The Roast – Fraser Lovell

Fraser is one of the founding NZ Roaster Guild committee members. Find out more about him here
What is your earliest coffee related experience?
Getting to push down the plunger on my mums coffee when I was about six
When / why did you first get working in coffee? 1998-99 it was warmer than cycle couriering
What led you to becoming a roaster?
Timing and an continued interest in all things coffee
What do you roast on, anything unique about your set up?
We have three roasters at work a probat 120kg a probat 22kg and one pound san franciscan. I mostly roast on the 22 and the san franciscan. The are pretty standard with a few thermocouple and control mods.
Apart from your roasting machine (in its factory floor form), what’s your favourite “tool” you use in your role?
I don’t know if I have a favorite but we use some quite helpful software such as Extract mojo and Cropster
What do you find most rewarding about roasting?
Getting to roast new coffees that I haven’t roasted before and finding new profiles that improve cup quality.
Talk us through a typical work day
Get to work make coffee, drink coffee, start roasting finishing sometime late morning, lunch, cupping, espresso tasting, discus new coffees or upcoming projects, home.
What are your roles outside of roasting?
Outside of roasting I work with the training team, our retail stores, despatch and run the QA program.
Have you visited Origin? Any interesting harvest trip experiences or story? or which origin would you most like to visit and why?
I have been lucky to visit Origin a number of times as a international judge for Cup of Excellence as well as other sourcing trips for work. Every time it has been an interesting experience especially for COE getting try such a range of top coffees is great as well as getting to meet new people passionate about growing great coffee.
Any fire stories?
Probably the best fire I’ve ever had was setting some carbon build up on fire due to some inattention during the heat up of the roaster. The fire service didn’t get called out and the pipes on the roaster had never been cleaner so it was all good in the end.