A new electric home coffee roasting machine by Taiwan-based Sandbox Smart should soon be heading to consumers.
The Sandbox Smart R2 roaster offers a 550-gram (1.2-pound) roasting capacity and more advanced roast profiling features than its 100-gram predecessor in the Sandbox line. As of this writing, a Kickstarter campaign for the machine’s rollout has raised more than $132,000 USD.
Heated by a 900-watt quartz tube at the center of its rotating drum, the Sandbox Smart R2 allows users to adjust heat power, fan speed, drum speed and the duration of different roast phases. The bottom half of the drum is visible through a window on the front of the machine, which stands 13 inches high, 15 inches deep and 10.7 inches wide.
An associated app provides event notifications, such as the end of preheating and the likely approach of first crack. Tiered cloud services facilitate saving, sharing and downloading profiles that can be stored by the machine for automated roasts.
Graphics generated by the Sandbox software track heat, fan and drum data, as well as rate of rise and first and second cracks. Roasts can be monitored in real time although parameters can only be altered before or after operation. The Sandbox Smart profiling system is not currently compatible with outside software such as Artisan or Cropster.
“We’re focused on the home roasting field,” Dion Yu, a spokesperson for Taipei City-based Sandbox Smart, told Daily Coffee News. “We hope to bring [an] easier user experience to all users. We will keep focusing on the home coffee roaster field to develop new and related products, to bring better coffee tasting for more people [in an] easy way.”
A smoke mitigating add-on with replaceable cloth filters called the F1 Smoke Extractor is sold separately. Sandbox Smart also sells a fan-driven cooling tray, a manual grinder, and its earlier roaster model, the 100-gram-capacity Sandbox Smart R1, production of which was supported in part by a nearly US$30,000 Kickstarter campaign that concluded last summer.
Sandbox Smart Technology Co. was founded in 2019 by Sam Liu, the designer of both roasting machines and current Sandbox CEO. Liu started the company after 20 years of experience in the coffee equipment manufacturing industry and over 10 years as a professional roaster, according to the company.
The Kickstarter campaign is offering pre-orders of the R2. Roasters are scheduled to begin shipping to customers in April of this year, at which time R2 sales will launch at the retail price of US$2,700, according to the company.
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Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.