Roasting For Complexity/Depth?

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
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brettpavia

Postby brettpavia » Sep 12, 2018, 11:46 am

My typical roasting preference Is to showcase the unique to the origin flavor notes, by applying advanced roast profiles to develop the fruit or earthy flavor notes. Starting to wonder if there are advanced roast profiles for producing a flavor profile for complexity/depth.

Let's asume that we are working with green coffee that has complexity potential, because when we did our unassisted sample roasting for cupping we could taste the complexity. Are there roast profiles to apply to either make that coffee more complex or less complex, while keeping it in the medium roast profile range? If so, what do these roast profiles look like?

Is there a way to map our the complexity range of a given coffee? In other words, if complexity is the goal can we measure how well or poorly we made that goal?

While I know how to map out the fruity (lighter) and earthy (darker) flavor profile range and what roast profiles to use to do this, I have no idea how to do this same thing with medium roast coffees.

Does it take expert skills to produce a complex flavor profile, as it does with the higher quality fruit/earthy profiles, or is hitting unassisted the sample roasting profile good enough?

Here is a more challenging question, when does the bean reach its full potential? At sample roasting spec or when the unique to the origin flavor notes are showcased?

Any advise would be helpful!
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drgary
Team HB

Postby drgary » Sep 13, 2018, 2:04 am

Brett,

Rob Hoos's book answers your question specifically and for different stages of the roast. The longer you go in each stage (drying, maillard, development) the more complexity you have, but in different stages you sacrifice other characteristics if you extend it too much. So in maillard, for instance, you would get greater complexity, heavier body, but reduced clarity.

The book is Modulating the flavor profile of coffee: A roaster's manifesto.
Gary
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brettpavia

Postby brettpavia » Sep 13, 2018, 6:56 am

Here I am not necessarily thinking about using the roast level as a means to increase or decrease complexity.

Clearly if I push the roast faster to produce a lighter and brighter fruit-forward flavor profile or longer and darker to produce an earthy note filled cup, I am working within each of those categories. For sure I can manulate the flavor profile within the lighter and darker flavor profiles by adjusting the roast profile. In these two catigories it's easy to roast for more complexity.

However, what I am asking here is in the medium roast catigogy is it possible to roast for simplicity or complexity? In this case, unlike the lighter and darker profiles, sorting or lengthening the roast is not a technique when can use shape the flavor profile... assuming the goal is to stay within the body-note forward flavor profile range.

So I am asking about an adjustment in the roast profile that does not have to do mainly to the length of time.

Let's asusme that one keeps the roast at the same agtron number. Is it possible to make a simple or complex flavor profilefrom a bean that has potential for complexity? If so, what do the different roast profiles look like and what is the range of complexity for that bean? Bean complexity range, can it be mapped?
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Almico

Postby Almico » Sep 13, 2018, 8:24 am

brettpavia wrote:Let's asusme that one keeps the roast at the same agtron number. Is it possible to make a simple or complex flavor profilefrom a bean that has potential for complexity? If so, what do the different roast profiles look like and what is the range of complexity for that bean? Bean complexity range, can it be mapped?


Your question is too complex.

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drgary
Team HB

Postby drgary » Sep 13, 2018, 11:34 am

I am saying that you can adjust your profile at different stages so that you can come to a balance that works for the coffee you're roasting at the level of roast you're seeking. I pointed you toward Rob's book because he correlates such adjustments with changes in flavor, mouthfeel, body, and complexity.
Gary
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brettpavia

Postby brettpavia » Sep 13, 2018, 11:36 am

This is not a complex question, although it is a complex issue.

- Let's say we have a coffee that has potential for flavor note complexity, can we medium roast it in such a way that gives it a flat flavor profile?

- With the same coffee can we medium roast it in such at way to maximize the flavor note profile?
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brettpavia

Postby brettpavia » Sep 13, 2018, 11:41 am

drgary wrote:I am saying that you can adjust your profile at different stages so that you can come to a balance that works for the coffee you're roasting at the level of roast you're seeking. I pointed you toward Rob's book because he correlates such adjustments with changes in flavor, mouthfeel, body, and complexity.


Right but in his books he talks only of changing the flavor profile category based on time. I am talking about changing the flavor note complexity within flavor note complexity category, particularly the medium roast level.
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drgary
Team HB

Postby drgary » Sep 13, 2018, 11:49 am

Yes, you're trying to adjust the profile within the medium roast level of development. I'm saying this is nuanced and that much depends on the coffee you're roasting and you would treat different coffees differently at different stages. Defining what is a medium roast level is well established. You asked in your original post whether hitting a sample medium roast profile is sufficient. I'm saying no, you have to dial in your profile for that coffee at the medium roast you're targeting.
Gary
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What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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brettpavia

Postby brettpavia » replying to drgary » Sep 13, 2018, 1:50 pm

Right, I'm agreeing with you.

So besides using time and/or changing the roast level, how does one manipulate the complexity level in medium roasted coffees?
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Marcelnl

Postby Marcelnl » Sep 13, 2018, 2:49 pm

brettpavia wrote:My typical roasting preference Is to showcase the unique to the origin flavor notes, by applying advanced roast profiles to develop the fruit or earthy flavor notes. Starting to wonder if there are advanced roast profiles for producing a flavor profile for complexity/depth.


Here is a more challenging question, when does the bean reach its full potential? At sample roasting spec or when the unique to the origin flavor notes are showcased?

Any advise would be helpful!


Interesting question, not considering myself an expert (by far) my question is; How would one determine the origin flavor notes if not through cupping?
If there is an answer to the how to I;d expect that there is a lead for how to reproduce/enhance parts of those during roasting. So far my understanding is what is already described here, enhancing one note (or set of notes) has repercussions on other aspects.
With my limited understanding I'd say that medium roasts are a good middle ground keeping many flavors that would be gone by the time a roast is getting dark whereas a light roast has even more single flavors but at the risk of acidity.
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