We’ve done a lot of testing with various coffee roasters over the years. What we’ve learned is coffee roasting machines can create variability in taste. The more control the Roastmaster has over airflow, fuel output, and the ability to cool down, the more taste variation they can create.
Our production coffee roaster is an Italian built 1995 15-kilo Petroncini solid drum roaster. We can roast about 600 pounds in an 8-hour day. It is heated using natural gas and we’ve modified the gas burner to give us the ability to apply lots of heat fast. We also added a variable speed exhaust fan so we can create high levels of airflow. The stout drum is made of solid metal, giving us an abundance of radiant heat. So, we added a variable speed motor to our drum drive, allowing us to change drum speeds to create more radiant heat efficiently. We use our gas output to create horsepower, our exhaust to create convection, and our drum to create radiant heat. We can do just about anything with this machine that most other coffee roasters can do combined. We did this because we learned how to manage these key elements through practicing on our roaster, cupping, experimentation, and many years being involved in learning roasting and heat transfer.
- We roast our coffees through understanding the concept of roasting and the craft, science, and creativity that comes with this.
- We use sight, sound, and smell as our gauges, allowing us to adjust to ambient conditions using human senses.
- We dry roast, using ambient air to cool our coffee, helping to preserve freshness by limiting moisture in our roasts.
- We place a concerted effort into having little or no roasted inventory, allowing us to offer our customers the freshest product possible.
- We are constantly adjusting our Journeyman roasting program to maintain a high level of experience through engagement with the Specialty Coffee Association.
- We are committed to holding a close relationship with the Roasters Guild by having a high level of involvement, which helps us have a continuous revolving connection to new roasting ideas and innovative tools.
Fresh Green Coffee/Fresh Roasted Coffee
Just to be clear, we place the challenge of delivering freshly roasted coffee to our customers as part of our roasting philosophy. Why? Because specialty coffee is a special experience. Part of what makes our coffee specialty is how we expedite our roasted coffee to our customers. Fresh goes hand in hand with the word “specialty.”
So, let’s talk about this for a minute! Fresh, meaning: we place a sizeable focus around expediting shipping of our raw coffees after harvest, and minimizing time after roasting, to offer the freshest coffee experience! We do this because the impact of age after harvest and age after roasting is not fully realized by many consumers. The historical lack of this focus from coffee manufacturers is reflected in roasted products on retail store shelves where consumers often have never had the luxury of experiencing true freshness. Thus, very few consumers know what fresh tasting coffee really tastes like. The focus of freshness lives in our green buying and roasting philosophy. Both of these very important points must work together to protect our investments and foster a specialty nature.
As mentioned in our green buying philosophy, coffee is a fruit. And fruits are supposed to be sweet. The sweeter they are, the more people tend to like them. Even in heavy bodied coffees a recognizable sweet fruit acidity exists, while at the same time, a heavier viscous body also exists. Our job is to buy green coffee and roast it to protect our investment in said coffees. If we paid for an excellent tartaric wine like acidity, we are going to roast that coffee to preserve this character. Contrary, if we bought a coffee based on its viscous body and subtler, but clean acidity, we will roast this to embellish that body while maintaining the sweetness of the fruit.
We use the controls and airflows of our roaster to embellish acidity by speeding up profiles. We also use these variables to embellish viscous body and an aroma roasting damper to increase aroma in roasted beans. Our roast profiles vary from one coffee to the next because we adjust them to fit our green coffee’s style of acidic, sweet, heavy body, and depth. We embrace a general S curve profile known in the coffee industry. Where the S starts, when the curves in the S happen, and where it ends is where our focus is. Our profiles are intended to offer a map of how we reached the ending roast times and darkness of a roast. We record progress of our profiles on every batch and make manual adjustments to the equipment to follow the map. We realize our success by experimentation through cupping our coffees.
We focus on consistency only in that our coffees will always be very good. Our blends were designed to have relatively consistent taste profiles. However, because coffee is an agricultural product, we expect and embrace variation in our single origins. Our coffees may not always taste the same from one period to the next, but they will always be clean, sweet, and fresh, just as you would expect from something special!