Roasting Samples with visitors!

A few months ago we received a call from two scientists who had seen ROEST in a German magazine. They needed a consistent high-quality sample roaster for an experiment. We are always open to collaborate and meet new people who have the same feeling about high-quality coffee as us. Especially if they have special roasting needs since roasting with ROEST is highly customizable.

 Gerardo Anzaldua and Francisco Velasquez.

Gerardo Anzaldua and Francisco Velasquez.

So a couple of weeks ago, Gerardo Anzaldua, a Mechanical Engineer with experience in the food & beverage industry, and Dr. Francisco Velázquez, Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry, visited our office.

Together with their research and development partners, Gerardo and Francisco are working on a project that aims to increase the lifespan and potentially even the quality of coffee through its life cycle. They are currently living in Berlin.

Their work focuses on methods to measure and control changes in the physical and chemical characteristics of coffee. We were honestly somewhat skeptical about the project. It sounded too good. To check the result we spent a lovely afternoon roasting with Gerardo and Francisco before we then teamed up with Morten Wennersgaard and Joanne Berry from Nordic Approach to evaluate the samples.

 Cupping with Morten Wennersgaard.

Cupping with Morten Wennersgaard.

The cupping was definitely one of the most interesting ones we have done. And it turned out that the processing treatment they´ve developed does not affect the taste of the coffee negatively. On the contrary, the experiment results showed that it improved it!

Morten: “If these guys and their concept can stabilize the green coffee, prolong shelf life and even increase the value of commercial coffee it is pretty revolutionary. But, even if they don’t get there I am sure what they find out through their experiments will have some impact on the development of green coffee processing and coffee science”.

We also found out that our roaster is ideal for such experiments. Since we had no idea how the coffee would react to the experiment, we roasted with a simple power profile. Using the trier was hard since the color of the coffee changed during processing (see picture below).

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The first crack was also not so easy to detect, so we had to rely on the bean temperature. The scientists processed different batches of the same coffee using their technique, and the roasting experiments showed a large variation in their roasting times.

We would like to thank Gerardo and Francisco for involving us in their work. It was a very interesting and fun experience. We are looking forward to the next phase of this project.

Contact information: fran@we-are-coma.com and gerardo@we-are-coma.com

World of Coffee 2018 -  Amsterdam

In these soccer times, we can say that going to World of Coffee (WOC) is almost the same for us as going the World Cup for those interested in soccer. But in this case WOC is every year and it was our second time participating.

 Our stand with: Sverre, Tina and Trond. 

Our stand with: Sverre, Tina and Trond. 

Last year it was in Budapest and we were awarded as Best New Product in the category Technology. This year the event took a place in Amsterdam and it was an amazing experience for ROEST team.

The schedule of events was conducted from the 21st to the 23rd of June. We shared the stand with our friends from Nordic Approach and Tim Wendelboe and did more than two hundred demonstrations during these three days.

There were more than 9000 attendants from different parts of the world among them, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts of the coffee industry who are interested in new developments.

We are already looking forward to Berlin in 2019!

 

From Gas to Electricity

This article is a bit technical, but in short; here is how we ended up with a fully electric sample roaster. Like Thomas Alva Edison, we had several tries until we achieved what we wanted.

Let's begin!

Prototype 1: Electric heating

Our first prototype back in 2014 was designed for electric heating. The primary heat source was a 3300W heating element designed to produce hot air. We also included twelve 50W heating cartridges in the outer drum wall for pre-heating. The purpose of the cartridges was to heat the machine faster, but we soon realised that they were unnecessary and that they just created a huge spagetti of wires.

 The first prototype. 

The first prototype. 

Our main problem at this stage was the heat transfer from the heating element to the drum. Even though we had a very powerful fan, the response was very slow and we burned up a variety of heating elements in the search for the optimal setup. We didn’t find it.

Then, one Sunday, after Trond had been out camping and he brought with him a Primus camping gas to the workshop. We changed the direction of the heat inlet from horizontal to vertical and put the 2000W gas burner below.

After working all those hours with electricity, we were amazed by the sudden response. The instant heat was too much for the coffee beans, but we changed the rotation of the paddles and suddenly we actually had a decent manual sample roaster.

Satisfied with our improved roasting results, we went up to Morten Wennersgaard in Nordic Approach to get an expert opinion. There, we roasted about 10 samples of coffee and blind cupped them along with 4 roasts from their sample roaster.

Morten selected 2 of our roasts as the “winners” of the cupping. Needless to say, that gave us a boost to start producing the next gas-powered prototype.

 

Prototype 2 to 4: Fully gas-powered

In prototype 2 to 4, we used a 3kW pilot gas burner. Pilot means that it was designed to ignite larger gas burners, not to roast coffee. It was far from ideal for our use, but it worked.

For control, we used two Fuji PIDs and we logged through a programme called Artisan. That also worked. We were able to roast consistent, to a certain degree, and the coffee cupped OK.

Our main challenge in this period was mechanical. We knew how we wanted to roast the coffee beans, but we needed a reliable solution for dropping the beans.

 Production drawings prototype 1 to 5

Production drawings prototype 1 to 5

Prototype 5:  Gas burner and custom electronics

For prototype 5, we made a custom gas burner and custom electronics. That changed everything, we got control, consistency, and the roasting was greatly improved.

This was also the prototype where we solved our mechanical problems and the first prototype with our award winning design. It was time to get out of Sverre´s basement!

 

Prototype 6: Testing and doing changes

With the good results from prototype 5, we were so enthusiastic that we started development of improved custom electronics and decided to make 10 units together with four pilot customers in Norway.

Getting a few of the prototypes up and running was done in a few months. Testing and doing changes for optimal control and consistency took a lot longer.

To keep the costs down, we tried to find our own ways of controlling the gas within the frames of the strict gas regulations. Not easy. Existing air-gas ratio control units would do the trick, but would increase the price too much.

 

From prototype 7 to 7x: A new concept with electricity

Prototype 7 was the most “prototype” of all the prototypes. It just consisted of the roasting chamber and a gas burner. It was made to test a few new engineering solutions. At this stage, most of our time was spent on improving the electronics, mainly on how to better control the gas burner.

 ROEST sample roaster v0.1

ROEST sample roaster v0.1

In November 2017, after a few weeks of frustration with gas and the gas directive, Sverre decided to try a new concept with electricity. We still had plenty of parts from prototype 1 in the basement, and in three days prototype 7 was transformed into a fully electrical version called 7X.

With a new fan system, our previous problems with heat transfer in prototype 1 were solved.

By the end of the week, we were cupping identical to the gas-powered prototype and what really blew our minds was that we had increased responsiveness and the roaster was much easier to control. The power consumption went down to 1/3 of the consumption in prototype 1, so around 1100W.

This was so good that we started focusing 100 percent on electricity.  

Finally, we have the product that we wanted to create! Elegant design combined with optimal performance. 

 

We have a new office!

This year started with some big events like winning an Asia Design Prize 2018, changing our profile, perfecting the last details of ROEST, and moving to a new office.

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We love our new place. It is a combination of a workshop, office, brew bar, and beer lounge. In the workshop area we focus, we have all the tools we need to to work on ROEST. Also, the atmosphere is peaceful and inspiring.

The office is in Tøyen, this is a great location in Oslo. It has a youthful and modern environment with good options for leisure as restaurants, cafes and parks. Moreover, it is very central, hip and cool with booming nightlife, and with the best coffee culture.

Our landlord is none other than Nordic Approach, one of the world's best coffee importers. They have their new office and cupping lab on the third and fourth floor. On the first floor, Tim Wendelboe has his new roastery, coffee lab and training center. Our office is on the second floor.

We also have three new members in our team. Andrea Worsøe, our IT intern for this summer. She is studying Elektronisk Systemdesign og Innovasjon, at NTNU. Øyvind Dahl is working with the electronics of ROEST, and Maria del Pilar Vogelman is working in communications and marketing. 

 Andrea, Øyvind and Maria. 

Andrea, Øyvind and Maria. 

Needless to say, the doors of our office are open if you want to come and try our roaster an have a coffee with us.

 

Asia Design Prize 2018 for ROEST

Yes! ROEST is standing out once again and we are proud to share our latest achievement.

In February we won the prestigious Asia Design Prize 2018, awarded by a group of Asian expert designers, who are looking for novel ideas that have a social impact.

The competition committee recognizes the presentation of works that have been developed with creativity and effort, just as we are doing in ROEST.

"This award breaks away from formative simplicity and complexity and grants true value on the potentials of creativity into products as well as outstanding ideas which are specified with outstanding design". By Asia Design Prize

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Earlier Awards

Red Dot Award 2017

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We got the Red Dot Award in 2017 which is one of the most important design distinctions in the world. They reward the quality and innovation of the new projects.

The winners are published in the Red Dot Design Concept Yearbook. You can check the note about ROEST in this book version 2017/2018 on page 113.

 

Best New Product Award version Budapest 2017

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The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), every year recognize best new products in the coffee or tea world. ROEST was awarded in the category Technology.

The award is given to new technology "that can solve a business problem, create a business opportunity or enhance an existing business offering in the coffee industry.

We have changed our name!

Our new name is ROEST.

The change is not big. We just changed RØST to ROEST. OE is the English way of writing the Norwegian vowel Ø, so you can say we haven’t changed at all. It is just the English way of writing RØST.

And that’s the reason why we changed so that we more easily can communicate our name to you.

What does ROEST mean? In the old Norwegian language, “å røste” actually means “to roast”.

So, ROEST is officially our trademark.


Cheers to that!

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Photo: Steven Stieng

Filming the RØST

Last week we worked with the talented Magnus Kristiansen on making a new product film for RØST. Espresso Spesialisten borrowed us their very nice premises and we used the whole day filming. Both Trond, Sverre and all the three of us interns were there parts of the day. As an intern in marketing and communication it was exciting to organize and work with this project and see and learn how Magnus works. 

We are very pleased with the result, and hope you enjoy it as well!

Why does the market need RØST?

Sample roasting is used to evaluate the quality of coffee. This is done repeatedly throughout the value chain. The quality of coffee varies from farm to farm, and even from harvest to harvest, meaning tens of millions of coffee samples are roasted each year. Due to the rapid growth in demand for speciality coffee, the process of sample roasting has become more important than ever. With the traditional sample roasters, it is hard to roast consistently with high quality, making it difficult to reveal the true quality of the coffee. This makes sample roasting a weak spot in the value chain. Therefore, importers and exporters of coffee need improved sample roasters to increase the efficiency and quality of their work.

Røst Coffee

Our solution is the RØST sample roaster. By combining innovative design and technology, we have developed a sample roaster for the most demanding professionals in the coffee industry, meeting the increasing demand for quality and user-friendliness. With our patent pending solution, we let our customers focus on what really matters; the quality of the coffee. By combining the best features from drum and fluid bed roasters, we have engineered a sample roaster optimized for consistent high quality sample roasting.

Røst Coffee Tray

The RØST sample roaster is engineered to reduce the workload for the user and is easily controlled with the combination of a 5” touch screen and a rotary knob. All the roasting data is saved and is accessible on any device, whether used in manual mode or fully automatic. Through our software, the user can follow the roasting in live view, design new roasting profiles, share them and keep track of cupping data. Simply add 100 grams of coffee and RØST will roast to perfection.  

Meet our interns

 Interns Røst Coffee

Interns Røst Coffee

This summer we have three interns working with us.
Read more about them here.

 
 Andreas Truchs

Andreas Truchs

 

Andreas Truchs
UX-design intern

I am 28 years old, Representing Kristiansand and the beautiful southern parts of Norway. For the past few years I have been studying “design, use and interaction" (interaction/UX design) at UiO. When I am not studying (which of course is always…), I tend to either run or climb as much as possible.

As an intern at Røst I am supposed to be a UX-designer and developer. Which might give me some freedom of choice when it comes to what part I want to spend most of my time focusing on. I am looking forward to test as much of what I have been taught during my education. And of course getting to know both the Røst-team and coffee roasting better.

Hopefully I will learn a whole lot about the processes around roasting coffee, especially with Røst and how this might change some of the tasks done with other roasters. As well as giving Røst as much data on how to best support their potential users in the future.

Maybe there will be some coffee here as well?

 
 Elise Solberg Hjermann

Elise Solberg Hjermann

 

Elise Solberg Hjermann
Sales and strategy intern

I have a bachelor degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Norwegian Business School. I have just finished the first year of my master´s degree in Finance and Strategic Management at Copenhagen Business School, and is this summer working as intern at RØST Coffee. This internship is a great opportunity to gain experience related to my studies and interests.

I am working as Sales and Strategy intern and my focus is to understand the business and the coffee market.  I have to identify the needs and trends in the market, and how RØST should position in order to meet those needs. Together with Elsa, I will work on how to strengthen the company´s position in the market. 

I look forward to use what I have learned during my studies to understand the coffee industry and how to succeed in it. I look forward to contact potential customers and distributors and discuss the business. Furthermore, this internship gives me a unique opportunity to learn and develop my professional and personal skills.

 
 Elsa Marie Holten

Elsa Marie Holten

 

Elsa Holten
Marketing and communication intern

I have just finished my bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Administration at NHH, and I am very much looking forward to working in Røst this summer. I will take a major in marketing and brand management on my master, and this is therefore an unique opportunity to gain experience in this area before I specialize. 

In Røst I have already arranged and taken pictures of the Røst, made a new website, invented and started this blog, and worked with a new design-profile on Instagram. Through the rest of the summer I will among other tasks be working with this blog, our SoMe-channels and focusing on making Røst visible and well known in the coffee industry. 

The internship in Røst is not only a great opportunity to gain experience related to what I am studying, but I also find the coffee market very interesting and the internship combines some of my main interests – design, marketing and communication.