast, the more heat one must apply to cook the beans to a given degree.”

Sounds easy but as we all know, it’s not. Why not? Because each coffee releases moisture in different quantities, different rates, and different times in the roast.

The new IKAWA Moisture Release Graph now provides a map of when and how quickly moisture is released from the beans during a roast. This provides a key for production roasters to use during their first batch of a new coffee.

While we knew there was value in the moisture release apart from detecting 1st crack, it was James Haydon and Tom Flawith that really pushed and guided us towards this final feature. They gave time, insights, and knowledge to make this happen and we’re very grateful.


This was originally posted 20 April 2023. Now, in August 2023 we have shipped over 60 Pro100x roasters, and are building more!

Learn more about the IKAWA Pro Series?

Talk to the team, or read more about the Pro Series of Pro50, Pro100, and Pro100x and the IKAWA Pro App here

author-img By Geoff Woodley