|▲ Imextech / CEO Youngah Song|
The food industry in South Korea is growing fast with ‘food tech’ where food and technology work together to create synergy. For many Koreans, especially those who work in the kitchen, are getting familiar with robots preparing foods such as stew and fried chicken while other robots deliver the dishes to dinners. Talking of the food industry in the nation, ‘coffee’ probably is one single sector among many foods that has shown a rocket high growth thanks to South Korean’s enormous love of coffee. South Korean’s consumption of coffee is more than 3 times of average consumption of the people in the world. Naturally, introducing robots to coffee industry is no longer a surprise for many but such a fun. It is long time ago that robots extract coffee and quite recently a cutting edge tech loaded coffee roasters are creating such a buzz among experts and entrepreneurs in the field alike.
It requires high level of technique and knowhow of the roaster. The taste of the coffee is affected by the origin, amount, temperature, moisture and even the length of the exhaust pipe. Without accumulated knowhow and experience on these elements, a roaster cannot possibly achieve an ultimate taste of the coffee. And roasting the coffee beans evenly is another level of technique that is hardly achieved. In other words, the taste of the coffee depends hugely on the skills of the roaster at first hand.
Youngah Song, CEO of Imextech,, did not like this dependency because the taste varies time to time according to one’s conditions and mood. Established in 1980, it was only 1996 the company started to make coffee roasters on request of the Germany coffee big shot TCHIBO. Song gathered the company’s accumulated roaster making technique of the last 25 years to finally introduce ultimate and futuristic PRO1, PRO5 and SMART 1500. Using these roasters, Song confidently says, even a novice can roast quality coffee. The operation is systematic and the roaster can easily adjust the processes that can decide the taste and flavor of the coffee. One thing you need to do is that you need to put into the roaster: origin of the coffee beans, the status of the beans (natural or washed), the year of harvest and the color of the beans. Then the roaster brings up the profile of the beans and works itself. You do not need to install an exhaust pipe or a formulator but just plug in the power and choose the taste you want to create. SMART 1500, for example, lets you to download the preset of the profile on your computer to help you make even taste of the coffee. The roasters are loaded with a water tank and an automatic steam cleaner and run electronically rather than gas-based to reduce the traditional bulky size that takes a lot of space. “With help of these innovative roasters, I can say that even a novice roaster can create better taste than a roaster who has 10 years of experience” says Song.
Song has walked a single path for more than 15 years. She has collaborated with many industry experts including the headquarters of Starbucks in Seattle, US, and fostered many talented roasters. Song wowed experts and ordinary people alike with her innovative roasters at the Coffee & Tea Fair Seoul 2021 and those who watched how the roasters roast coffee, and tasted, gave thumbs up without a hesitation.
[Futuristic Way of Roasting Coffee]
Next generation roasters secured, Song is now working on better channeling the roasting processes. Her idea is this: registering the recipes on the server – taking order – the coffee master sends a QR that contains information on raw coffee beans and recipe – the orderer puts the QR in the roaster – the roaster roasts the coffee bean automatically – the result is sent to the server. The data then is saved and used for future reference and improvement. “One of the benefits of this process is that the roasters at a coffee shop do not need to worry about the complicated distribution processes as it makes them all simple. In other words, the owner of the coffee shop secures a perfect and simple roasting system without a hassle, a bulky machine and a lot of space” says Song. (PowerKorea)
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