New releases

New release: Flick prediction

Cropster Predictive Roasting uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help roasters worldwide roast better coffee every day. Predictive Roasting includes Bean Curve prediction, First Crack prediction and now we continue that trend with Flick prediction! Cropster now tells roasters if a flick is approaching, so they can take corrective action in time. This is another huge leap forward.


Cropster’s profiler - Roasting Intelligence - can now tell roasters where their bean temp is heading, when first crack will happen and if trouble is around the corner! With Roasting Intelligence in place, every commercial roast machine just got a lot smarter!

"Flick Prediction is another tool to help raise the bar within the coffee roasting profession. Something to help roasters be more conscious of what is going on with their roast profile and how some scenarios can be more desirable than others. Coffee roasters who are new to the profession or looking to improve will have another piece of information that relates to a roasting technique they might not be aware of."
Paul Arnephy - Roaster at Cafe Lomi


Why should you be excited about Flick prediction?


If a flick is approaching Cropster’s AI based Flick prediction tells the roaster so they can avoid it.

One of the most challenging aspects of roasting is controlling the bean-temperature rate of rise (RoR) just before, and during, first crack to avoid the flick. The flick is a quick rise in the RoR at the end of a roast (usually after 16% of development time) and usually follows an RoR crash early in first crack. The flick can add an undesirable “roasty” flavor to a batch causing the coffee to lose its delicacy. The larger the flick, the greater the effect.

There are many factors that play into this phenomenon, so it can be tricky to predict if and when the flick will happen. By the time you see the flick in the RoR, it’s too late to correct the roast. That’s why Flick prediction is so powerful.

The flick prediction came up twice while roasting an anaerobic natural coffee from Nicaragua. This coffee has been challenging to roast but with the flick prediction we managed to iron out that flick. Interesting thing, we had to reduce Gas way earlier than we thought. The RI also gave us instant feedback when we managed to avoid the flick. We might have managed without prediction but then we might have needed to roast way more batches to reach the same goal.
Johannes Otto - Rösttrommel GmbH Kaffeerösterei

When roasters can predict a flick, they have time to act. That can save them wasted coffee, time and money in experimentation!


How can roasters use flick prediction? 

It’s simple, if the system detects the possibility of an upcoming flick it displays a message warning the roaster so they can adjust gas and airflow accordingly. If the system then detects the possible flick was averted, it lets roasters know their actions worked. 


When a potential Flick is identified, Cropster’s AI Flick prediction informs the roaster before the Flick arrives so they can avoid it.

Why do you want predictive roasting? 

Flick prediction joins Bean Curve prediction and First crack prediction to deliver many benefits. Here’s a few that our beta testers have highlighted so far:

  • Improved quality and consistency of roasted coffee → happier customers
  • Fewer undesired roasty flavors
  • Higher consistency: roasts/coffees with flick vs roasts/coffees without flick
  • Higher coffee standard overall
  • Simpler training of staff when people ‘roast ahead of the curve’
  • Better ROI on green coffee investment. Fewer mistakes plus when roasting new coffees less batches to get to the desired profile
  • More consistent roasts and more control over the roasting process and overall outcome
  • Saving time and costs associated with dialing in new equipment

There’s another person you may have heard of who has a lot of knowledge to share about ‘the flick’. Here’s what he has to say about why you want to avoid it:

“Please do not underestimate the damage imparted by a flick. The flick may also mislead roasters in their understanding of how development time ratio (DTR) affects coffee flavor. Many roasters have told me that higher DTRs (i.e. 20% - 25%) produce roasty flavors (relative to bean color). But there is, in fact, a modest correlation between DTR and roastiness; every time one of those roasters showed me their ROR curves from the high-DTR roasts, their RORs contained flicks. The flicks, I believe, not the high DTRs, were the causes of the roasted flavors. All of the roasters who were open-minded enough to accept a range of DTRs while learning to smooth their RORs eventually found the roasted notes disappeared and their coffee was sweeter than it had been before.”
Scott Rao - Scott Rao Consulting

Scott Rao literally wrote the book on coffee roasting, and has been teaching people about the flick for years. He recently updated a very successful blog post on ‘the Flick’. It’s worth checking out if you’d like to learn more.

Predictive roasting helps roasters improve the quality of their coffee - it’s that simple. It also helps roasteries by making training easier and reducing errors, saving time and money. You can add predictive roasting to any commercial roast machine. They make your roast machine smarter. That means simpler and less risky roasting for everyone. It’s a game changer. With real AI-based predictive roasting, roasters will be able to be more creative with their roasts with lower risk. We’re excited to taste the results!

Want to learn more about Predictive roasting or Flick prediction? If you’re a Cropster customer you can get all the details in the manual here.

Not yet a Cropster customer? We’d love to show you more. Simply click here and let’s do a demo. We’ll show you what it's all about and you can ask questions anytime!

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