Fluid-bed coffee roaster maker Coffee Crafters has launched the Valenta-7, the first model in a new line of roasting equipment designed and built entirely in-house by the Post Falls, Idaho-based company.
A minimum batch size of 200-grams (7 ounces) can accommodate sample roasts, while production batch sizes can go all the way up to 3.2 kilograms (7 pounds).
The all-electric Valenta-7 made its public debut at the recent SCA Expo in Portland, Oregon. (See DCN’s complete roundup of commercial and home roasting machines launched at the event.)
The machine’s streamlined and customizable aesthetic offers a clear distinction from the shiny steel cylinders of Coffee Crafters’ previous models, while on the inside the Valenta-7 delivers technology and a roasting chamber design that are totally new to the brand.
“A couple years ago we started manufacturing everything in-house,” Coffee Crafters Founder, CEO and Head Designer Ken Lathrop told Daily Coffee News. “This was a fun project because we designed a new type of roast chamber on the computer, did a lot of airflow simulations and got it nice and efficient inside.”
The Valenta’s slanted and more rectangular roasting chamber is designed to bathe coffee more continuously in hot air. The new chamber shape also assists in maintaining a consistent loft of the beans during roasts, to an extent that the operator scarcely needs to adjust the fan speed once it is set.
“You set the loft before you charge it, then you charge the load and just let it do its thing,” said Lathrop. “I don’t touch it ever, until it’s done. It made it much more convenient, it’s easier to roast on it.”
An optional third-party device called the Roaster Co-Pilot made specifically for the Valenta-7 by Kansas City, Kansas-based roasting company Hermetheus Coffee automates heat control for roast profiles on the Valenta-7. The Roaster Co-Pilot alters the heat level based on bean temperature readings to follow specific roast curves.
Coffee Crafters was founded in 2012 with the goal of widening access to easy-to-use equipment for roasters with small batch needs. In addition to its core roasting machines, the company expanded into selling small quantities of green coffee in 2015. In addition to the Valenta-7, Coffee Crafters currently offers the Artisan 3e and XL roasters, a chaff collector and a destoner.
Manufacturing was brought entirely in-house in 2021.
“We’d been saving our money for a rainy day, so we just went out and bought all of our own manufacturing equipment and it was the best thing we ever did,” said Lathrop. “Now we can prototype something like this. This roaster was 20 weeks from concept through manufacturing first article, which it would have taken us over a year and a half to do through other people.”
Sales of the Valenta-7 kicked off in early April, with a price starting at $8,200.
Two more Valenta models are also currently in development. A Valenta-25 is slated for release this Fall at an estimated price of around $25,000 according to Lathrop, and will run on a three-phase 100-amp 208-volt electrical panel for a roast capacity of approximately 125-150 pounds per hour.
That will be allowed by a Valenta-15, which will be able to roast roughly 90 pounds per hour.
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Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.