Plumes of smoke when drum roasted coffee is released from the roasting chamber into the cooling bed. (You won't see this with the hot air roasting method.)

Those who have tasted hot air roasted coffee beans can attest they are far superior in flavor to drum roasted beans. Why is this? 

In the conventional drum roasting method used by most roasters, a hot steel drum is what moves the coffee beans. As the chaff pops off, it falls within the roasting chamber and burns into the batch of beans. This creates a chemical reaction that contains carcinogens. Chaff is a thin, delicate layer that covers the beans and is the final layer of the coffee cherry pulp.

Coffee is very absorbent so it will absorb these burnt flavors and carcinogens into the coffee, and into your cup. The contact with the drum also tends to scorch the beans. The beans are added to the roaster at extremely high temperatures and water begins to immediately evaporate from the them before the sugars are allowed to caramelize.


A Hot Air Roaster (we know... it's not as pretty)

In contrast, similar to a popcorn maker, a hot air roaster keeps the coffee beans moving with a perfectly controlled flow of hot air. They never rest against the hot steel of a roasting chamber and the constant circulation of the beans produces a much more even roast.

During this process, hot air forces out the chaff (that would otherwise burn into the beans) as well as any other impurities. The only thing being roasted is the bean.  

Since the fluid bed roaster can reach higher temperatures in half the time of typical cylindrical roasters, the time for the negative acidic compounds to form is greatly reduced. Many have found that these acidic compounds can cause stomach irritation, and we have many customers that had given up on coffee but can now drink ours comfortably.

The end result is a coffee that is cleaner and tastes smoother, is more consistent and far less carcinogenic than coffee produced by drum roasters.


By now you must be wondering why more roasters don’t use the hot air roasting method. The answer is one of economies of scale - a high capacity drum roaster produces more coffee in a given time period that than a hot air roaster does. This makes drum roasting more economical and roasters can produce more batches per hour. At Bean Hoppers, hot air roasted coffee subscription service, we are more committed to the quality of our coffee than the quantity and we are happy to bring this great tasting coffee to you at the same price as drum roasted coffee.

Are you ready to give it a try?

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