In the never-ending pursuit of Excellence in Coffee, Torch Coffee Labs (Torch) has recently taken a controlling interest in Sōvda Coffee Equipment (Sōvda) through capital investments. Torch has been using a beta version of the Sōvda Peal Mini for color sorting their roasted coffee since 2017. Torch also tested out Sōvda’s Ruby for color sorting fresh coffee cherries during last harvest season’s Mountain Man project. The two companies have been working together closely from the beginning to develop color sorting technology for the coffee industry.
Torch is a privately owned company with operations in USA, Hong Kong, China, Thailand and Saudi Arabia. Torch provides education and training for all parts of the coffee value chain.
Sōvda is a start up company developing equipment for the specialty coffee industry. Sōvda’s designs brings together Scandinavian design and function at an affordable price point. Sōvda’s manufacturing partner specializes in color sorting technology research & development, and holds over 200 patents certificates.
The two sides are unable to comment on certain details of the deal due to existing Non-Disclosure Agreements.
Samuel Gurel, Torch CEO and Founder, has years of experience working with farmers, roasters and coffee shops and empowers them through the exchange of knowledge and refinement of farming, processing, and brewing techniques. He recently spoke about Sōvda and the Pearl Mini during an interview with Roast Magazine.
“The demand for better coffee is increasing. And at the same time, natural processed and honey processed coffee is increasing in all growing regions. Naturals and honeys have more defects because floaters are not sorted out in the classification channel after fermenting. This leads to more inconsistency and quakers,” Gurel said.
“The Pearl Mini sorts out these defects with speed and accuracy. We used it in our factory and we loved it.” Gurel continued, “We wanted to be a bigger part of Sōvda’s future, and took a controlling interest through capital investments. It makes a lot of sense when you realize Sōvda was already working closely with Torch’s R&D department.”
The Pearl Mini, Sōvda’s most recent product, was developed for use with green and roasted coffee beans. The machine is capable of sorting 25kg of roasted coffee, or 50kg of green coffee, in 6 minutes, ideal for roasters with high standards but don’t have the time to hand sort their coffee. The Pearl Mini also features an updated user interface, developed using feedback from roasters at the Curate Coffee Collective in Pu’er and Torch Coffee.
The Pear Mini is not for everyone. However, if you want excellent coffee, there is no better investment. Diligent roast masters will spend a lot of time picking quakers, tipped, chipped, scorched and other defects out of the cooling tray. But aside from the time spent on this, picking out quakers from the cooling tray can be a safety issue, staff can get burnt or can be injured by the stirring mechanism.
Moreover, staff can’t always find all the defects. There may be some defects in the bottom of the cooling tray they can’t see, especially small rocks. Roasters may not even realize this issue until their customer calls with a complaint and a broken grinder.
Sōvda’s previous machine, the Ruby color sorter, was developed for fresh cherries. The aim was to make the price point as low as possible but the quality, functionality and design should be second to none.
Sōvda’s first goal was to help farmers improve consistency and quality. For farmers, reducing defects can mean the difference between specialty coffee and premium coffee, and even a few points difference can have a huge impact on their bottom line. Further down the chain, roast masters also work tirelessly to increase consistency and reduce defects, such as quakers, which dirty the flavors in the cup.
Sōvda draws its designs from Scandinavian aesthetics—a meeting of form and function. This sleek design combined with a large scale manufacturing partner allows the new Pearl Mini to come in at a competitive price of USD 24,500, which could be a strong addition to factories with a 15-90kg roaster. This is nearly half the price of the next closest color sorter on the market.
The Pearl Mini is currently available for sale at a discounted price on Indiegogo.
Sōvda is also looking for partners to distribute the color sorter worldwide, with a focus on Europe and the USA.
For an introduction to this new technology, please visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLnW_dIrZe4&t=18s
For more about using the Pearl Mini color sorter, please visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OwzLbibhFs
For the latest information about Sōvda and the Pearl Mini color sorter, please visit www.sovdacoffee.com
Samuel Gurel Founder and Head of Innovation [email protected]