Several challenges have surfaced as coffee shops try to cater to consumer interest in small-batch house roasted coffee, and many of these challenges are tied to the roasting equipment.
Conventional coffee roasters are heated by natural gas and are built to roast large batches of coffee. However, these conventional coffee roasters can be problematic for small coffee shops due to both the cost of initially purchasing the roasting machine and due to building constraints, as natural gas lines, substantial floor space, and venting are required in buildings housing these conventional roasting machines.
Recognizing these issues, several small-scale electric coffee roasters have been coming to market. For example, both Bellwether Coffee and Carbine Coffee showed ventless electric coffee roasters at the Specialty Coffee Expo at the end of April. These small-scale electric coffee roasters are trying to change the game for your local coffee shop by making in-house roasting more accessible for small businesses.
Moving forward, it will be interesting to see the IP strategy taken to protect the ventless and electric design of these new roasting machines.