Coffee is never complete without the rigorous roasting process. Roasting adds significant value to coffee. Newly-harvested coffee beans start green when removed from the fruit of the tree. It is the roasting process that changes them from green beans to the various shades of brown, depending on roast preference.

For coffee farmers roasting is also an important process that when optimally utilized can provide them with better profit. Often, coffee farmers in the Philippines, like those around the world, only sell their beans in raw form (green beans). If they can roast their own coffee, either individually or through the cooperative, they can sell their processed coffee at a better price rather than selling just the raw coffee beans.

There is a need therefore to develop a roasting technology that will enable them to process coffee and demand better price for their product. Inevitably, this will help bring the country to a new height of not only producing high quality coffee but also help boost the country’s coffee industry.

coffee roaster

Here comes the Bravura

Given the potential of processed coffee in the market and the need to regain the industry’s vigor, a coffee roasting machine that is both practical and easy to operate is important. Thus, the Cavite State University (CaVSU) through the National Coffee Research, Development and Extension Center (NCRDEC), in collaboration with the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) under its banner program, the National Technology Commercialization Program (NTCP), implemented the project, “Technology Piloting and Commercialization of Microcontroller-based Coffee Roasting Machine”. The project, led by Dr. Ruel M. Mojica of NCRDC-CaVSU, aimed to pilot test and to commercialize the developed technology on roasting machine for profitable coffee processing business.

Results of the project were presented by Dr. Mary Jane D. Tepora, project staff, as one of the seminar topics during the BAR Seminar Series.

Named as the “Bravura Roasting Machine,” it is the first-ever vertical coffee roaster. This coffee roasting machine has microcontroller device that completely controls its operation.

Dr. Tepora explained that the group of Dr. Mojica has established and modified the parameters for attaining the standard roast to arrive at a more efficient design using vertical design with auger to improve the roasting quality.

Part of the output of the project is the fabrication of two prototype roating machines and one final prototype specifically for commercialization.

Dr. Tepora reported that the machine was introduced to the public through a product launch during the “Kapihan: 1st Coffee Day Celebration” in June 2012 at the CaVSU.

Given the initial success of its launch and the growing interest among local coffee growers, CaVSU has collaborated with the local government for them to introduce Bravura Coffee Roasting Machine in the municipality of Indang and other nearby towns of Cavite.

The machine can produce 10 kg of roasted coffee per batch of roasting and takes 20 minutes on the average to achieve the required roasting process. “Bravura is made of stainless steel materials with a well-designed auger that produces even bean roasting. It has single phase motor coupled with microcontroller device for automatic operation,” added Dr. Tepora.

The machine can roast not only coffee but also peanut and cacao.

The Bravura is the cheapest roasting machine available in the market today. This locally-made roasting machine costs PhP485,000 per unit or around US$11,100. This is a lot cheaper than VR-10 (10 kg) of the Unite States (US$35,958) or GHIBLI R-15 (5-15 kg) of Europe (US$ 24,735).

The development and utilization of microcontroller-based coffee roasting machine could provide income generating livelihood opportunities to smallscale farmers, coffee processors as well as the community members.

Indeed, this technology breakthrough will revive the Philippine Coffee Industry and bring the country closer to its previous glory as one of the lead producers of quality coffee beans. ### (Rita T. dela Cruz)

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