How do we decide a roast profile
Roasting styles are very personal. Determining how you will approach new coffees/origins will be different from roaster to roaster. I don’t believe any 2 roasters take the exact same approach considering the myriad of factors that goes into a single roast.
For me, it’s about finding a balance of a number of factors that will give me a result that I can both enjoy and repeat.
In the past I’ve come across one off profiles due to a certain thermal momentum in my roast day on that particular day, that I’ve never been able to match. These types of roasts aren’t repeatable and I tend to avoid printing that as a profile.
I’ll take a number of factors into consideration when ‘finalising’ a profile. These include – end bean temperature, Development time (not percentage.), total roast time, colour both ground/bean, weight loss, temperature of the roaster/green, age of the coffee, its intended use, what I’m trying to emphasise in the cup.
In all honesty…there is no profile. I never settle for one profile and leave it at that. I constantly develop the coffee until the last roast of the bag. Nothing is stable in the process of roasting coffee, so why should you be?
The whole time you’re going through a bag, that coffee is aging. The life of green coffee is tumultuous, growing in hot climates at high altitudes, travelling across oceans in varying temperatures to eventually end up in our roastery in Hackney. We need to account for the development of the green as we go through a coffee.
An example of this would be our recent Colombia San Lorenzo, when this coffee landed and was considered ‘fresh crop’ it provided notes of bold red apple, caramel, citrus and generally an expressive cup. As the coffee aged, so did the profile. We ended up at the end of its shelf-life with much less citrus, and much more chocolate forward.
Until we’re in a world of having every single stage of transporting and storing coffee temperature controlled and proven to stay stable, you need to adapt as a roaster to bring the best result possible. For me it’s often getting out of the way.
By that I mean that each coffee was grown in its own micro-climate and experienced its own journey to your machine. For me as a roaster its showing that, without getting in the way of it. Imparting too much roast to the coffee will cover this, just as not roasting it enough won’t realise its potential either.