Choosing a new roaster is a big challenge for every roaster. It is likely that your decision will impact above all else the profile of every roast, workflow, and day to day operation in the roastery.
Last year having sweat every detail we finally installed a new IMF RM60 and here are the mayor points that influenced my decision.
Although it is possible to roast coffee 5 days a week or more, it is not sustainable in the long run. Doing production roasting every day of the week often leaves roasters in a position that some crucial areas are put aside, or not given enough attention to.
We are always looking new way how to reduce our carbon emissions and be sustainable. Imf roasters are designed to reduce emissions up to 98% compared to traditional drum roasters. One could argue that emissions of traditional drum roaster with an afterburner are the same. However, in that case gas consumption of a traditional drum roaster is significantly higher. Imf is using the same burner for heating the drum and afterburner.
This is a subject worth further discussion, and I will elaborate on this in more detail in the future. In my experience heat application is one of the most significant elements affecting the flavour profile. Both have pros and cons. In my opinion, convection is a much better option for espresso. Being a much more efficient heat source, it allows faster roast times with no roasting defects and most importantly better inner bean development. This also means that when roasting on a convection roaster you can roast a few points lighter without the fear of underdevelopment.
As a roaster, I would say that a good roaster is also a good mechanic. Roasters tend to fix small mechanical issues themselves. With the IMF I have easy access to every part of the machine, which makes daily life much easier. Also, one unique feature of IMF due to its smart design and advanced technology is that you never have to clean the chimneys.