The first commercial coffee roasters were wood fired. There is a certain romantic and artisanal feeling to using such a traditional medium.
The whole operation is very hands on. Wood is chopped. Ash box is emptied. A fire is built with kindling. Control of the roast is achieved by putting in more or less pieces of wood to fuel the fire and by adjusting air flow. Roast profiles rely on sight, smell, sound and a simple bean temperature probe.
Wood fire provides a gentle and moist heat source. This is beneficial to roasting coffee since the heat penetrates the bean allowing for even development and a round flavour profile.
Our roaster was hand built in Lecco, Italy by Trabattoni, a 107 year old family company that makes traditional coffee roasters. The 15kg capacity machine features magnificent brick work, plenty of cast iron and a double skin drum. Weighing in at over 800kg, there is plenty of thermal mass for consistent heat.