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Roaster vs Hub vs On‑Demand
How do I know which product is right for me?
Bellwether Roaster ‑ Roast fresh, delicious coffee in‑house with just two minutes of labor per roast and no experience required. Roast all you need to supply a busy cafe or multiple locations, launch a wholesale program and sell retail coffee online.
Bellwether Coffee On‑Demand ‑ If you’re not quite ready to roast or you have constraints that won’t suit the Bellwether Roaster but you still want to serve your own brand of sustainably roasted coffee, Bellwether On‑Demand offers fresh roasted coffee at competitive prices, shipped to you ready for packaging in your own labels. Bellwether On‑Demand can allow you to test the power of your brand with minimal startup costs, or offer all the benefits of a custom brand without requiring a roaster.
Bellwether Hub ‑ For very large volume businesses, the Bellwether Hub enables you to roast higher quantities of coffee but with all the benefits of small‑batch roasting done at scale. A Bellwether Hub is 4 or more software‑connected roasters capable of roasting thousands of pounds of coffee per week with just one operator and no specially trained labor.
Contact us for pricing and current availability in your area.
Is there financing available?
Yes! Contact us to learn more about our financing options.
How can I understand my ROI?
While every business is different, we continually see our customers save money over wholesale and increase coffee sales when switching to Bellwether from wholesale. A sales person can walk you through a custom ROI plan that’s unique to your business. Get in touch
What are the requirements to install?
The Bellwether Roaster requires either a 240v single‑phase or a 208 three‑phase outlet and an open ethernet port. For a full list of site requirements, download our Delivery Planning Guide.
Can I install a roaster on a food truck or mobile van?
If your site meets the requirements for power, ethernet, size, and weight tolerance, the roaster can be installed, however, we don’t recommend placing the roaster in a moving vehicle unless properly secured. Contact us if this is part of your business plan and we can discuss your requirements.
Can I roast using solar energy?
Yes! As long as your supply meets the power requirements for the roaster, you can use any alternative energy source that suits you.
Technology / Product
How much coffee can I roast per batch or per hour?
The Bellwether roasts 6lbs at a time, and between 3‑4 roasts per hour.
Is Bellwether an air roaster?
No. Traditional air roasters use hot air to loft the beans inside the roast chamber, heating them evenly as it does so. The Bellwether Roaster instead uses a rotating drum with a fixed blade that agitates the coffee throughout the roast while heating elements apply heat directly to the drum (conduction) and also heat the air entering the drum (convection) creating a dense and even roasting environment for the most consistent heat application possible.
Do I have to buy your green coffee?
Nope, but we love the coffees in our Marketplace and we think you will too. Each coffee comes with a pack of custom roast profiles ready for use on your Bellwether roaster, but if you’d like to use your own green coffee, you can make your own profiles using our software.
How does the Marketplace work?
The Bellwether Marketplace is an online store for sourcing green coffee where you can select from a global menu of fresh, sustainable coffees sourced by our team of experts and provided with transparency. Coffee can be purchased in full bags or 24lb boxes that are shipped directly to your door. Once arrived, the custom roast profiles for your coffees will automatically appear on your Bellwether.
Service and Customer Success
What if the roaster breaks?
Our nationwide network of service providers is available for service 7 days a week. Your Bellwether Warranty covers all parts, service and labor for the first 12 months or 1,000 roasts with an extended Hot Path Warranty available for the first 5 years or 5,000 roasts.
What kind of support do I get with my roaster?
Every Bellwether customer is assigned a Customer Success Manager to help you plan for your roaster arrival, integrate roasting operations into your existing business, and grow your brand over time. You also have access to our expert Coffee Team who can match your current coffee menu to your Bellwether, source green coffee that meets your needs, and answer your roasting questions.
What does “Lowest Carbon Coffee” mean?
Bellwether’s all‑electric, ventless technology reduces the carbon footprint of a pound of coffee by almost 90%, requires no fossil fuels to operate, and has the lowest emissions impact of any commercial roaster. Even other electric coffee roasters must rely on afterburners or ventilation which increase the energy requirements while continuing to emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
What if my electricity is generated by fossil fuels? Doesn't that negate the positive impact of switching to electric?
Nope! A third party study conducted by Boundless Energy found that even in regions where the electrical grid was powered by natural gas or even coal, roasting on an electric, ventless Bellwether was still cleaner than roasting with natural gas. For a deep dive into this, check out Episode 3 of our podcast, New Wave Coffee where we get into the numbers.
What about carbon offsets?
While carbon offsets are technically a “net‑zero” approach to emissions, the best way to avoid the harm caused by carbon emissions is to reduce consumption at the start. It's environmentally better to not even have to offset the carbon in the first place by eliminating the source rather than displacing the impact somewhere else.
Carbon offsets are not a regulated market in the US and the valuation of how much carbon counts per credit can vary significantly. There is also no system in place to ensure that the carbon you emit will be offset by improvements in your area.
If you're burning carbon in California, you could be buying offsets in a totally different part of the world which won’t impact the air, water, or soil health of your neighborhood or even your region.
How does coffee roasted on a Bellwether compare to coffee roasted on traditional machines from a quality perspective?
Bellwether has closed the quality gap between gas and electric roasting and thanks to our adaptive closed loop roasting system, offers the most consistent roasted coffee available today. Renowned coffee expert James Hoffmann recently endorsed the quality of Bellwether roasted coffee in this interview, stating that even he couldn’t tell whether the coffee was roasted using electricity or gas.
Doesn’t this take the craft out of roasting?
The craft of roasting is expressed in the strategic application of heat, air and time as decided by the tastes of person roasting. Whether you apply those factors manually, in real time or whether you program those requirements into the roaster to follow, makes no difference whatsoever to the final product. A coffee roasted with a well made roast profile will taste the same whether it was created using inputs made in‑the‑moment or pre‑programmed into the roaster, as long as the technology can meet the demand of the profile. Many conventional roasting manufacturers are releasing “roast profile replay” technology for this very reason.
Are you available internationally?
We are currently available in the US only but are actively seeking partners in select international markets to pilot our expansion into other countries in 2023. Please contact us for more information if you'd like to be considered!