Roasting coffee truly is a craft, the intersection of art and science. Becoming a master of any craft is a long and lonely process, one made much easier through collaboration and cooperation. We are about to embark on that process together, through a brand-new free educational video series: Roasting Concepts. In this progressive collection of short instructional videos, we will dive in to the three main elements that are in play for the coffee roaster: the seed itself, the machine, and the taste. Joe Marrocco is your guide not simply through those three invaluable subjects, but also the relationships among them all as well.
Our goal with every educational resource we provide is not to prescribe “right” or “wrong” approaches to buying, roasting, and tasting coffee, but even more significantly to empower you with knowledge that will propel you on your own journey. Our goal with this series of videos is to describe what exactly is happening in the coffee roasting process, and to help you optimize your quality by connecting the conceptual dots between your roasting machine, the coffees you choose, and the methods you apply to create the flavor profile you desire in a repeatable, accessible way.
Every day, new coffees move through the doors at Cafe Imports. Each has unique aromas, size, flavor, and shape. Each offers not only a distinct profile, but also potentially myriad distinct possibilities, depending on how the coffees experience the roasting process. How can someone possibly know the specific way to manipulate the heat application in a roasting system so that it carves away the coffee in just the right way to reveal the best qualities locked inside? The level of knowhow needed to accomplish this with ease is daunting, to say the least.
As varied as each coffee is, so to is each roasting machine, each person’s palate for a desired flavor profile, each market, and so many more intricate details a roaster needs to consider. It would be incredibly presumptuous for an instructor to prescribe a specific roasting approach for a specific coffee and hope that it would manifest similar results. This, coupled with every roaster’s individual desired outcomes makes teaching people how to “properly” roast a fool’s errand.
With this video series about coffee-roasting concepts, we hope to open your mind and inspire you to take a closer look at what goes on when you power on your machine and load those beautiful, unique seeds into the hopper. By the time you are through watching and absorbing these videos, you will feel confident in your ability to think critically about coffee roasting, to make improvements to your approach, and, ultimately, to master this age-old culinary craft.
Roasting is a subjective craft, and as yet there is little recorded scientific analysis of coffee roasting, with few hard-and-fast facts, figures, or universal guidelines. (In other words, your mileage may vary.) In order to ensure general accuracy and gain perspective we consulted experts in the field for their feedback and suggestions about the material covered in this series; while the views and opinions presented in Roasting Concepts do not necessarily reflect the views of the panel, we are grateful for their insight and input.
Thanks to Anne Cooper, Nolan Dutton, Ian Fretheim, Rob Hoos, and O.M. Miles for their assistance, contributions, and constructive criticism.