Java Enabled: Probat, Unlike Any Other
When I visited Northwest earlier this summer, owner Rick Milton showed me how the company roasts its beans on a vintage 1957 22-kilo Probat.
"Low-end roasters don't have the same air flow," Milton told me, comparing his Probat to newer, lesser models. "Besides that, the cast iron in the older ones really improves the roast."
The most coveted Probats (the most coveted of any brand of roaster, really) are the oldest. Yes, a certain mystique -- a sense of history and a classic design -- accompanies a vintage roaster. But the true advantage of an old-school roaster comes down to one thing: cast iron -- lots of it. Just like old cars, vintage Probats were made with more metal. (Looks like I'm really getting some mileage out of that classic car analogy.) The cast iron lends a more even heat distribution across the barrel. improving quality and consistency in the roast. As the cost of cast iron rises, however, less of the conductive metal goes into newer roasters.
|Photo courtesy Tyler Zimmer|
|Kaldi's new Probat, packed up and ready to go.|