Innovative British coffee roaster creator IKAWA and leading Swiss technology group Bühler have begun a partnership focused on innovation in the gap between micro and medium- to large-scale coffee roasting. The strategic partnership aims to explore the potential for product development between IKAWA’s market-leading sample roasters and Bühler’s RoastMaster series to address this gap.
Bühler and IKAWA came to the coffee marketplace following different paths. Bühler has an industrial background with more than 50 years of coffee engineering competence and has worked with many medium and large roasters to set up coffee processing plants globally. Bühler’s RoastMaster series comprises four sizes with throughput per hour ranging from 70 kilograms up to 1 ton.
IKAWA is leading the adoption of digital roasting, making sample evaluation easy and accessible. IKAWA entered the coffee stage in 2010 as a start-up and is today well known throughout the global coffee supply chain for its precise, app-controlled, and user-friendly micro-roasting technology, aimed at helping coffee business make better and quicker purchasing decisions. The IKAWA Pro Series comprises the Pro50, Pro100, and the brand-new Pro100x which includes the industry first IKAWA humidity sensor.
Bühler’s integration across the coffee supply chain, its unrivalled service support footprint, and IKAWA’s global presence in the specialty coffee market make them perfectly positioned to team up for innovation in a market that has much room for development.
“Partnering with IKAWA and strengthening our presence in the coffee roasting market is a key step for Bühler in many ways. Working together with IKAWA will help us to take new perspectives and therefore create innovative ideas to address the needs between micro and medium- to large-scale coffee roasting,” says Michael Blatter, head of Market Segment Coffee at Bühler.
Andrew Stordy, founder of IKAWA, says, “Bühler brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in engineering and manufacturing. This experience will complement the user-centered approach to design we have become known for in sample roasting.”
Aligned with this approach, IKAWA will lead the first phase of user research by inviting professionals from the roasting market to participate in feedback and testing sessions. “Our aim is to deeply understand the goals and challenges users face in production-scale roasting and to use this to inform design solutions that improve what is already available in the market. To do this we need as many people as possible to get involved by sharing ideas and taking part in user testing,” Stordy says.