Is the Ikawa Home good for dark espresso roasts?



Hello together,

I am considering to buy an Ikawa Home roaster. At the moment I am not sure if it is well suited to roast the kind of coffee that I like. I prefer dark roasted Espresso but I can not find much information from other users roasting on the Ikawa Home for espresso or especially for dark espresso roasts. Are there any users that can share their opinion on this? Is the Imawa Pro suited to produce nice full bodied dark espresso roasts or should I prefer a classical roaster?

Best regards Bojan


I can say for sure that roasting dark is no problem.


Do you think with the Ikawa Home it is possible to achieve the same quality and fully body taste as with a traditional drum roaster or if I buy good freshly roasted espresso beans?


I can come close but I think it’s possible to roast how you like.


The advantage of the Ikawa is that you can make fine adjustments to the roast and therefore roast the beans to your taste. I bought the Ikawa so that I could roast for espresso, but lighter than most of the local roasters in my area tend to roast. Yes, you can roast beans for darker espresso as well. The only frustration I have with the Ikawa is the small batch size. Each roast is a maximum of 60g of green beans, producing a yield of 51-52g roasted beans, which is less than 6 shots of espresso for me. I have to roast 6 to 8 batches to get me through the week. Each roast takes about 10 minutes. But once you have the roast like you like it, you can do one batch after the other, and clean then kitchen between tasks at the beginning and end of each batch cycle! On the plus side, the Ikawa roaster itself requires very little cleaning or maintenance of any sort.


Have you tried doing short fast roasts for immediate use?


No. I find that beans for espresso need to rest for a few days after the roast to be at their best.


I bought the IKAWA Home to gain fine control of the roasting process to explore the delicate floral and fruity notes of coffee (in small batches so I don’t waste the precious beans). IMO you don’t need the same level of control when roasting dark, as you burn away those more volatile notes. For your purposes, you could probably use any roaster you fancy (including IKAWA)


Just like creating a good light roast, it also takes a lot to make a good dark roast that does not have any negative qualities.


I don’t roast dark myself but there are afficionados of the style who complain about how hard it is to get a good dark commercial roast. I doubt it is any easier than achieving a quality light roast.

My concern, which may be unfounded, is the extra time the roaster may spend at higher temperatures. The machine does come with some warnings about that. Plus a 12min roast is currently the maximum.


I don’t need to go close to the “high rev” temp aka warning temp aka the danger zone. But I could say that, you can get good “dark” without needing to get that high for that long. Some would say, that the burnt char is the name of the game. Or Folders/maxwell style notes are the snakes hips. And I can say that I’ve had roasts that come close and some, too close.