A Look At Our History through the Roasters We've Used
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A Look At Our History through the Roasters We’ve Used

At Driftaway Coffee, we’ve grown a lot over the past few years. Every aspect of our business has grown. Our customer base has grown, our orders have grown, and thankfully, our roaster has grown. Here’s a look at our history through the roaster’s we’ve had.

We Started Small on a Popcorn Popper

Like many roasters, we started out with a popcorn popper. The first batch of coffee we ever roasted was on a West Bend Air Crazy Popper that only held a few beans. We’re sure that many home roasters can relate!

We Switched to an Older Popper

It didn’t take long for the plastic on that popper to start melting, which is a common issue when roasting coffee with modern-day poppers. Before we started noticing notes of polyethylene and polyvinylidene chloride, we purchased a different popper from the same company. Our second popper, from the 1960s, was one that was built to last. It worked well, but it was small.

We Bought Our First Coffee Roaster

Our first official coffee roaster was a Behmor 1600, the microwave for coffee roasting. This was a dependable roaster, and it produced many roasts that we were comfortable shipping to family, friends and even a few early customers. We could only roast 8 to 9 ounces at a time, though, and spending 16 hours roasting coffee quickly took its toll on us. Just to roast 7 pounds, we’d be up from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

We Outgrew Home Roasters

We quickly outgrew home roasters, and we invested in a Huky 500. This roaster was a cross between a high-end home roaster and a small commercial roaster. Its size wasn’t that much larger than the Behmor 1600. Unlike Behmor’s roaster, though, we didn’t have to let the Huky 500 cool between batches, and it ran on propane instead of electricity. We quickly made up the $1,500 investment in our electrical savings.

We Started Using a Commercial Facility

Just last year, we started roasting at a commercial facility. The first roaster we used here was a Diedrich IR-12, which holds 12 kilograms, but now we use a Loring that was made in Canada and does 40-60 pound batches. Roasting 60 pounds at once, instead of just 1 pound, is a lot more pressure, but we appreciate the sleep.

We’re still a growing company, and we’re excited to think about what we might be doing in another year. For now, though, we’re approaching one year of roasting at the Pulley Collective, and we’re happy with what we’re doing.

Author Scott

Scott is a professional writer for Driftaway Coffee. He worked as a barista for eight years, but today prefers to enjoy his beverages from the other side of the counter. When not drinking Driftaway Coffee, Scott usually has a mug of his own roasted coffee nearby.

More posts by Scott
  • John

    Thanks for sharing this. It is cool to read the progression from The Poppery to the big time.

    The Pulley Collective is a great idea and it is an awesome resource to have nearby. Keep up the good writing. I have yet to try your coffee but have admired from a far since the days when you were a small Etsy shop. Great branding, great engagement in the community and great coffee I’m sure. I will try it soon.

    Thanks,
    John 

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