Roasting dark: 'S' curve vs constant declining RoR? - Page 4

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

#31: Post by Milligan »

Capuchin Monk wrote:I thought espresso is always blended. I guess some people do single origin for espresso... :?:
I love a good SO espresso. They seem a bit harder to dial in, in general, than a tailored espresso blend that has been tuned by the roaster to be forgiving.

Most tasting the dark roasts in my orbit comment on liking the syrupy body, chocolate, and nut flavors. This tapers off quickly when it gets too dark as you lose body and take on smoke flavors. I honestly haven't come across anyone that favors the smokey flavor when also presented with lower roast levels.

Something that has been enjoyable is to cup several dark roasts with friends. Then bring over a bag of Peets dark roast. Everyone is repulsed. I know different strokes for different folks, but I don't know how people drink that stuff daily (a bunch of cream and sugar.)

As for me. I only cup/drink dark roast to be able to roast it. I enjoy a deeper medium at times but nearly everything I drink from filter brew to enjoy is light and for espresso its medium/light.
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Marcelnl
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#32: Post by Marcelnl »

I only roast SO for espresso, yet I may blend them after roasting. IMHO it makes no sense to blend beans with different roast requirements/behaviour before blending, to me the blend before roast approach is similar to driving on all weather tires -mediocre handling year round since they are not great in Summer nor in Winter.
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Almico
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#33: Post by Almico »

luca wrote:Do you tend to select green that inherently has the desired traits for each roast level, or do you offer everything in all roast levels?

...Makes far more sense to me to just start off with green that is inherently more like that.
A big upside to converting a hobby into a business is that you get to earn a living doing something you enjoy very much. The downside is you have to find a new hobby.

I wish nothing more than to have the time to experiment with roasting coffee all day. The possibilities seem endless. But my job as a roaster/retailer and businessman is to establish and maintain a brand, a coherent package of products that the masses can distinguish from the big guys and easily navigate. The line I straddle is between doing it my way, yet still giving people what they think they want.

I carry about 8 coffees in inventory at any given time: Brazil, Colombia, washed Ethiopia, natural Ethiopia, Sumatra, Central (Costa Rica, Guat or El Sal), Kenya and a special (currently Panama Elida). From those I maintain my 5 blends. 2 are light-roasted, 2 are darker and one is a post roast mocha java blend of light Ethiopia natural and darker Sumatra. My "house blend" is 50/50 Colombia/Brazil that I offer light as well as a darker version, otherwise I do not offer the same coffee roasted light and dark, nor do I market coffee that way. Too confusing.

The coffees I roast darker (Agtron 50) are the low density, low acid Brazil and Sumatra. The rest are high elevation coffees selected for body, sweetness and acidity (in that order) and roasted lighter (Agtron 70ish). I do not believe in roasting body into a coffee. It is a fool's errand as far as I'm concerned. I'm quietly glad other roasters do. It makes my coffee stand out.

I also don't spend a lot of time or effort profiling coffees. I do not try and manipulate the characteristics or flavors of any given coffee using roasting gymnastics. I see my job as a roaster is to select great coffees, roast them to highlight their strengths (light or darker) and in a manner as to remove any roast defects (steadily decline RoR) and keep them as consistent as possible. To that end I have two basic profiles and make the necessary roast plan adjustments to get any particular coffee to fit those profiles. This way it is the coffee inherent qualities that shine through, rather than manipulations of the roast profile. The only "customization" I will do to the lighter roasted coffees is adjust the drop temperature a few degrees one way or the other. Coffee with outstanding acidity I will drop a few degrees sooner, coffees that benefit from more complexity I will let go a bit longer.

I'm not claiming any of this is right or wrong or even by design. It has developed very organically over time and by the seat of my pants. Much of what I do and the way I do it is outside industry convention. Heck, I use lever espresso machines in my coffee bars and everyone knows those can't be as good as those fancy profiling machines. I was even tempted to attend the upcoming Roasters Guild Retreat, then I looked over the education topics and didn't see anything that interested me.
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Almico
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#34: Post by Almico »

Marcelnl wrote:I only roast SO for espresso, yet I may blend them after roasting. IMHO it makes no sense to blend beans with different roast requirements/behaviour before blending, to me the blend before roast approach is similar to driving on all weather tires -mediocre handling year round since they are not great in Summer nor in Winter.
The problem with blending post-roast for espresso is inconsistency in the grind. Mixing a hard, light-roasted coffee with a brittle dark roast wreaks havoc with extractions. I don't care how good your grinder is, it can't handle keeping consistent particle size under these conditions. It might be fine for the home barista, but not in a coffee shop. Baristas would be ripping their hair out.

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mkane
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#35: Post by mkane »

I like Alans roasting plan. Keep it simple, 2 profiles. I find the unit we have needs the dials twisted close to the same way each roast otherwise R0R is inconsistent.

Capuchin Monk

#36: Post by Capuchin Monk »

Almico wrote:The problem with blending post-roast for espresso is inconsistency in the grind. Mixing a hard, light-roasted coffee with a brittle dark roast wreaks havoc with extractions. I don't care how good your grinder is, it can't handle keeping consistent particle size under these conditions. It might be fine for the home barista, but not in a coffee shop. Baristas would be ripping their hair out.
But James Hoffmann does it (3:18). Maybe because the blends are roasted at similar level?

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Almico
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#37: Post by Almico »

Capuchin Monk wrote:But James Hoffmann does it (3:18). Maybe because the blends are roasted at similar level?
JH and I part ways in a few areas. He has made the statement more than once that you cannot run a successful coffee business just selling good coffee. Dave Schomer, the pioneer of latte art, shares that sentiment. You need something else to "entertain" or otherwise incentivize customers.

I disagree and built my entire business on just serving good coffee. I do not advertise or promote my coffee at all and my latte art still sucks. My baristas fool around with it, but I don't incentivize it in the least. My customers are coffee drinkers. They know what they like and recognize it when it hits their lips. In my mind, advertising can get someone in the door, but it will not bring them back. Good coffee will.

FWIW, my doors remained open through 2020 and 2021. 2020, even with a disastrous April when Covid lockdowns first began, I had my best year. 2021 was even better and so far I'm up 22% this year over last.

My business model could be wrong. But if it is, I'm happy to be doing it the wrong way.
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Milligan

#38: Post by Milligan »

*snip, I seem to be bad about going off topic :oops:

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drgary
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#39: Post by drgary »

Let's stay on topic, please.
Gary
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What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

Marcelnl
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#40: Post by Marcelnl »

Indeed Alan, I am not blending vastly different roast levels when I (rarely) do a blend...it's quite similar roast levels of beans that complement each other, or so I like to think :wink:

And from reading your other post it seems I do something very similar to what you do, I select greens based on characteristics I prefer and do not fool around a lot. Recently it dawned upon me that I'm roasting way lighter than I ever thought (drop temps around 207'C, typically around 90sec post FC).
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