I spent an interesting morning watching 3FEs new commercial Probat roaster, now up and running in a secret location in Dublin Docklands. I was taken there, blindfolded, by 3FE’s Colin Harmon.
Looking at the beast, which kicks out god knows how many Kg, it struck me as incredible how similar both hardware and techniques were to my own efforts with the 500g capacity Huky 500. Strange, too, to think we both get our beans via Steve Leighton’s ‘Hasbean’ in the UK with whom I’be been dealing for close on 10 years.
Comparing the two machines there are many similarities. Both have:
gauges – 1 digital (bean mass) 1 analogue (ambient)
fan for cooling the beans.
Factor in a stop watch, a chart* and a pen and there you have it!
Like mine, 3FE’s roaster is all manual and very ‘hands-on’ as Pete, 3FE’s roasting supremo, testified.In neither case can you walk away and smoke a ciggie (I don’t), pour a drink (I have been known to) or make a phone call otherwise things tend to go pear-shaped. Only difference being, if I cock up a roast it’s a minor disappointment. If Pete does it, it’s a commercial tragedy.
At the end of the morning Pete gave me a quantity of the ‘greens’ he was roasting – in return for extracting a promise to to supply a sample after I’ve roasted them. Phew! The hard work begins here.
For the anoraks among you, the beans are 3FE Costa Rica Farami Di Dota Yellow Honey Cattura, promising “a big hit of milk chocolate that quickly turns into a stewed fruit and honey-like mouthfeel that just goes on and on.” The aftertaste promises “hints of cherry with a super clean finish”. Looking forward.
* This chart is the Mk3 version. I’m now on Mk4