I first heard about IKAWA through a tweet from James Hoffmann of Square Mile Roasters. He had apparently been given an early prototype of the roaster to evaluate and commented that the profiles were nothing like what he was used to — reaching first crack in a couple of minutes. A light went on in my head. A tabletop roaster that had profiling and managed to roast in times more similar to our production roasters?
That was it for me. I emailed IKAWA to ask about a US model, and kept bugging them. I first saw it in person at SCAA Seattle 2015 and couldn’t wait for it to finally be ready for the US market 2015.
We’ve been using it for all our sample roasting for just over a year now.
It took a little while to develop some solid profiles – since my goal is just to have a repeatable standard – but once I felt I had it down, the machine has been virtually flawless. It’s such a relief to have a sample roaster that can crank out great, consistent sample roasts at a moment’s notice. The small batch size is also helpful, since I can usually get at least two roasts—even out of micro-lot samples.
Below is the profile I’ve been using for Sample Roasting. It’s currently set at 222 degrees Centigrade end temperature, but usually I listen for the end of first crack and push it into cooling mode a little early if needed.”
The roast profiles show the curve in degrees Centigrade (left) and Fahrenheit. Read about how to change this setting here