Most people can’t imagine starting their day without a cup of coffee. Our favorite dark or light roast, with just the right amount of cream and sugar – or none – is a satisfying and necessary element to a successful day.
While coffee makers zealously guard their proprietary coffee recipes and roasting processes, one common element can make all the difference: the coffee roaster itself. Honeywell, a global manufacturer of Maxon industrial burners and combustion products, manufactures the premium combustion burners used in coffee roasting equipment worldwide.
Coffee roasting is slow and requires precise and even temperatures to ensure a smooth, consistent roast of the beans – batch after batch. That’s where Honeywell comes in.
“The No. 1 attribute you want from a coffee roaster is a consistent roast, every time,” explained Tim Lee, general manager of Honeywell Maxon-Americas. “The ratio of gas to air in the burner is crucial to that. Too much air in the mixture and you’ll quench the flame and get carbon monoxide. Not enough air and you’ll get soot and nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas. Our burners provide very precise heat – and controlling that air-to-fuel ratio is key to good coffee roasting and reducing harmful emissions in the process.”
Coffee roasters range from the size of a microwave oven, which might be used in a home or a small coffee shop, to as large as a small truck for larger coffee operations and commercial coffee manufacturers. But no matter the size, the mission is the same.
“It’s not like baking,” Lee said. “Roasting is about ramp times – gradually increasing the heat to soak out the beans, then gradually cooling them down again. You don’t want flames to come in contact with any beans. You want a consistent roast all the time. Consumers want that coffee to taste the same on Monday or Friday. We help make that happen.”
Coffee roasting is only one of the many markets served by Honeywell’s 77 different engineered Maxon product lines. The company’s industrial and commercial burner technologies are used in the automotive, building material, chemical, container, glass, petrochemical, plastics, printing, pulp and paper, food processing and textile industries.
So the next time you order your GMO-free, triple skinny Latte with an extra shot at 120 degrees – don’t forget the Honeywell burners that helped make it happen.