Our very first roaster was a Behmor 1600, and it opened the door to fresher coffee & all of the joys of coffee roasting. Founder Joe Behm has been working to get many of these roasters into the hands of farmers, not only to allow them to taste their own coffee, but to help them appreciate the subtleties of flavor & give back to the coffee communities at large. Via Roast Magazine:
About a year ago, Behmor creator Joe Behm was on a panel during a coffee industry event with specialty coffee pioneer George Howell, and one snippet of that discussion resonated with Behm more deeply than anything he’s heard in his nearly 20 years in and around coffee. “
George mentioned something that absolutely floored me,” Behm said. “He said all these small farmers, many of them had never tasted their own coffee.”
Despite the fact that Behmor had previously explored some Central American distribution for its signature Behmor 1600 drum roaster — a steady, popular performer in the U.S. home roasting segment — this realization led Behm and the Behmor team to chart a new charitable course designed to honor and benefit the people who grow the roasted coffee that so many people in the industry take for granted, Behm recently told Daily Coffee News.
“I’m certainly not rich. We’re not Bonavita money, we’re not Cuisinart money; but I do see that what I sometimes I call a stupid idea I had back in 1999 has a real ability to change people’s lives,” Behm said of his roasting machine, hundreds of which have already been shipped to coffee growing and milling operations as part of what’s now called the Behmor Inspired program.
“It’s an opportunity for me to give back to the men and women who make all of this possible. Without these men and women we don’t have what we do.” Behm said his hope is that, with some assistance from partner organizations on the ground, the roasting machines can be used to help farmers and others in the production chain begin to better understand their own product in order to work toward quality improvements and more premium market access.