To give you the best coffee, we concentrate on 3 key areas:
Fresh crop, top-grade coffee
When you open a sack of top grade coffee, you can smell and feel the moisture content and this is an indication that the coffee is fresh, seasonal and has been prepared with a controlled drying process and attention to detail – a batch of beans with even moisture content will roast better!
Looking more closely, you’ll notice that the coffee is free of defects such as blackened diseased beans or irregular size and broken beans. This tells you that the green coffee has been sorted to a high specification and suggests a disciplined approach to coffee processing. Speciality coffee grown at high altitude can produce delicious complex flavours due to the fertile volcanic soils with hot days and cold nights that slow the growth of the coffee cherries producing smaller, more dense cherries and this is exactly what we look for.
Buying from a quality importer
that specializes in selecting the top 2% of coffee available in the world means that the coffee has already been pre selected for quality and with many of the coffees having been independently scored by ‘the cup of excellence’ programme, this is further reassurance of quality and grading.
A quality importer will be active at ground level and spend time at origin working with the farmer to understand how the coffee has been harvested and processed and cup the coffee on location to assess its quality. The importer will provide us with much background to the coffee, its region, drying process, varietals, the farms involved and this helps us to understand the provenance of the coffee crop and the first clue as to how it may taste.
Dialling in the roaster
With our little roaster, we’re able to command the environment where the beans like to absorb a generous amount of heat at the beginning of the roast period. This initial few minutes sets the scene for the rest of the roast duration and we constantly record temperature, time and airflow and use this data to affect roast profile.
With data, we can predict what will happen next and how to affect the development phase of the roast where the bean opens up (1st crack) and where starches turn into sugars and sugars into caramels, getting a good balance of sweetness and acidity.