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Go Probat or Go Home

Roasting quality coffee is a true craft

Words by: Paul Newbold

Roasting quality coffee is a true craft - and that’s always been our approach.

As you track along the journey of learning the craft, you gain knowledge, develop instincts and embrace repetition, knowing that skills are being intrinsically acquired. The right equipment becomes pivotal – as a roaster you want to achieve heights that only the best tools are capable of delivering.

In 2006, we reached the point where our 1950s 12kg Otto Swadlo from Austria was maxed out with production volumes. We kick-started a bit of research into what some of the heroes of our industry were roasting on, and looked into what other roaster brands and manufacturers were doing too. It was pretty clear to us in what direction we wanted to go – and the decision was made to go Probat.

The Probat name is steeped in history and is synonymous with superior quality and build. They are the market leader in coffee roasting technology and have a proven track record in the industry spanning over 150 years – right back to 1868. The Probat factory in the city of Emmerich, Germany was destroyed during World War 2 but rose from literal ashes stronger than ever, with international orders of Probat roasters surpassing those of domestic in the 1950s. These roasters have stood the test of time, and are definitely built to last.

Mid 20th Century Probats are world renowned and highly sought after. The quality build of these classic models offers dynamic roasting ability, immaculate control, precision and consistency. This vintage of Probat machines are constructed with stronger and heavier materials than today’s modern ones, and are beautifully designed.

Our very first Probat came to us pretty fortuitously. The company we worked with to procure and recondition a roaster for us in Europe got in contact; they had found a 1975 Probat G45 retired from service and in storage at a Swiss chocolate company. From there, it was lovingly restored and modified, packed up in a 40ft container and shipped out to us in Aotearoa.

The dynamics of these Probats offer control, precision and consistency. Coupled with Cropster Technology, we’re able to monitor information and adjust in real time. The thermal stability, a result of the cast metal components that our roasters are constructed with, creates controlled momentum allowing us to back off our burners and let stored radiant heat do its thing with the roast profile. This era of Probats are also blessed with larger cooling trays, allowing efficient, even cooling of roasts.

Our collective approach to roasting is one of clarity, sweetness and balance. We want to translate what we experience and select on the cupping table to the final cup, and showcase our producer partner’s hard work, attention to detail and the expression of each unique origin – clear, bright, detailed aromas, flavours and characteristics.

From humble beginnings we now roast daily on four classic Probat set-ups across our global coffee family – a beautiful collection of the preferred mid-century models, respected and revered by most. Our family of Probat roasters are incredible tools. They give us the ability to roast consistently and continue to hone our craft, truly enhancing our roasting teams’ experience, knowledge, skill and intuitiveness – and making them look damn stylish doing it too.

#goprobatorgohome