Roasting coffee beans even better if you can watch

Dunedin inventor Chris Hilder shows off his Kaffelogic bean roasting device. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Dunedin inventor Chris Hilder shows off his Kaffelogic bean roasting device. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Some say necessity is the mother of invention and for Chris Hilder his desperate desire to never have a day without coffee led to his creation.

"I was buying a 100g bag of coffee in order to get it fresh. That would last me six days ... that means I was always running out on a different day of the week," Mr Hilder said.

"I couldn’t really get a routine in my life.

"I thought if I could roast my own I wouldn’t have to have this ‘When do I go and buy coffee?’ constantly in my life."

And so the Dunedin-based inventor made the Kaffelogic roasting machine, allowing him to buy supplies of green beans to roast whenever he felt the need.

He wants coffee drinkers everywhere to follow suit.

"Where we are actually struggling is getting the customers on board because it is a new product and it’s a new idea," he said.

"Most coffee drinkers aren’t aware of the possibility that they could roast their own coffee and they’d never seen green coffee [beans] before.

"When they see our machine they more or less think it’s a grinder.

Retailers and some cafes were keen on the product, Mr Hilder said, but he wanted to take customers ‘‘through a journey of understanding’’ to get them to realise the potential of home-roasting coffee beans.

"Once you start getting a taste for a really good quality coffee ... then the next thing you’re going to go is 'actually this could be a little bit better, it could be a little lighter roasted'.

"Your tastes actually shift and you can track that by changing the way you roast the coffee.

"Until you kind of reach the point when you’ve got the coffee in some sort of subjective, ideal spot for maximising coffee flavour."

Kaffelogic, run by Mr Hilder and business partner John Robson, is going through a second round of capital-raising to finance wider marketing and slight enhancements.

In their first round of "seed" investment they got over the line with the help of crowdfunding via PledgeMe and an unlikely private investor, a former All Black captain.

"We still needed more investment to get over the line. We raised a small sum of money with a private investor. Reuben Thorne invested in the product.

"He came in behind it with some finance. That really completed our seed funding. It enabled us to get all our tooling done and get initial manufacture done."

The enhancements include a glass chimney and a lid, so roasters can see the beans changing colour.

jacob.mcsweeny@odt.co.nz

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