Noteworthy Roasteries and their Tools of the Trade

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Our curiosity brings us to ask questions like “how do the big guys roast their coffee?” We want to know what makes those coffee shops, cafes, and roasteries brew and sell great cups of coffee.

One of the biggest influences on the taste of the coffee are the beans. We know this, and it’s why most of us are always looking for pro tips from these coffee connoisseurs.

Here we’ll share the roasters that some of the biggest shops across the US and beyond use in their roasteries. In many cases, we had to dig deep into their websites, do a ton of research, and learn about the roasters they’ve chosen.

Maybe one day, we can get an interview with these professionals and find out why they’ve made the choices that they did.  Here’s hoping!

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

This company was established in 1999. They have shops in Portland, Seattle, and New York. All cities that absolutely love their coffee.

The Stumptown roasters swear by Probat. In fact, they have seven of the suckers working all the time to roast their beans. They have said that these drum roasters are like using a “seasoned and well-loved cast iron skillet.”

Stumptown uses their Probat roasters to make a medium roast with the beans they bring into their facility.

The head of their roasting department’s quality assurance has said that Stumptown doesn’t want the “roasting approach to be more important than the growing process.”

They seem to have a great respect for the farms that grow and process the beans. But, there has to be credit given to the roaster for doing justice to a beautiful bean.

While we don’t have all the details on the type of Probat the company is using, we’ve perused the Probat website. We believe Stumptown is using the Probatone60 for their roasting needs. It’s the largest roaster sold by Probat.

Conduit Coffee Roasters

This company is located in Seattle, Washington. They’re a pretty unique company. Conduit offers classes for regular Joes who want to see how the coffee is roasted and packaged.

They have a Tuesday Open House if you’re ever in the area. Anyone is allowed to go to the studio and learn about coffee. There are cuppings every Tuesday at 2 pm.

They also deliver their coffee by bicycle around their immediate area. This allows them to concentrate on making the best coffee without worrying about distribution.

As you can see in the picture, they use a Diedrich Roaster for their production. It’s an IR-5, which Diedrich calls their most versatile machine.

It handles a variety of batch sizes from half a pound to 11 pounds. In an hour, the roaster can produce 44 pounds of coffee beans.

Union Roasted

The Union Roasted company buys their beans from Union Direct Trade farms. It’s to ensure that coffee farm workers are getting a fair wage for their work.

Sustainable prices ensure that there are no shortcuts in the coffee bean production chain. It’s part of why they named their business Union Roasted

The roasters contribute in other ways to the coffee community. They have trainings for interested people as well as coffee professionals.

There are courses like Introduction to Roasting and Further Roasting where roasting professionals can advance and learn on Union’s Giesen 15kg drum roaster.

They also use original Probat’s from the 50s in their roasting. They’re cast iron and have a proven track record. The roastmasters – as they’re called at Union – are constantly checking and hovering over the beans to ensure that they’re roasting perfectly.

If you can’t visit the roastery in London, they have a variety of ways to connect with them like social media. They have Introduction Packages that allow you to sample their specialty coffees without a huge commitment.

This isn’t a video specific to any of these roasters, but it’s appropriate for roasting in general. If you’ve ever wanted to know what happens inside a roaster, this will be a fascinating video. They put a GoPro in the roaster. You’ll see the beans spinning and tumbling, the chaff being collected, and the progress of the bean during roasting.

These are just a few of the big or noteworthy roasters that we’ve found. Two of them use Probat as their primary roaster while the other uses Diedrich. We’d be interested to learn why they’ve made those choices as well as what they might recommend for the home roaster.

If we continue with this series and interview them, we’ll keep you posted.

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