A new portable sample roasting machine for green coffee buyers called the Nucleus Link is coming to the United States, courtesy of a North Carolina-based coffee equipment distributor GH Grinding & Brewing Solutions (GHGBS).
The machine itself comes from Nucleus Coffee Tools, the Australian commercial coffee accessories company founded by 2015 World Barista Champion Sasa Sestic.
In the U.S., GHGBS is now accepting pre-orders of the Nucleus Link at a price of $1,850, with shipping slated to begin next month.
Nucleus Link Development
Built upon a foundation of hardware and technology laid by the recently launched Kaffelogic Nano 7 home roaster, the Link adds a variety of features designed to appeal to green coffee buyers wanting to roast samples while traveling.
“So much weight is placed on the success of the roast in the assessment and purchasing model,” Sam Corra of Nucleus Coffee Tools recently told DCN. “It’s a pivotal point in the process that can make or break a deal as it dictates how the buyer perceives the quality of the sample. Too often it is the quality of the roast that causes so many great coffees to be left un-purchased on cupping tables.”
The bridge between Kaffelogic and Nucleus was established by Corra during his own search for a portable sample roaster. Corra, the director of coffee for Sydney-based ONA Coffee and a former Australia barista champion, started tinkering with an early version of the Nano 7 before reaching out to Kaffelogic in 2019 to help them further develop their product.
“I realized the raw potential of their manufacturing. It just needed a coffee-focused mind to collaborate with them to unlock the full capabilities of their technology,” said Corra. “My role was to provide the link to industry knowledge and to focus on getting the unit to produce a quality, commercially acceptable standard coffee roast in an easy and repeatable way.”
Nucleus Link Roaster Features
Key to the Nano 7’s potential as a sample roaster was the way its roasting chamber starts off at equilibrium with the green coffee, as opposed to traditional roasters that are preheated.
“[In traditional roasters] coffee gets heated unevenly, starting from the outside inward,” said Corra. “This unit allows us to heat the coffee from the inside out, which allows us to utilize a much higher rate of heat to achieve the desired level of momentum to the roast profile, while allowing adequate development of the organic acids and proteins that make up the unique sensory and tactile elements of a coffee.”
Corra also said that the system tends to result in less CO2, or “gas,” when fresh off roast, potentially shortening the time users would need to obtain accurate cupping assessments.
The ability to view data and control roasts in real time, an updated chaff collector design and upgraded heat elements are some of the innovations born from the collaboration between Kaffelogic and Nucleus that are now available in both products. Firmware and software customizations unique to the Link include a calibration process that remains unaffected by fan speed adjustments as the coffee moves through the roast.
Said Corra, “This is very important to ensure consistency between different units, as well as being able to tolerate smooth roasting at the varied altitudes you take the unit.”
An updated PC board houses a set of 41 core profiles developed for the Link by Corra over the past three years. An app can guide users towards the ideal profiles given the density of green coffee, which can be measured through a tool that comes with the Link.
The Link’s algorithmic intelligence also allows users to modify profiles based on development time ratios, batch sizes and other variables.
In addition to the roaster and the density measurement tube, units ship with a shock-absorbent and waterproof travel case, a dosing cup and a coffee tray.
“Collectively we strive to connect in a meaningful way with all areas of our industry, from home users to coffee professionals,” said Corra. “Over the last three years, the Link concept has evolved into something beyond all our expectations and more excitingly will continue to constantly evolve over the years to come.”
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Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.