Frequently Asked Questions
The roaster consumes a maximum power of 1500W, however the average will be much lower.Last updated:
The Ikawa Home Roaster you see in videos and photos on Kickstarter is a prototype.
The final version of IKAWA Home Roaster will look identical to the photos, but slightly different to the videos, however there will be no significant design changes.Last updated:
The IKAWA Roaster will roast any green coffee beans.
We’re sure you’ll love our range of green beans with the roast recipes that we recommend, but we also want you to experiment with freshly roasted coffee and will not restrict this.Last updated:
IKAWA will re-invest 10% of profits into coffee quality improvement projects led by the Cafédirect Producers' Foundation (CPF) in Africa and Latin America. CPF will also distribute micro-roasters funded via our £20 reward scheme. Roasters will be used to support smallholder farmers test and learn more about the quality of their own coffee – something they very rarely have the opportunity to do. CPF works with a network of 280,000 smallholder farmers globally, which makes them an ideal partner to achieve a greater impact, rather than setting up our own distribution scheme. This also means we can focus our energy on delivering the first batch of Home Roasters to our backers!Last updated:
What are the main differences between the Home Roaster and the Professional Version that’s priced at £2,200?
The IKAWA Home Roaster is designed to make roasting coffee as easy as boiling a kettle so coffee lovers who may not have coffee roasting experience enjoy perfectly roasted coffee. It also gives users the ability to adapt roast profiles and learn how changing the roast recipe effects the flavour of the coffee. Profiles can be shared so users build a collective knowledge from the crowd.
The Professional Roaster on the other hand is designed as a business tool for coffee professionals who use it for roasting samples of coffee. This is common in the coffee trade where samples of coffee are “cupped” to determine the quality. In this market the unique benefit of the roaster is that it makes coffee roasting recipe (called the profile) automated repeatable. This means professionals can e-mail roast profiles between offices and roast coffee while they do other things. The roaster is also very easily transportable (it fits in hand luggage) and easy to set up and install in comparison to traditional sample roaster.
Ok, so what what’s the difference?:
The roast profile of the Professional Roaster can be set to 20 separate temperature points, and has a maximum roast duration of 20 minutes. The fan speed can include 10 points during the roast and a point that adjusts the cool down fan speed.
For the home roaster there are 5 roast points plus the cool down point. The maximum duration of a roast is 10 min which is ample for our recommended roast recipes.
The Pro Roaster enables the users to export data to CSV files that can be analysed in a spreadsheet and enables sharing of the profile via e-mail or social media. Home Roaster App is ideal to share your favourite roast recipes by email and social media, but does not offer the .csv download.
In addition to the above App interface of the Pro Roaster and Home Roaster will look a bit different but will function in a similar way. To get an idea of that app is like we suggest you download the Pro app from i-tunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/ikawa-ltd./id930831986.
The temperature sensors in both Pro and Home roasters are of top quality, using a grade A PT1000 sensor element. We have used this type of sensor rather than a thermocouple as they are more accurate and don’t change the reading over time.
The sensor is positioned in the roasting chamber for the Pro Roaster which allows a temperature that is influenced by the bean temperature. The sensor in the Pro Roaster needs to be in a quite delicate position in order to sense temperature changes quickly and most accurately to control the roast temperature using the PID algorithm. We feel this will be a problem for the Home Roaster as it would get broken. So for the home roaster element will be tucked away inside the roaster where it is less exposed and will control the roast using the air temp rather than the temperature bean influenced temperature.
The user interface on the Home and Pro roasters will also be different. To use the home user simply put coffee in the roaster and press go. This means roast recipes start at 50 degrees Centigrade. By contrast, the Pro Roaster enables users to pre-heat the roaster in a way more similar to traditional sample roasters that they are accustomed to.
Finally, the Pro Roasters are available now, where as the Home Roaster will be delivered to backers in February 2016.Last updated:
As a London based business we are liable for VAT on all roasters for backers based in European Union and our cost price takes this into account.
Backers based in rest of the world will be liable to pay import duty at local rates which will vary from country to country, so to offset this we have covered their shipping costs.
The shipping cost at £25 for European Union countries is to cover the additional cost of supplying a roaster to a backer based in EU.Last updated:
IKAWA means coffee in both Kirundi and Kinyarwanda which are the languages of Burundi and Rwanda.
The people in Burundi fully depend on coffee as export product – and this is where Andrew grew up and the IKAWA concept was born.Last updated:
When we launch the Home App we will include recommended roast profiles for the 6 speciality coffees that have been designed by professional coffee roasters to bring out the best flavours from the green coffee beans.
From all the research we have undertaken over the last 3 years, we are confident we can create the perfect roasts using a maximum of 5 temperature points. In fact one of our favourite roast recipes for the washed Ethopian Yirgacheffe in the office is really simple and uses just 2 temperature points starting at 50 degrees C and reaching 225 degrees C.
We will always strive to improve the app and customer experience as we learn more about the ways you want to customise the roast and we welcome all feedback. If after using the Home App you feel there are any constraints we can overcome – including the roast time, or number of temperature points, then we will be able to add more time / temperature points.
We are really excited about the thousands of different roast recipes on all kinds of green coffee that our first backers will create all over the world, and want to make sure we can collaborate to ensure you're all drinking the best coffee you possibly can!Last updated:
The Home Roaster will be very similar to our current Pro Roaster with the biggest change being the location of temperature sensor (see Q "What are the main differences between the Home Roaster and the Professional Version that’s priced at £2,200?" for more on that).
You can read the full manual for our current Pro Roaster here http://static1.squarespace.com/static/54e7659de4b05860a465b878/t/5525108be4b0c26fead9d4b6/1428492427727/Ikawa+machine+manual+LR.pdf
When we do our production run of the Home Roasters, we will also make improvements to the Pro Roaster so the spec of this will evolve.
In terms of the App, the Home Roaster App will have 5 temperature points (in addition to start point and cooling point!), 2 fan points and a maximum roast duration of 10 minutes. As mentioned in FAQ “How many temperature points do I need to create the perfect roast?” we are confident we can create the perfect roasts using a maximum of 5 temperature points. If after using the Home App you feel there are any constraints we can overcome – including the roast time, or number of temperature points, then we will be able to add more time / temperature points.Last updated:
60g / 2.1oz of green coffee will produce around 50g / 1.75 oz of freshly roasted coffee. This is sufficient for a couple of strong espressos, about 2 brews on pour over or a large cafetière.
If you want to roast large quantities of coffee it si very quick and easy to do so. The IKAWA Home Roaster will repeat roast – that means if you set the same roast recipe you will get the exact same roast of your coffee.
The roaster is very quick with roasts taking between 3 – 10 minutes, so you can very quickly roast several batches of coffee.
The other great thing about smaller roasts, is it’s easier to experiment. You might want to roast the same beans with different roast recipes – adjusting the temperature or duration of the roast, or perhaps try the same roast on different green coffee beans. By having smaller batch sizes you can experiment quickly using small quantities until you find your favourite.Last updated:
This is an interesting one. Conventional wisdom is that it is best not to brew coffee immediately after roasting, but to leave freshly roasted beans for a period of time (there are a lot of different opinions on this duration) to de-gas and allow the different flavours to develop properly. In fact, one of the stretch rewards we've been brainstorming is a jar for backers to use at home to keep their freshly roasted beans in after roasting and before brewing.
If you brew a coffee immediately after roasting you can see the co2 bubbling out of the grounds if you brew using a pourover / filter, or if you make an espresso there is a very big crema. The flavour can be slightly 'grassy' and. That said, the beauty of the IKAWA Home Roaster is that it allows the user to experiment with their perfect way to roast their coffee, and see how fresh they really like it - so we'll look forward to our backers feedback on this.Last updated:
The roaster emits very little smoke when roasting and in our experience does not require external venting.
This is mainly due to the small batch size - and the fact that when using recommended roast recipes you will not burn the coffee beans, so very low amounts of smoke are emitted. If you like your coffee dark like an Italian or French roast the beans will produce a little more smoke, but it is not problematic. We’ve had two roasters on constantly for over an hour in our small office without the need for venting (or triggering our smoke alarm!).Last updated:
With the IKAWA roaster the timing is not directly comparable to traditional drum or air roasters. The IKAWA Home Roaster is really different to traditional roasters. Because it's roasting smaller quantities, the temperature in the roasting chamber can increase and stay hot more quickly than a normal air roaster.
To get best results from an IKAWA roaster you need to think in different terms to the traditional roast processes. The first crack can come at varying times depending on how fast you heat the beans in the first place.
For very short roasts the crack happens before 2 minutes, whereas with the longer roast it can happen after 6-9 minutes depending on how you set the roast recipe.
The link below shows a pdf you can view here that shows different beans from a tasting we did recently - it's not super high res, but shows 2 sets of beans with short roast and 2 sets with the longer roast. The second page has the roast profiles. All tasted excellent. http://bit.ly/1K2Nfw7 .
We were actually using the 2.43 minute roast profile at Amsterdam Coffee Festival (and SCAA recently) on washed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans and it's working really well.Last updated:
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