The last 2 think tank events have been getting deep into roasting, and how to develop tasty coffee on your roasters. First we looked at sample roasting, tasting an assortment of roasts with varied profiles to explore how time and temperature effects our ability to perceive the coffee. Sample roasting is about revealing inherent flavours of the origin and defects, and consistently roasting all batches the same. On the night we had sample roasting machines fired up and attendees had a go at roasting and managing their way through a good profile template. We could taste very clearly a shorter roast time presented much more of the desired origin flavours and kept any roasting flavours out of the way of our perception.
Next up we covered production roasting with a focus on developing coffee flavours for your market. We had multiple roasts prepared to taste while viewing printed roast curves to specifically see how it all has effect. There were some very interesting results around the end of the roast, with a “tail flick” and a crash in temperature causing a dramatic loss of sweetness, even if the roast was good up until the last minute. Some roasts had intentional problems to note, while other were “good” roasts but different by duration or development. Interestingly and as we might expected, different people had different preferences on their favourite “good profiles”. A topic of conversation was understanding what your market actually wants and being able to produce this consistently, rather than just picking up on any given roasting trend at the time.
Both of these events had a focus on roasting curves, showing the importance actually understanding your roast, and by correct probe placement. However without visual curves to follow while roasting, it is very hard to know exactly what is happening during the roast.
Most roast profile curves have some common trends which can have detrimental effects on flavours, and understanding how to manage this on your set up was a key objective for attendees, While some attendees were not sure what a good curve might look like, we could all taste the obvious difference in the cup when these trends were not there in the roast.
The Think tank events have had a good season recently with the Quality Control focused events, and the unification of the Guilds has opened up the scope of interest for more people and topics of interest which cross over many roles in coffee. Particularly techs and trainers who come up against all sorts of challenges and are a gold mine of info.
With 2017 on the rise we look forward to some new events to challenge us, and we will be backing up some of the more popular events with a second edition.
If you have a hankering for geeking out, and find yourself chewing through time working on random RnD projects, we would love to hear from you!
We are always looking for ideas for events and passionate people to drive them.