Loring Smart Roasters: These Roasting Raptors Help Your Roastery Soar

Loring Smart Roasters: These Roasting Raptors Help Your Roastery Soar

 By Kristi Anderson-Runge


When you think of the specialty coffee movement of the late 1990s and early 2000s, you might recall how coffee went from commodity to culinary status seemingly overnight. Or maybe you remember the sudden emphasis on environmental responsibility and producer transparency. But here’s our question: Have you considered the impact this industry phenomenon has had on roaster manufacturers? How did big brands like Probat, Diedrich, Loring, San Franciscan, and others pivot (or launch) as a result?

Since “specialty coffee” was coined in 1974, roaster manufacturers have had to shift solely from mass production to building equipment to handle smaller batches with an eye on quality over quantity. These roasting brands also had to consider how to align their production standards with changing opinions on sustainability. All of these factors led to an explosion of innovation in technologies and features, resulting in a wider range of equipment options and higher quality standards. 

When we think of roaster manufacturers blazing this trail during such a formative time, Loring Smart Roasters naturally come to mind. Loring swooped onto the scene in 2003 during specialty coffee’s “third wave,” where the focus was on sourcing high-quality, single-origin coffee beans and roasting them to highlight their unique flavor profiles. Loring has come of age by riding the third, fourth, and now fifth coffee waves, establishing itself as an innovative and revolutionary industry leader.

We say Loring “swooped” onto the scene because if you know anything about the Northern California brand, you know that it boldly named its roasters after raptors: First with their flagship S35 Kestrel in 2003, then followed by the S70 Peregrine in 2012, the S15 Falcon in 2014 (originally released as the Merlin), and the S7 Nighthawk in 2018. With the remarkable agility and precision of a hunting bird, Lorings—just passing two decades in the industry—are considered formidable, if not one of the best, players in the roasting world. 

At CEPros, we take pride in being the premier destination for selling pre-owned Lorings, serving as a busy landing strip for these roasting raptors migrating to new roastery homes. At this writing, we’ve participated in the sale of 10 of these remarkable machines in the past year and have at least five more in our inventory that we expect to fly the coop any day now.

Given the amount of Loring air traffic we see, we thought a quick review of its offerings could help if you’re looking to add a seriously substantial, sustainable, and overall smart roaster to your roastery or shop. It’s just our way of spreading what we call the "Loring Love!”

First Things First: Is Loring an Air Roaster or Drum Roaster?

Although Loring Smart Roasters have drums, they truly are air roasters since they transfer heat almost exclusively by convection (transferring heat through air) with little to no conduction (transferring heat through a hot surface). The drum still serves as a crucial component, gently "holding" the beans as strategically placed rotating paddles introduce agitation as they heat up, promoting consistent roasting throughout the batch. There's simply nothing quite like it.

While Lorings share the imposing and traditional presence of a drum roaster, their signature patented single-burner design allows you to roast your beans and incinerate the smoke—no external afterburner needed. And that’s kind of a big deal.

The single-burner feature harnesses, warms, and recirculates ambient air to reach your target temperature. This means less fuel, expense, and environmental impact. According to Loring, you can expect to save up to 80% in fuel and reduction of greenhouse gases in every roast, compared to conventional roasters

And just like a magnificent bird of prey, these key features help Loring dominate the air(roasting) space with confidence and ease.

Multi-Tasking Marvel: Loring Produces a Smarter Roast

Fun fact: Did you know birds of prey are known for their exceptional ability to multitask? They can simultaneously use their keen eyesight to spot prey from a distance, coordinate their position for an attack, and then use their sharp talons and beaks to make their capture.

Like these birds, Loring Smart Roasters let you multitask to operate multiple roasting functions concurrently. With their multiple single-task motors, you can cool a batch while you’re roasting another or keep a batch ready in the hopper.

The roaster's compact footprint delivers more roasting capacity in less floor space, meaning you can manage multiple operations more efficiently and make more room for other equipment.

Loring’s Integrated Afterburner = Clean + Efficient

Let’s talk a bit more about Loring’s innovative integrated afterburner system that eliminates the need for a separate external afterburner. This feature is actually one of the main reasons Loring came into being. Back in 1998, founder Mark Loring Ludwig ran a coffee packaging business. He became frustrated with his coffee roaster’s inefficiency, so he worked on a design to increase efficiency—notably by eliminating the need for an external afterburner.

By 2003, Ludwig’s hard work resulted in the world’s first machine capable of smokeless coffee roasting. This design today allows Loring owners in more than 60 countries to experience an efficient, clean roast batch after batch. 

Loring’s Birds of a Feather: A Roasting Rundown

Loring packs its integrated single-burner design, multiple single-task motors, USA-made stainless steel construction, and compact footprint into four roaster sizes—from 7kg to 70kg—to meet every roasting need, no matter your coffee operation's product demands.

All four roasters are equipped with a touchscreen interface with savable, repeatable profiles, a high-speed cooling tray with paddle stirring, and automation software that auto-charges and discharges beans. 

Here’s a quick rundown of Loring’s four avian offerings:

Loring S35 Kestrel: Swift and Agile

Batch Capacity: 7-35kg (15.4-77 lbs)

We’re listing this one first because it’s the original roaster Loring produced: The S35 Kestrel. Isn’t it just like Loring to come right out of the gate with the first half-bag roaster with an integrated afterburner?

One thing we love about Loring is the ability to roast a minimum batch size that’s as little as 20% of the roaster’s max capacity. Talk about flexibility. That means you can roast as little as 7kg (15.4 lb) in this big boy! This size also includes a green bean vacuum lift and a green bean cart with scale. (Destoner optional.)

Loring S7 Nighthawk: Stealthy and Powerful

Batch Capacity: 1.4-7kg (3-15 lbs)

If you’re a small-to-medium-sized coffee business, the S7 Nighthawk, with its 7kg roasting capacity, lets you roast a significant amount of coffee beans in each batch, making it suitable for meeting the demands of a growing customer base.

With the ability to roast as little as 3 lbs (1.4kg), you’ve got a lot of flexibility to roast different batch sizes and experiment with new blends. Plus, the Nighthawk offers all of this capacity in just 22 square feet of space.

Loring S15 Falcon: Majestic and Fearless

Batch Capacity: 3-15kg (6.6-33 lbs)

If you’re ready to move up from the Nighthawk, you can try your hand at a little falconry the Loring way with the S15 Falcon. It’s a great scalable option for businesses planning for future growth.

Plenty of room for expansion and accommodating increased production volumes. Roast as little as 3kg (6.6 lbs) or 15kg (33 lb). This size, needing only 38 square feet of space, also includes a green bean vacuum lift (green bean cart with scale and destoner optional). 


Loring S70 Peregrine: Lightning-Fast and Skilled

Batch Capacity: 14-70kg (30.8-154 lbs)

Another fine-feathered fact: Peregrine falcons are the fastest animals in the world. If you thought a cheetah was the fastest, think again. Gravity, in part, helps with this distinction: When diving to catch prey, peregrines can reach speeds of over 240 miles per hour! Just for fun, check out this YouTube short of a peregrine falcon in action.

Investing in a 70kg coffee roaster is a significant decision that can offer multiple advantages for a larger-scale coffee business or commercial roasting operation. A 70kg roaster like the S70 Peregrine provides substantial roasting capacity—still with the flexibility to roast as little as 14kg at a time. The Peregrine is also a game-changer when it comes to efficiency and time savings. This size also includes a green bean vacuum lift and a green bean cart with scale. (Destoner and cooler tray auto-discharge gate are optional.)

Loring Offers Software and Savings

In addition to its impressive roaster lineup, Loring provides valuable tools to streamline operations and identify the benefits you’re reaping:

Design the Perfect Roast with Roast Architect Profiling Software

All Loring Smart Roasters come equipped with Loring’s proprietary Roast Architect profiling software. This powerful tool allows you to precisely design and edit roast profiles on your computer, display post-roast data as a graph, and capture detailed diagnostic information.

Loring Offers Economic and Environmental Savings

By using Loring’s patented advanced roasting system, you can also save on fuel costs and carbon emissions. If you’re interested in buying a new Loring, then you’ll love the savings calculator available on its website. Just plug in your estimated roasting time per week and batch size, and Loring will tell you how much you’re saving in fuel and pounds of CO2. These are real, tangible benefits of investing in a Loring Smart Roaster, truly making them a smart choice for roasters looking to improve their bottom line and sustainability efforts.

CEPros Extends Loring’s Legacy

Celebrating 21 years this year (2024), Loring has reached a significant milestone in its journey, evolving into a reputable industry player known for the same innovation that the specialty coffee movement (in all its evolving "waves") is known for. With its commitment to excellence, sustainability, and technological advancement, Loring continues to lead the way in revolutionizing the art and science of coffee roasting.

Our founder and CEO Rick Davis describes how CEPros helps extend Loring's reach: 

“As coffee professionals transition from their original Loring roasters to larger models, an exciting opportunity arises for our clients. Making pre-owned Lorings available means we can help extend the legacy of a Loring beyond its original owners. This means we can help foster brand recognition and loyalty within the secondary market.”

As Rick points out, when we come across used Loring roasters and add them to our inventory, our customers have an opportunity to be part of the ongoing Loring story while expanding their roasting capabilities with a trusted and renowned brand. Our competitive financing also makes the dream of owning a Loring more accessible.

If you’re longing to make room in your roasting nest for a Loring Smart Roaster and want to invest in a brand-new model, we encourage you to work with the fine folks at Loring. That team will treat you right. But if you’re interested in quality, pre-owned options vetted to our high standards, then bookmark our Loring collection to track when the next pre-owned Lorings touch down to roost at CEPros before their next roasting adventures. These birds of a feather may flock together but certainly not for long!

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