Rome-A combination of the two delights of Italy-coffee & sunshine, engineers in Rome have devised a way to roast coffee beans that doesn’t require electricity or gas.
Antonio Durbe and Daniele Tumei spent almost six years perfecting their sunshine coffee roasters.
This system requires only a small piece of land, about half that of a tennis court, and sunshine to roast 110 pounds of coffee an hour.
Solar energy is the only source of power for the plant. A set of mirrors is used to gather the sun’s rays. The small solar panel powers a few electrical components and a few other parts. The mirror follows the sun through the day, and focuses the light onto a rotating steel basket that contains fresh coffee beans. The maximum temperature for the basket is between 450 and 480 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the brightness of sunlight, the beans can be roasted in as little as 20 minutes.
This method is not only eco-friendly, but also convenient and economical. Durbe and Tummei claim that it can preserve the coffee’s aroma and make it more intense. Unlike traditional hot-air ovens that are usually gas-powered, concentrated sunlight does not heat the surrounding air when roasting coffee—by penetrating the grain in a more even way without burning the outside.
The system is dependent on good weather. Coffee lovers should not drink their coffee on a cloudy or dark day.
According to the inventor, a factory with 40 glass mirrors in sunny southern Italy can roast as much as 66,000 pounds of coffee per year and save approximately 60,000 kilowatt hours of electricity.
Although Purosole, or Pure Sun coffee, can be ordered online by the inventor, the main goal is to sell his solar coffee roasting equipment and products to small businesses that are environmentally conscious. They now run their factory from a friend’s backyard.
It can also be used to perform other functions. Durbe, Tummei and their long days of work culminated in them setting up a grill to cook delicious barbecues.