In short about
Our primary focus on each roast is ensuring our coffee tastes up to standard on various brewing methods. While we do keep tracking our data as we can use that information to replicate roast, monitoring in the case of a future complaint so we can go back & analyze our data and back it up with our trusty palate.
The critical thing about roasting is understanding about your raw material;
Process - Is it washed, natural, honey? Or any Fermentation? As we are roasting coffee on each process, require different heat application, where washed coffee needs more development than natural or honey due to washed coffee has less sugar during the processing. While honey and natural are processing with the mucilage still intact.
Density - This is a significant factor for us, as we will never use the same approach for 1020 masl Brazilian to 1800 masl Ethiopian coffee, as Brazilian could face the high potential of scorching results in a burnt & bitter taste to your cup. Where a higher altitude coffee is growing with an average temperature 12C - 21C which is best suited to arabica tree, allow for slower maturation mean higher sugar, as well as denser beans, then a lower grown arabica for us altitude is not as important as temperature stability at the farm, which we think higher contribution to the taste then altitude at which coffee is grown.
Batch Size - We always say know your equipment in and out, that is your advantage, with all of the information you can now decide on the batch size. A lot of coffee roaster has its capacity whether it's 1kg to 5kg, while it's a good guideline. However, we have a different approach where we measure volume capacity and mark our green coffee bucket to the roaster max volume capacity, as density proof, the point 5kg of Ethiopian is lesser in volume then 5kg Brazilian.
Roasting Plan - If we are roasting this coffee for the very first time, we will run it on a test roast profile of 11 minutes roast. After the first crack, we start collecting samples based on % of development from 12% - 21%. (which we cupped the next day after coffee has 24hrs rest)
This is what we paid our attention to the most;
Pre-heat - Every time we are going into the roast, the correct energy is everything. By going in with plenty of energy, you will have a perfect momentum from the very beginning, not enough energy means you're facing a high risk of baked or stall your roast.
Soaking - We only recently implementing this into our roast, where we are using energy inside the drum to prepare the bean before going into high energy roast, we usually soaking for the 30s-60s depend on what roast it's during the day.
Maillard - we looking at roasting in stages Maillard is the stage we are building body and sweetness, we are working 800+ aromatic compound at this point.
Development - this is part of the caramelization and development of the roast. this stage is critical to get the right balance of complexity and sweetness.
So why do we make cupping & test brewing coffee the vital part of us?;
It's a fun exercise to calibrate our taste buds, now, and then we do blind cupping this way; we have zero bias towards coffee, and every opinion become objectivity and less subjectivity.
Test brewing is for us to sit back and to try the different recipe see what works best for the coffee or is there something that we can pull out before to send out to you at home or cafes. (which we will do a weekly update so that you can give it a try yourself.)
We are serious about our QC (Quality Control), so if the coffee doesn't perform well or do enough to pass our strict standard it won't pass us. (We are like a firewall for your coffee.)
So that is it, this is our procedure at Black Bear Coffee Roasters. We are not completely fixed to it as we always believe we can still get better at doing things.
I hope you enjoyed our interesting (for some) coffee roasting blog.