Every Roaster Needs a Secret Weapon

jessica TThere comes a time in every roaster’s career when they need to pull a few secret weapons out of their sleeves. Competition in the coffee industry gets tight and they just need that one little boost to set them apart from their competitors. Whether it is a snazzy package, a special kind of coffee, or even a piece of equipment, roasters’ secret weapons are important tools for every roaster- big or small.
It is important to keep in mind when reading these secret weapons that not every weapon will work for every roaster. There are some weapons that better suit a smaller rather than a larger roaster. I suggest that every roaster find a secret weapon that will work the best for them and go with it. So watch out roasters, here they are:
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lead-1Scolari’s Technology is Astonishing in Creating Consistency and Controlling Costs in High Volume Operations
Scolari Engineering / Texpak Inc. is a complex manufacturing system with a standardized database that can not only be read but also written from a management host. Their goal for their customers is to produce perfect coffee at lower costs.
Their secret weapon is using “integrated manufacturing systems with tomorrow’s technology.” Utilizing one of their machines opens you up to a world of knowledge. They are able to detect and alert over 1,000 machine faults. Even better, they are able to do it usually before anyone even knows that the problem exists. This can result in fewer maintenance costs for roasters.
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lead-2The LBP Manufacturing UpShot™ Solution
LPB Manufacturing, Inc. has created a line of eco-friendly, single-serve filters paired with a flexible production model that allows roasters, office coffee service, foodservice, retailers, and brands to take advantage of the booming single-serve market.
Bill Rickert talks about the filter, “Our filter was designed to brew a better cup of coffee while being 100% recyclable and paired with a royalty free, scalable business plan, the UpShot™ Solution truly is a secret weapon.”
This solution is not only convenient for roasters, but this single-serve filter is also entirely recyclable, which targets the eco-friendly audience. It allows you to not only help the environment but also opens up a broader consumer market.
The UpShot™ filter was built for better all-around performance ensuring greater control over beverage quality and optimal coffee-to-water ratio- every time. Your customers will always know that they are getting a good cup of coffee when using this filter.
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lead-3Fres-co System’s Vacuum Packaging
The Freshest Ideas in Flexible Packaging™- Fres-co System USA, Inc. offers multiple machines for roasters to utilize in packaging their coffee with freshness preservation.
According to their website, “the Automatic VFFS vacuum packaging machine, with partial or total back gas flush, ensures oxygen residue to be less than 1.5 percent.”
These machines: G300, G500, G9, G11, and G22 give roasters five options to choose from depending on the amount of coffee being packaged. While all of these machines have their differences, one thing is similar- they all ensure that the preservation of the freshness of the coffee is above par to keep satisfied customers coming back.
Therefore, this roaster secret weapon is an investment each roaster should make. You will not have happy customers with stale coffee. Not to mention, this secret weapon will prolong the shelf life of products.
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lead-4Cablevey Coffee Conveyor
If you are a small roaster thinking about making the move to become a more large-scale roaster, Cablevey is the secret weapon for you to grow as a roaster. They offer cable and disc conveyors that gently move the coffee from the inlet to the discharge point. No air is used, keeping the coffee fresh and whole.
The coffee protection is much greater with a cable and disc conveyor compared to a pressure dilute phase conveyor. Not only is the coffee protected with these gentle conveyors, but the beans are also protected from foreign materials, and cross contamination as well. With the protection of the coffee increasing the output due to less contamination, roasters will save money in the long run.
Flexible layouts, control maintenance costs, multiple inlets and discharges, enclosed systems, easy cleaning, and minimal material degradation are just a few benefits a roaster receives from choosing a Cablevey conveyor.
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lead-11PLI-VALV® Package Degassing System
Plitek provides complete degassing solutions including one way degassing valves, valve applicator design and manufacturing, installation, training and servicing as well as quality testing systems which make for an essential “secret weapon” to any roaster.
PLI-VALV® patented one way degassing valves vent coffee’s natural carbon dioxide gas from sealed packaging while providing an effective barrier to  freshness degrading oxygen entering the package. PLI-VALV® products afford the coffee roaster a competitive advantage by preserving freshness and ensuring the highest level of coffee quality while also increasing production throughput and eliminating degassing hold time for significant cost savings.  They also enhance the aesthetic of the coffee package by virtually disappearing into the graphics, eliminating the heat-seal scarring and exposed vent hole required by traditional molded valves and offering flexibility in valve placement location.
In addition to cost savings, Plitek’s customers, who previously used traditional plastic valves, have reported a 20 – 30% throughput increase.
One large customer reported they had chosen PLI-VALV valves because of the valve’s benefits but were even more impressed with the applicator installation and Plitek’s willingness to go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction.
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lead-6Diedrich IR-1 Profile Lab Roaster
Awarded the Best New Product of 2010 by the SCAA, this roaster by Diedrich Manufacturing is a must-have for small or startup roasters. This secret weapon allows you to roast batches as small as 300g and as large as 2.2lbs. By roasting small batches before large ones, you can test the outcome, which allows you to correct errors if needed before roasting larger batches. This machine, in return, alleviates waste and cuts cost of production.
If you want to try new coffee it is best to roast in this Lab Roaster first to see if you like the new product before wasting the time and money to roast a full batch of something of which you are not a fan.  It is cost effective, built from commercial grade materials, easy to maintain and control heat temperature, and 40-60 percent more fuel-efficient, saving the roaster money in production costs.
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lead-7“Boast Your Roast” with Roastar Customization
Searching for that special package? Boast your roast with Roastar custom coffee bags. With low minimum order quantities and fast turnaround times for custom printed coffee and teabags, Roastar truly is a secret weapon in the industry. There are no plate chargers or setup fees. They also offer free bag proofs.
Roastar allows you to customize the bags to your liking. A bag that catches the customer’s eye is more than likely to get pulled off the shelf than a bag that is dull and boring. As roasters, you benefit from the free proofs and cost effective operations. Nothing is worse than getting 1,000 bags that you do not like and cannot return. You also benefit from the customizable aspect. You make the bags how you want to represent your coffee. Remember- boost your roast with Roastar!
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lead-8Agtron Coffee Roast Analyzer
Agtron E20CP II & M-Basic II chemistry based coffee roast analyzers have been a “Secret Weapon” for roasters around the world for over 25 years. Time tested by the most respected commercial and specialty roasters to quantify roast development with extremely high resolution, accuracy, and repeatability, they help roasters improve the quality and consistency of their coffee and help higher volume roasters improve process yield. Our customers use the analyzers to test every batch of coffee they roast which gives them the confidence that their product is consistent, which in return makes the customer happy knowing what they are going to get in every bean.
Kim Staub from Agtron Inc. says, “There are approximately 2,000 Agtron roast analyzers in service around the world, many in use at the most respected companies in the industry. If we told you who they were, then it wouldn’t be a secret would it?”
“Agtron rocks!” says Mike McKim from Cuvee Coffee in Austin, Texas. “The Agtron roast analyzer and Agtron, the company, has helped us develop both the high quality and consistency of our product. It is an invaluable part of our day-to-day production and quality control.”
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lead-9North Atlantic Bag – Going Green!
There has been much talk about biodegradable, renewable, compostable, etc. in the coffee and tea industries. North Atlantic Specialty Bag remains committed to roasters’ needs and continuously look for new technologies to fulfill them. Currently North Atlantic offers a line of biodegradable and compostable paper bags that fit those needs in shorter shelf life application. The biggest hurdle roasters face to obtain these objectives is shelf life verses environmentally friendly products. Coffee requires high levels of protection against oxygen and moisture to extend shelf life and quality. Our secret weapon, “The Economy Line,” offers excellent barrier for coffee roasters that have product turnover of less than 8 weeks while reducing the material waste stream by 30 percent.
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lead-10The Daterra Penta System®
This secret weapon, the Penta System®, is a set of technological procedures that ensures quality and consistency. Special care applied to the five stages of the system – Planting, Harvesting, Drying, Sorting, and Packaging – eliminate all defects and guarantee outstanding quality control. As a result of the Penta System®, quality is superior and more reliable.
Sweet Maria’s Tom Owen says, “Daterra Farms is a remarkable force in the Brazilian coffee world and the entire coffee world in general. Here we find one of the most innovative coffee cultivators, where each step is scrutinized, rethought, and reinvented. It is more of a coffee research institute than a farm!”
The Penta System® benefits the roasters directly by eliminating most defects and guaranteeing quality control, reducing storage costs, granting longer green bean shelf life which ensures fresh coffee for roasters, and producing quality products making consumers continually happy.
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lead-5Pod Pack® Espresso Pods
With their mission statement stating that they “strive to be the most innovative North American manufacturer of espresso pods, 1-Cup pods, and other similar single-cup delivery systems such as cartridges,” you know that their secret weapon allows roasters to customize their own blends and roasts to market espresso to consumers and offices based on their preferences.
While the preparation for espresso is complicated- the bean grinding specifications and loading techniques leave little room for error- espresso pods by Pod Pack® eliminate all of the struggles of correctly brewing espresso shots. They take the guesswork out of preparing the perfect shot.
This secret weapon is available in two different sizes, a single and a double shot, and guarantees freshness in every pod. Not only do these pods accurately brew espresso every time, making your customers happy, but they also help you maintain inventory and portion control.
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lead-12BeanSafe®  – Put All of Your Beans in this Canister
BeanSafe® The Coffee Storage Solution, has created canisters to protect your beans from the four coffee-destroyers. These destroyers are air, moisture, heat, and light. Their secret weapon is their lid for 5-gallon buckets for storing roasted beans of a large quantity. They are airtight with four clasps and a silicone gasket as well as a patented one-way Pressure Release Valve that keeps out air and moisture while allowing carbon dioxide to escape. Utilizing this lid as opposed to a regular 5-gallon bucket lid is this will keep the coffee in the bucket fresh longer. And be sure to check out their home storage systems that retailers may want to carry!
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lead-14TekPak Omnidegradable® Films
Made by TekPak Solutions, this secret weapon “allows Roasters to show their customers they are doing what is right for the Environment. Our films are relatively new to the Coffee market and this allows Roasters to get ahead of the competition and become an environmental leader,” says Robert Pocius.
These Omnidegradable® films are shelf-stable indefinitely and will biodegrade or compost anywhere there are active microbes. Other films have a very short shelf life and many set conditions to achieve compost-ability or biodegradability.
Pocius says, “Transcend Coffee Roasters has switched to our new Omnidegradable® Standup pouches with great success. They promoted this fact on Packaging Digest’s On-Line Daily News last January 27, 2013 and gained worldwide attention.”
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lead-15Loring Flavor-Lock Roast Process™ Technology
This technology utilized by Loring roasters is a secret weapon that is user friendly and a favorite of many roasters. “The ease of use of the Loring, allows us to focus on the roasting and developing of the actual coffee and less in predicting and handling the design of the machine,” says Alvaro Sanchez [roaster] of Toby’s Estate.
Since this machine is so easy to use, roasters are not worrying about technicalities of the operation of the machine, leaving them time to focus on their customers. One of the biggest benefits of Loring roasters is the energy saving capabilities. Loring’s patented technology eliminates the need for an afterburner, which reduces energy consumption and green house gas emissions by 80 percent.
Not only is this secret weapon easy to use, but also it saves time, money, and energy.
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lead-18Walker Coffee Trading Company – The Three C’s
Walker Coffee Trading Company takes pride in their secret weapon: the three C’s. They are competitiveness with pricing, consistency of quality, and caring for their customers. Utilizing this company allows each consumer the ability to be competitive, consistent, and know that this company will care for them. They go to great lengths to make their customers happy with their secret weapon.
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lead-17PBFY – Stamp Up Your Packaging!
Need something more than plain stock pouches, but don’t have the budget for custom printed bags? Then PBFY’s foil stamp application service is the secret weapon for you. PBFY is able to print on their stand up pouches, side gusseted foil bags, flat pouches, and paper bags for low minimum quantity orders. With affordable printing plate charges, foil stamping makes a great alternative to custom printing and custom labels. Apply your logo, company name, and other information onto the bags with foil stamp printing.
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lead-16Shore Measuring Systems – The Moisture Tester
Shore Measuring Systems has 40 years of experience in both manufacturing and repairing commercial grade moisture testers. The Shore Model 920™ is a secret weapon that has an accuracy of ± 1/2% to air oven and a sample test time of roughly 5 to 35 seconds depending on sample temperature. Samples that are above 100° or below 40° will take a maximum of 35 seconds to allow for accurate temperature sensing. Samples close in temperature to the tester will take only a few seconds. Results are displayed directly without the need for moisture or temperature conversion tables.
The package version of this secret weapon includes a precision scale to help provide an exact test sample every time. This moisture tester accommodates the green coffee bean with and without parchment, natural dried coffee berries, and roasted coffee beans. Knowing the moisture level of your coffee beans is a great tool to have as a roaster to help choose the correct roasting profile, avoid shrink or quality issues, and aid in saving roasting energy.
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lead-19Pack Plus 1oz Stand-Up Pouches
Finally, a true single-serve package to answer your sampling needs! This 1oz bag is their smallest size yet. Ideal for promotional sampling for coffee, tea, and other confectionery products. Give your leads a taste of what you have to offer and quickly turn your prospects into customers! These innovative pouches come standard with a tear-notch top and optional zip closure.
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lead-20Teasano Loose-Leaf Tea
Compared to the bagged tea you may be using, loose-leaf tea by Teasano is already benefitting a many OCS Operators who are selling coffee. This secret weapon is extremely cost effective. There is no equipment cost, very low startup costs, and there is no cost to entry. The cost per cup, compared to the bagged tea, is relatively the same.
This is a great way to increase margins and profits for existing customers and a great way to gain new customers due to having this competitive advantage. Being the first to market this product in your area allows you to be the industry leader, putting you ahead of others. Not to mention, this loose-leaf tea is a trendy way to supply your customer’s favorite flavored tea to them.
Jeff Stebbings, from Teasano, talks about a Vancouver based OCS Company currently using Teasano, “The customer pre-Teasano spends $200/month on tea making $50 gross profit. However, using Teasano products, the customer spends $634/month on tea making $424 gross profit.”
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lead-21PBi patented one-way Degassing Valve
Made by Pacific Bag, this valve is their secret to keeping your coffee fresh. Once the coffee is roasted, it off-gasses the PBi patented one-way degassing valve. This lets the CO2 coming off of the beans out of the bag while simultaneously not allowing any of the oxygen back in the bag.
Kelle Vandenberg, Director of Marketing and Sales at Pacific Bag says, “Oxygen is a coffee killer, drying out the oils and flavor of the bean. Packaging should protect coffee and the PBi patented one-way degassing valve, made and manufactured in the USA, is the highest level of protection on the market.” Protecting your coffee and keeping it fresh guarantees that your customers will remain happy and continue purchasing your coffee.
May the Roasting Force be with you!
In a world where competition is always present, it is important to try and get the upper hand when it comes to your competitors. Roasters, you must try and stand out from the rest and make yourself marketable to multiple consumers. These secret weapons should be the tools you need to pull ahead. Stay on top of your game and remember to use secret weapons wisely!

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