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.