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Bellwether Expands its Electric Roasting Reach with Hub and On-Demand Platforms

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A four-unit Bellwether Hub, in which one interface can control roasts involving multiple machines. Photo courtesy of Bellwether.

Electric coffee roaster maker Bellwether Coffee has introduced two major new products, including an online roasted coffee marketplace for small businesses and a software-enabled platform for larger-scale production roasting.

Both products continue the California Bay Area startup’s aggressive push against traditional barriers to commercial roasting such as training, experience or theoretical knowledge.

Each of the new business-to-business-focused solutions rely upon Bellwether’s proprietary core roasting software and roast automation capabilities, while the Bellwether ecosystem also includes green coffee sourcing and inventory management.

Bellwether Hub

The larger-scale roasting solution, called Bellwether Hub, allows users to operate multiple Bellwether machines at once in order to meet higher-volume needs.

Each approximately home-refrigerator-sized roaster within the Hub is controlled by a single Bellwether interface, allowing operators to roast different coffees simultaneously, or to scale up the roasting of individual coffees.

According to Bellwether, a four-unit Hub of Bellwethers would allow a single staff member without prior training to produce approximately 2,500 pounds of coffee in a workweek, with approximately 2 minutes of labor per roast, plus routine maintenance such as daily chaff vacuuming.

The first four-unit Hub of ventless, electric Bellwether roasters is currently located at the company’s Berkeley headquarters.

Bellwether On-Demand

With a focus on small coffee businesses and office coffee providers, Bellwether On-Demand is a new online marketplace for roasted coffees that come from a Bellwether Hub (see above) or participating businesses nearby with Bellwether roasters.

The service has launched with a signup form for wholesale inquiries, and with direct online sales for office customers. According to Bellwether, the wholesale option will allow for customized coffee blends.

The platform currently includes six single-origin coffee offerings and three custom Bellwether blends, with 5-pound bags available at a cost ranging from $11-$13 per pound, pre-shipping. Buyers can choose one of four roast levels (light, medium, medium-dark or dark).

The company said its On-Demand roasting service is currently being conducted at the Berkeley Hub and through “numerous” Bellwether customer locations.

Bellwether has closed at least $50 million in outside financing since 2019, the same year its first commercially available machines began entering the market. The company launched the second generation of its innovative roasting system earlier this year.

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