Finding unique, high quality coffees is a never-ending quest for us. Our ultimate goal is to purchase 80-90% of our coffees directly from farmers. Every coffee we buy must be chosen through a meticulous selection process. An inspection of the unroasted (green) beans is done to check for any visible defect such as insect damage, black beans, sour beans, broken beans or foreign matter. This rules out a lot of coffees - upwards of 80% of the worlds coffees are poor quality and exhibit all sorts of defects that would never make the cut for us. If the sample passes this first test we will lightly roast 100 grams of it in our sample roaster. Then we will cup this sample according to SCAA cupping protocols. The purpose of cupping is to test for quality and flavour. We score all samples using SCAA cupping forms and on the cupping app Catador. If a coffee meets all our criteria (free of defects, & has good acidity, body, balance and sweetness) and scores high enough, we will consider purchasing it.
We get asked the question “what style do you roast your coffee” quite often.
We roast with the end goal of unlocking all of each coffee's full potential. Each coffee is unique in it’s own way. Different varietals of coffee, growing regions, growing conditions, bean densities & moisture content all contribute different taste character to a coffee and require different roasting profiles.
Using a piece of roasting software called Cropster, we record every single batch of coffee that we roast on our Loring SmartRoaster. We use this collection of roast profiles a bit like a recipe book for coffee. When a new coffee arrives to us we first do a bit of homework to figure out a good initial recipe/profile to use on this coffee. We measure the moisture content and density, then check the bean varietal, growing conditions and elevation, and then search our recipe book for a coffee that we’ve previously roasted that is similar to this new coffee. We will roast the coffee then cup/taste it and discuss how we can tweak the roast profile to hit the bulls eye on it and fully develop it to its full potential.