Introducing RoastWatch, an iOS app for Roasting Coffee

roastWatch banner

For long time readers of the Compass, you might have guessed that we enjoy participating in every step of the coffee process, including roasting. After I began getting into iOS app development, I started searching for a project to cut my teeth on. That project is RoastWatch.

RoastWatch, a portmanteau of “Roasting” and “Wristwatch”, is a simple, yet powerful iOS tool to help you track and log your coffee roast profiles. It was designed visually to be an extension of the iOS operating system and functionally as an extension of the stock iOS stopwatch app.

RoastWatch is a simple, yet powerful iOS tool to help you track and log your coffee roast profiles.

The UI elements will feel familiar to the iOS stopwatch, while built with more powerful time/event logging features.

RoastWatch Screen Shot Timer

99 Problems But a Probe Ain’t One

RoastWatch was built for the dearly beloved “probe-interface”-less roasters of the world. With the “record” button and the temperature control panel, logging temperatures with associated times is easy, especially if you don’t have a probe to interface with fancy roasting software. RoastWatch also allows you to record custom events while you’re roasting. You can build a custom event list to quickly mark events during roasting while maintaining consistency from (space ghost) roast to roast. Adjust your temperature logging preference under the “Settings” menu for either Celsius or Fahrenheit.

RoastWatch coffee log

Charting and Data Logging

You can save all your roasts and search them later. Pictures and Names associated with roasts are editable. RoastWatch also charts your roasts in real-time, or at least as real-time as it gets without a thermocouple probe attachment! Record events while roasting and easily slide the temperature scale. After you have completed a roast, v1.0 export options include email or exporting via .csv (for importing into excel or Google drive etc.).

RoastWatch Screen Shot Charting


Development for RoastWatch has been simply awesome. It’s been both fun and challenging to work on something that is going to help the roasters of the world track and share roasting profiles. I hope to answer questions you may have, and hope that you strongly consider sending me feedback. The app is $3.99 USD in the US App Store. Why isn’t it free? Well it essentially comes down to that I want to be able to cover my developer costs and the time I’ve spent on RoastWatch, while acknowledging that the market for coffee roasting apps/tools is, I believe, quite small. That being said, I think you’ll enjoy using it as much as I’ve enjoyed developing it. Version 1.0 is available as an iPhone app only, but I am hoping to definitely port it to a more iPad friendly version in future releases.

RoastWatch was developed by Darren Jennings, Co-founder of The Coffee Compass.

16 thoughts on “Introducing RoastWatch, an iOS app for Roasting Coffee

    1. Ditto on that.

      And congrats on completing what looks like a nifty app.

      I’ve been roasting and logging in databases on my phone since the open source HanDBasE community contributed a home roasting schema over 10 years ago.

      Over that time, I’ve been been surprised how little the temperature details and profiling came to matter to me in actual practice. Mostly because the seasonality of greens rendered more thorough details irrelevant — i.e., because before I could dial in on a coffee much further, I (it) was out of stock.

    1. Ryan, I’m glad you’re interested in an iPad only version. I’ve tested it out on the iPad, downloading the app as “iPhone only” and I did not lose any functionality. Of course you would be emulating an iPhone, so it will just feel a little clunky since it won’t be utilizing the full resolution of the iPad. I’ll send you a free code to your email address to redeem the app and you can try it out. I hope to make an iPad only version in future releases.

      1. Hi Darren,

        Thanks so much for inventing the RoastWatch App. It is such handy tool to monitor roasting especially when you are roasting specialty lot where you are making some changes on the roasting profile. The current version does get crashed with the new iOS 11. Are you thinking of updating the app or perhaps it was just a trail? Look forward to the updated version again.

  1. Are there any update on an eta for an iPad version? Would love to have a go at this app but with I would normally prefer working in a larger device rather than a phone.

    1. Judson, I am sorry that there is not an ipad only option. As you can read in my response to Ryan, I’ve tested it out on the iPad, downloading the app as “iPhone only” and I did not lose any functionality, but it’s just emulating an iPhone. I don’t own an iPad, but would like to get an iPad version in the app store before the end of the year. That’s a goal for me. Thank you for your interest!

    1. Jeremy,

      I am a little behind on my original schedule of when the iPad version would be completed! I am the only developer on this app, and I hope to push an iPad version at some point. I am not sure on the timeline exactly. I’ll be sure to announce on and to my mailing list when this happens. Be sure to sign up if you want to be notified!


  2. Good evening Darren,
    I just purchased your app and look forward to getting involved with it. My question is entering my existing roast data into the app.. Currently I am running each roast separately and just recording the time. I than go in and edit to put my information in. Can I copy and past a profile that I have roasted quite often and change some key points that make it unique? I see I can email it and edit it within the email.Is their a way to send it back to the app with the updated information? It is much easier typing on a real keyboard than my phone. I also tried to get it on my ipad which has a keyboard but was unable to do so. Please advise. Thanks

    1. Peter, importing a roast is not a current feature, although I can see the importance of this. I hadn’t added this feature mostly because I have used Roastwatch to record roasts and analyze them outside of the app vs. using the app to analyze the roasts. You should be able to download the app onto your iPad as the iPhone only version and as long as you’re using the same apple id, it should download, and hopefully you’ll be able to use your keyboard! I am also available for contact at [email protected].


  3. It seems that I am missing something here. How does the temperature measurement get into the iPhone so that the app can display it?

    I am looking for a means of logging and displaying the temperature measured by a thermocouple attached to my hand coffee roaster – dr mahn. I have the roaster and t/c and a temperature display but not enough hands left over to record the temperature as the roast develops. I have seen some nifty Bluetooth meat sensors but their temperature range isn’t high enough.

    Any suggestions?


    1. Hey John,

      If you’re looking for software that syncs with a thermocouple look at Artisan or Cropster. With RoastWatch you still have to enter the data in real time.

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