Bühler and IKAWA partner to explore opportunities in coffee roasting

Michael Blatter with IKAWA’s sample roaster and Andrew Stordy next to the RoastMaster 20

IKAWA and Bühler have begun a partnership focused on innovation in the gap between micro and medium- to large-scale coffee roasting. The strategic partnership aims to explore the potential for product development between IKAWA’s market-leading sample roasters and Bühler’s RoastMaster series to address this gap.

Bühler and IKAWA came to the coffee marketplace following different paths: Bühler has an industrial background with more than 50 years of coffee engineering competence and has worked with many medium and large roasters to set up coffee processing plants globally. Bühler’s RoastMaster series comprises four sizes with throughput per hour ranging from 70kg up to one ton.

IKAWA, meanwhile, is one of the forerunners in the adoption of digital roasting, making sample evaluation easy and accessible. IKAWA entered the coffee stage in 2010 as a start-up and has established its presence throughout the global coffee supply chain for its app-controlled micro-roasting technology aimed at helping coffee business make better and quicker purchasing decisions. The IKAWA Pro Series comprises the Pro50, Pro100, and the brand-new Pro100x which includes the industry first IKAWA humidity sensor.

“Partnering with IKAWA and strengthening our presence in the coffee roasting market is a key step for Bühler in many ways. Working together with IKAWA will help us to take new perspectives and therefore create innovative ideas to address the needs between micro and medium- to large-scale coffee roasting,” said Michael Blatter, head of the coffee market segment at Bühler.

Andrew Stordy, founder of IKAWA, added: “Bühler brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in engineering and manufacturing. This experience will complement the user-centred approach to design we have become known for in sample roasting.”

Aligned with this approach, IKAWA will lead the first phase of user research by inviting professionals from the roasting market to participate in feedback and testing sessions.

“Our aim is to deeply understand the goals and challenges users face in production-scale roasting and to use this to inform design solutions that improve what is already available in the market. To do this we need as many people as possible to get involved by sharing ideas and taking part in user testing,” Stordy said.