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How awesome is this drill powered drum roaster? Very awesome.

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I never tire of seeing new takes on building your own sample roaster. Keeping the beans moving is the key to an even roast. Tim Eggers decided to use a drill to turn his drum, made from a soup can. He cut and folded vanes into the drum to aid the tumbling. A second soup can drum focuses the heat from his stove-top burner. Genius idea, and look at those lovely beans.

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John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works in CG animation at DisneyToon Studios and writes for Make, Boing Boing, and other places online and in print. You can find him at jpixl.net and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.


  • erynthegrey

    Lots of fumes given off of the tin coating on a soup can when heated… once the protective lacquer that separates food from the tin is gone it provides a direct path for the fumes to invade your food/coffeebeans then get ingested. Tin has a very low melting point, less than 450°F. There has got to be a better/safer alternative than using a tin coated steel can…

    • Rob

      Very true. The solution used by most coffee roasters is expanded steel. Let’s gas out, heat in, and no chaffe buildup. The most common unit made by us roasters, besides the basic popcorn popper, uses a custom built expanded metal drum mounted on a rotisserie over a propane grill. It is a rather expensive setup though. I suppose this solution is a nice budget friendly hack job, but when coffee beans reach temps up to 420F during darker roasts, the can would need to get a little too close to melting temp for my taste.

  • goodEvans

    …although rather than soup cans on the stove, I went for baby formula tins on the barbecue. Also, I made holes in the tins to allow chaff and smoke to escape. And I used a rotary wire brush to scuff off any coatings, inside and out.

    Starting to get nice coffee, now I’m getting the hang of it.