Does it Really Matter?

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Coffee Roaster, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Why does it matter that coffee can be small-batch roasted on-site? Do people really need to see where their coffee is roasted and who is doing the roasting?

If you want to create and foster an image of freshness? Definitely. Not only do I think it adds a sense of romance to a cafe, it also harkens back to the true artisanal style of food that existed when there was no sense of industrialization or logistics. People bought the resources they needed where it was made because there was simply no alternative. So while I’m not saying we should all just go back to a time where you only had the option of buying what was nearby because it’s ‘fresher’, I wholly support a local business camaraderie and the idea that some things are just better fresh out of the oven… just like warm coffee out of the roaster.DSC_4883

Now, as some coffee roasters grow in business, they often build one or two central locations that output large amount of coffee to various businesses. While this definitely makes sense, it is by no means the only way that a coffee roaster can expand, and this can often jeopardize the freshness of the coffee they’re delivering. I believe that the roastery café reminds people that some things are just better fresh, like baked bread made from scratch.

Having the small, convenient, and accessible Roastaire is extremely valuable and cost efficient in the long run, and instead of coming up against growth and expansion issues, you just need to remember to leave space for that essential roasting piece to your café, much like you would remember the espresso machine, the oven, and the till.



An Addition to the Roastaire Family

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Coffee Roaster, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I started with Fresh Cup Roastery Café over eight and a half years ago at the very fresh age of sixteen, 2014-04-11 20.52.37which is when I encountered my first Roast Masters, Mel and Jim Townley. I grew up on Vancouver Island, and had never really experienced coffee in any capacity other than a sugar-filled Frappucino, making me a terrible judge of any coffee. Now, when I starting drinking drip coffee by the Roastaire I thought that was what normal coffee tasted like.

Three years later imagine my reaction when I went off to Europe to travel, and then to University, and discovered what the rest of the masses considered to be a truly great ‘coffee’. It wasn’t pretty. I won’t lie, I used to regale people with tales of my time at the roastery café, where I had fresh coffee basically on tap at all times. Needless to say, I missed it, and I always found some way to end up back at Fresh Cup: taking an hour bus ride, even waking up at ungodly hours to do café baking.

So how does this connect to the Roastaire? Well, for one, it creates beautiful, fresh, and amazingly consistent coffee. Secondly, the roastery café environment is held together by the Fresh Cup family (whether related or not) and by the quality it stands for.

Throughout the years I’ve worked at many cafés, and as a barista, baker, and manager. The coffee the Roastaire produces is hands down the easiest coffee I’ve ever had to discuss and rave about. It also has always been my home base, whether I tried studying History or learning to be a filmmaker in Vancouver, coffee has always been my family, my constant, and my home.

So, I welcome myself back to the family with a new role once more: Lead Roaster in Vancouver.




Emissions Matter As Part Of The Sustainability Discussion !

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in Coffee Roaster, Uncategorized | 0 comments

We often talk about ‘sustainability’ in coffee as it relates to how we buy coffee, and what kind of coffee cup we use. Sustainability is seldom talked about as it relates to ‘roasting’ or the secondary distribution of the finished product itself.

For the past 10+ years we have aspired to fine-tune a business model that not only brings on-site roasting to the forefront to improve freshness, but wanted to bring attention to the challenges roasting in urban areas brings to the Roastery Cafe model. We believe that everyone sees the value that fresh coffee brings to a cafe, however, the ’emissions’ component is often overlooked (unless you are a neighbour who puts up the smell of roasting coffee). Sometimes its a case of… ‘out of sight, out of mind’…which if you are a roaster that uses an afterburner you might be reducing the visible signs of the emssions, but the VOC’s are still present. Furthermore, the fact that in order to make emissions less visible, you need to ‘super-heat’ the air after it’s already been heated to a high temp (400-450°F) to roast the coffee. Imagine the energy required to take the smoke laden air of 450°F air to a temperature needed to remove the sight of the smoke?  Afterburners run at temperatures of 700°+ in range.

Coffee Theory 2013 – Change is happening

Posted by on Apr 7, 2013 in Coffee Roaster, Uncategorized | 0 comments

 For the last couple of years I have witnessed something happening in the coffee industry that all independent coffee house owners should pay close attention to.

For the past few years now the coffee scene has been changing in step with the economy. There is a clear picture unfolding of the impact that large coffee chains are having on the perception of value when it comes to the quality of coffee you drink. Over the next couple of weeks I will be sending out ‘Coffee Theory 2013’ to a list of local coffee houses and if you would like to receive a copy of this document, send your email to: and we will add you to our list.

Must have espresso…


Husta Luego Guatemala….for now !

Posted by on Mar 19, 2013 in Coffee Roaster, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The trip to Guatemala was a huge success for a number of reasons, but mostly because we developed more friendships for the future. What makes things successful for anyone in the coffee business are the relationships they build. Ricardo Zelaya and his wife Cynthia are wonderful people, doing wonderful things to grow great coffee. We’re looking forward to getting home so that we can roast some of that great ‘yellow bourbon’ and some of the small ‘micro-lot’ coffees that we saw being processed.

Sustainable coffee starts with the farmers, and we carry the tourch through the next critical stage…roasting !  People cannot forget where the bulk of the energy consumption, and emissions are when it comes to coffee. Gas-fired roasters are inefficient in both of these areas.

In Antigua and Panajachel, all three coffee roasters didn’t even run an afterburner, which in Canada is simply unheard of. I realize that the environmental regulations are different, but the emissions of even these small roasters, reminds me of the importance of the work we are doing at Roastaire Canada.

Every industry has to go through its ‘baby-steps’ and our hope is that more cafe owners see that buying coffee from a third party roaster will soon be a thing of the past…Onsite roasting ‘is’ the future of the specialty coffee industry in Canada !

Ricardo Zelaya talking coffee…

We look forward to coming back soon to see the progress of the soon to be added ‘Sky Bar’ at the top of the Santa Clara plantation. The only thing that would make it more perfect than it is, would be an espresso….then a cold Gallo !


Guatemalan Coffee – Goes Perfect With Roastaire !

Posted by on Mar 17, 2013 in Coffee Roaster, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The coffee plantation trip to Guatemala has been a lot of fun and we’ve learned alot about the farming, harvesting, wet process, and dry processing of great coffee. Ricardo and Cynthia Zelaya were very gracious to show us all aspects of the farm. It renewed my sense of all things ‘coffee’ and reinforced that while you may source great green coffee, roasting it consistently is the next step in the value chain to the customer. With the proliferation of large coffee chains upping their coffee game, what are small cafe owners going to do to compete with this?  You have to either move upscale, or try and compete on price, and we know where that will get you !   You will look like one of those Gerbil on the tread wheel in an aquarium.

No seriously….if you try and compete on price you have to significantly increase volume, and unless you live in a place that’s never seen coffee, or is about to go through a population explosion, you need to figure out: Who is taking your customers ?, What is your competition doing differently to accomplish this ?, When is this going to stop ? or When is this going to financially going to break you ?, Where can you grow your business ?, or, Where can you compete that nobody else can ?…and How are you planning to be profitable in the future ?  I know these are a lot of questions, but you best ask them now…not later when you realize you built a same as Starbucks…or some other same-as coffee house.

Roasting makes you unique, like the coffee of Guatemala, which is unique. Don’t be caught in ‘no-man’s’ land with the other coffee houses…start roasting with us today !

Coffee That Needs A Roastaire To Realize Its Potential !

Not only do we train you how to roast, and prepare great coffee, we help you source some of the best green coffees from around the world. Guatemalan Micro-Lots are just one of the coffees we can help you introduce great coffee to your new potential customers, who will appreciate freshness….and Freshness is the only way you will be able to compete in the future in the Specialty Coffee business. Roasting onsite gives you that differentiation !


Looking for Cup of Excellence Coffee !


































Night Time Frog !

Posted by on Oct 23, 2012 in Coffee Roaster | 0 comments

All done for the day….

Everyone at Wood N’ Frog was done for the day and the cafe sat lit from within. A lot of fresh coffee passed across the counter today. In the window is the new Roastaire, which contrasts beautifully to the Moroccan look and feel of the cafe. This place sets a whole new standard of freshness for coffee  in the community of Tsawwassen B.C. See you soon ‘here’ for coffee…. Cheers,Jim

Welcome Wood N’ Frog to the Roastaire Family !

Posted by on Oct 16, 2012 in Coffee Roaster | 0 comments

Well, it’s official, Wood N’ Frog Coffee Co. in Tsawwassen B.C. is officially OPEN !  Owners Kelly and Sandy have worked diligently to create something that many people will talk about in the future. We are VERY proud that they chose a Roastaire as the heart and sole of their coffee roasting operations, but more importantly, we look forward to seeing how far they take it.

The skies the limit and with the locals only having Tim Horton’s, Starbucks and a local coffee place called Petra’s to go to, true lovers of the cup now have the option of enjoying the freshest, most sustainably roasted coffee Greater Vancouver has to offer ! 

Check them out soon, they’re located on 12th Ave. just off the main drag in beautiful Tsawwassen !

Evenly Roasted Makes A Difference !

Posted by on Aug 15, 2012 in Coffee Roaster, Uncategorized | 0 comments

We’re in high gear getting ready for the Canadian Coffee & Tea Show and we were talking today about what makes our roasting method unique. Aside from being the first company in Canada to close the loop while roasting, in order to fully appreciate what we do you first need to understand how coffee is currently being roasted.

Traditional gas-fired roasters run at a very high temperature and when the beans get loaded into the roaster they are exposed to high heat, and usually a hot metal surface. The bean actually roasts faster on the outside than the inside and that’s one of the things that clearly differentiates us is the even heating we do of the green coffee. The Roastaire is excellent in managing heat to within one degree using a PID controlled heating system. Of course the tempertaure in our roatsing chamber drops when the green initially loads, but because we use a fluidized bed method of roasting, the heating of the bean is evenly accomplished.

Once the batch comes to temperature the beans change from being endothermic (absorbing heat) to exothermic (giving off heat). The precise moment that the bean changes from endo to exothermic is called ‘pyrolysis’. This is when the beauty of carmelization starts to occur along with the development of the natural oils within the bean itself. This moment only occurs when all the conditions are right and I always call this the moment Mother Nature has decided the beans are ready…but it’s really more complicated than that, in fact, there’s a whole lot of science going on.

Anyhow…the process of great roasting relies heavily on evenly roasting the beans, and gas-fired drum roasters just don’t offer that, and in the case of standard fluidized bed roasters, well they lack the aromatic elements that a drumroaster does bring to the bean dance.

Lastly…once you’ve reached the moment that pyrolysis occurs, then you need to slow things down quickly…actually (abruptly in fact) and for those race car fans out there, traditional gas-fired drum roasters do not stop the process of pyrolysis well…I equate this to being in a F1 series car race and hoping the drum brakes work…remember to pump the pedal before you try to stop !

Ask a drumroaaster about ‘overshoot’ and they will quickly change the subject…nice day isn’t it ?



At the heart of every great bean…

Posted by on Aug 11, 2012 in Coffee Roaster | 0 comments

At the heart of every great bean is the method in which it is roasted. Every great Roastmaster is only as good as his roaster and Raymond who leads the final assembly of roaster for our company is found here working on one of our high speed precision blowers. These blowers use some of the same materials found in the now retired space shuttle !  Our closed loop design requires a precision heat and air management system and this I can assure you is the heart and soul of every Roastaire.

The heart and soul of every great roaster