Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’m Dave Borton along with…
getting simple. So Joe, I’m going to let you kick us off here.
all of that together into a more simple format. We’ve kind of done the proofs, the work,
and so now we can see the pudding.
about how we would approach a coffee– let’s pretend you have a brand new coffee, your brand
new roaster, just some simple things that you can do to approach that coffee.
with a coffee that may be acting a little weird on you, is go back to the drawing board
on reading that density. So here, Dave has got two brand-spanking-new cylinders, these are great.
very simple. Lets call this my control, and so now this is a 0 grams and I’m gonna see
now that I’ve got a brand new coffee if it’s getting more or less dense. So this is keeping
it super simple and thinking about relative density as opposed to exact density. So the relative
density here for this new coffee, which is an Ethiopia Yirgacheffe that is washed, I’m
seeing that this is 18 grams heavier at the same amount of volume. So what that tells me is
that this is a more dense coffee. Okay. Now there are some other things you want to take into
consideration, for instance this Pacamara is a larger bean whereas Ethiopia is a smaller
bean, so it may be a good idea to kind of counterbalance that by saying, “since this Pacamara is less
dense but larger, maybe this more dense but smaller seed should start kind of similar
and then that can be your initial hypothesis. So every time you get a new coffee, you want to
develop a hypothesis of how you think it’s going to react in your drum.
absorb energy into the core of the seed. We want to have nice equal absorption from the outside of the coffee to the middle of the coffee, so then we have equal release of water. And
then once we have that happen, then we can move it through our chain of flavor creating reactions.
heating it too quickly, if we try too heat a dense coffee too quickly, that moisture stays in the core and then we’re going to skip over some of our reaction periods later in the roast because pressure builds up in the coffee, it holds on to moisture and that moisture will prevent the maillard
reaction and caramelization.
that at the end of endothermic that bean has some energy that can be shared among the rest of the roast?
is a low efficiency but high absorption kind of heating, and that will allow your coffee
seed to touch the drum, carry that energy from the drum to another coffee seed. And then,
once you move through that endothermic reaction into exothermic reaction you’re shifting the
way that you were heating that coffee. So, our thought on that is that then you want more airflow, okay. So that, that higher level of airflow is convective heating, which is more efficient. It’s too efficient to use in the beginning of your roast because it’ll heat the outside and then your core will
not be hot. But that high efficiency later in the roast will allow that heat to penetrate
to the core even still, and create all of those nice flavors.
when you put that coffee in, the first thing you need to determine is what your initial
charge temperature is going to be. If you have a really dense coffee, your charge temperature needs to be higher. If you have a really low dense coffee, your charge temperature needs to be lower, okay. So let’s pretend we have a really dense coffee, we’re going to drop it in at a
higher temperature. That dense coffee is now going to absorb through your conductive heating energy from the drum, and that energy from the drum is going to pull that coffee up, okay. Whereas, if you charge a low dense coffee with that kind of heating, you probably are going to see something a little bit more like this. Okay. We like to see a little lower charge temp. on a low dense coffee. So then, you can kind of regulate how quickly those coffees are going to begin to take off. Once you see that yellow point, at that point is when you’re going to make a determination as to how you want to move through the flavored development stage, which if you remember one of our former videos, I call pre-first development and post-first development. First crack just being an incidental step along the way, that you can mark so that you can go back to it for confirmation that
you’re roasting that coffee the same way. But this is developing flavor in the pre-roast
development section, and then post– I’m sorry– pre-first development section and then post-first development section. So then, if you have a really dense coffee, you’re going to make determinations as to what flavors you want out of that coffee by roasting it a few different ways. Same thing with a low density coffee. My recommendation to you when you get a brand-new coffee–
roast, do a medium roast, and do a slower roast. If the slower roast is the one that you think
is the best, then next time you get that coffee do an even slower roast.
board here, and you know that this is now going to probably be close to a new profile and
then you can start just tweaking on this in little amounts.
time or temperature because my roaster is probably going to be very different than your roaster or my probe placement is maybe going to be a little bit different than your probe
placement, and there are a lot of things that vary from one roaster to another roaster.
For instance, if you on a Behmor, maybe some of this doesn’t even make sense. If you’re
on a Probat UG-22, that’s going to be very different than if you’re on a Diedrich IR-12, or something of that nature.
to know my roaster and learn what differences would come about by taking it three different ways.
only things that you can take away are if I am going to heat something very quickly
in the first part of the roast and then very slowly in the second part of the roast, that
probably is going to correlate pretty well to whatever equipment you’re on. But if I’m taking it– if I’m putting the charge in at 420, that may correlate to your machine as 385, it may correlate to your machine as a totally different temperature all together.
charge that roast until the time that coffee turns yellow and if I’m talking about the
second stage of the roast, I’m going to talk about from yellow, all the way through to the end. Now there are cases where you may want to see a little bit faster curve through here.
So maybe a little bit of a bump and then slow down. Or, there may be other times where you want
to see this kind of drag and then, maybe not speed up too much, but continue at a faster pace. Okay. So all of those things just are going to come through trial and error, unfortunately. There’s no, unfortunately, there’s no set in stone way to roast a particular coffee except for on your machine, in so I can designate to you, or I can’t dictate to you I think you
should charge that higher, or I think you should you know a roast it faster without tasting
it or without being there with you while you’re roasting that coffee. So really comes down
to your personal tastes and this is where it’s important to understand the principle
of that 10,000 hours of practice thing. You’re not going to jump in and on roast number 3
on a new machine have the perfect roast. You know? We still, especially Dave, struggle from
time to time whenever we are roasting to, you know– we’ll weigh out the density, we’ll check the coffee, we’ll follow the roast, we’ll smell it while it’s roasting, we’ll think that everything is on, and then we get the coffee or we’re just like, “Oh. It’s kind of flat, it’s not what we expected.” And, our first tendency is to blame ourselves, our second tendency is to blame the coffee. We really just need to step back and try something very different and look and see if that makes an improvement
or if that makes it worse and then continue to develop that coffee.
coffee. And in our specialty coffee world, a lot of times we think that if it’s not perfect, we can’t sell that coffee. And I want to encourage you that to your customer base, the difference that you’re getting when you’re cupping and you’re really myopically focused is not going to
matter that much, okay. So this, like all things– you’ve seen you do this before, is a bell curve. Okay. So your level of acceptability is probably going to be a lot higher than your customers level of acceptability. Let’s say this is 86 points to you but your customer, you know, this may be 86 points to them. Their tolerance level for your adjustments that you’re making on that coffee are going to be greater than you anticipate.
target always because your coffee’s changing, your roaster settings might be a little
bit different from one day to another, you might have colder coffee, you might have
more, you know, barometric pressure in the air. There are going to be subtle differences. So this is kind of a pendulum and if you’re willing to extend yourself out to these broad spectrum, you know, experimentations on your machine, then you’re going to have a much broader understanding of what that coffee is capable of, and so you’re going to have a more likely ability to hit that coffee. And that’s
what I mean by up here, doing a small roast… I mean a fast roast and doing a slow roast is really kind of like hitting on both ends of this bell curve, so
then you can see: is this better than this? And if this is better than this, then it could
be that actually on this particular roast I may be here, thinking that I’m here but really, now I have more room, I’m narrowing in so I know, I know that this is not good so now all I have to do is worry about this part of the bell curve. So then you can come back this way and
do something kind of in the middle, so then you not, you know, constantly– what I see a lot of roasters do, let me get frank with you, what I see a lot of roasts to do is they’ll
roast a coffee and they’ll think that that’s the curve they’re supposed to roast at.
And then they’ll make one tiny little adjustment, a little longer, and maybe it improves a little. So, then the next time they come back and they make one more tiny little adjustment, and so every single time they roast is a little bit different, and a little bit different and then since they’re doing this so often, they never really know if maybe this was going to be better or maybe this is going to be better. But, if you go to the extremes first– thank you– if you go to the extremes first, then you know this will not work, this is working better, and then you can go to another extreme and then you can narrow that down. Now, that being said it is important that when you were picking the variables to work with on this, that if you’re going to say, “I
want a fast roast,” but then you keep the air flow, you keep– you know– your base charge weight, you keep your charge temperature…you keep as many things as you can constant, and then change one thing to make an exaggerated change in roast. So then, if that thing does not work you can go back and say that one thing did not work, so now I’m going to make another extreme change and then go back to the drawing board.
that all with gas?
are working on a Probat and you open up the airflow all the way, it pulls the energy into the drum, so on some roasters your airflow is going to be a throttle and on other roasters it’s going
to be breaks. So it really depends on the style roaster, and that’s why it’s going to
come back to trial and error, understanding your machine, understanding the coffee and then learning how to taste those coffees, okay. However, that being said I did want to give you guys a fun little tip that may be helpful, okay. I’m gonna flip this–
left part of their drum, that could also function as this. That temperature is going to be kind of, maybe above your drum temperature or maybe– it’s defintely going to be higher than your bean temperature, okay, because this is an energy delivery system, okay. So if that temperature’s up here, you drop your coffee in–
a little bit because you’re bean temp is cool and it’s pulling energy away from that delivery source of energy. So now, the air coming out of your drum is going to be cooler than it was
before you had coffee in the drum. If you can get this temperature to a certain set
point and maintain that throughout your roast, you can use that to control the speed at which your coffee is going to develop. It’s a really cool trick.
at home, but that says 410. Okay, so you want to finish this at 410 degrees. If you have your
air temperature stall out at 405, then it’s going to take a very long time, and possibly
will never occur, that your coffee will finish your 410, because this needs to be a higher
temp in order to pull this coffee temperature up. However, if you stall this out at 4:25, now all of a sudden it has more energy than what you need your coffee to finish at, and so this is going to come to meet the temperature at a faster pace, affecting your rate of rise. So, this is a really cool tip, there are a lot of roasters out there that will simply find, like, one of
their the easiest tools are an asset to them, is simply finding a exhaust temperature that works for a particular coffee, and then if they if they keep at 425 they know that by
the time they’re hitting first crack that it, for this roast, first crack is going to
come in at whatever, 9 degrees per 30 seconds, and it’s going to finish in another minute and a half, or whatever the case may be. They know that this is setting the pace for their
of gas. So as you add more gas to you roast, this temperature will go up, and as you add less gas to your roast this temperature will go down, so then once they hit that temperature, then they can start adjusting their gas down slowly to maintain that temperature so that temperature doesn’t continue to rise. If they see that exhaust start to drop down, they know I need to hit
it with a little bit more gas to keep that exhaust up, if they see the exhaust start to
go up, they know that they can pull that gas down again. So they’re kind of hovering that exhaust temperature as they go throughout time in order to make sure that this bean
temperature doesn’t get out of control. This goes back to something I talk about early
in another video, the horse and buggy effect. So if you have your coffee–
this is your coffee, this is a thing, and this is a thing they were wanting to change, right? We’re wanting to change the state of this thing. Well, it’s the same thing as wanting to move from A to B in a car, or in a buggy. So here, we’re going to pretend like our coffee is a buggy, okay. And I’m not going to attempt to draw a horse, we’re just going to say that this is a horse. So
this is your horse,
pulling your buggy, right? And the speed at which your horse goes is eventually going to be the speed at which your buggy is going to go. But, let’s say that this line between the two is elastic.
So your horse takes off down the road and then enough energy builds up to where then it starts pulling the cart, okay. That’s the way this works. Your horse is your exhaust, and its way up here.
It’s leading the charge, and then all the sudden your coffee is going to snap back because,
it’s almost like on a rubber band– it’s going to snap– and depending on the difference between these two temperatures is going to determine how quickly your coffee temperature is going to snap back. If you have a lot more energy up here, then it’s going to pull very quickly
once it starts to move. If you have low energy up here, then it’s going to pull very slowly. So that
harkening back to one of her earlier videos is why I called this and elastic relationship between you’re bean temperature and your environment that bean is in or that environment
including your exhaust temperature and you your drum temperature, which we don’t have a
thermometer to read. So, that’s why we look at the exhaust very carefully.
turning point shows me.
roast taste the same as it did the day before, and then all the sudden you see a different
turning point– that’s when it matters.
part of that energy, let’s say there’s a lot of cast-iron involved or a lot of rolled steel,
so I’m thinking an old, any of your really old machines or a Diedrich machine…these really heavy metal machines, that turning point is going to be late and it’s going to be shallow because
there’s more metal and more stuff that is not coffee that is registering on your data
instrument, which is your thermocouple. However, if you have really fast machine that is more,
more coffee to metal in that equation, and you have a really sensitive probe– let’s say like a Loring machine or even if you’re doing, if you’re maybe over batching for some reason or doing a full batch and typically you do a lower than full batch– all the sudden you’re going to see that turning point be very different because your coffee is pulling more weight, okay. So, then the equation of when your coffee and machine are equivalent to your temperature probe is going to be weighed more in the coffee’s favor, and your coffee is cooler when it goes
into the drum, you know, so then that’s going going to weigh it, you know, down into this quadrant more.
and focus on one thing at a time, while at the same time keeping a very practical idea
of what is possible– what are your capabilities at any given time. And not to be self-deprecating at all, but to be realistic. So, if you are buying a Geisha that is $300 a pound and you think that in 3 roasts on this new machine that you’re super excited about that you’re going to nail that Geisha, chances are that you’re going to be very, very sad and broken hearted…
margin of error and you have a lot more room for failure, in a way that shows you something good. Because, if you roast something that is just like this outlandish coffee subtly wrong, you’re going to be disappointed. If you roast it– if you have an 86 point coffee and you roast
it subtly wrong, it’s probably still going to be very solid and very good and then you’re also going to be able to afford a lot more of that coffee so that you can practice and practice and
not feel this weight of, “I’ve got a maximize the value of this purchase on my first 10
roasts or else it’s not worth it.” So getting practical coffees and then finding ways and you can simplify. And by that I mean, don”t sit there and play with airflow, gas pressure, drum speed, all
of these variables and, you know, the first 10 roasts that you do you should be focused on one thing. So maybe throw out the airflow thing altogether, just keep it open and have
fun with your coffee.
on gas now that understand that, I’m gonna make sure that I’m at, you know, a 100% gas, and then 50% gas, and then 20% gas on 10 roasts in a row at these certain times and now I’m
only going to play with airflow, and I’m only going to pay attention to that and I’m going
see how that tastes over 10 roasts. So get to know your roaster, and do that with one coffee and that one coffee, you will explore and it will not be boring to you even if it’s a 84 point
coffee. It will not be boring to you because you’re going on a path of learning. And taste this with other people, make sure that you’re not an island. Don’t take advice from somebody online wants to critique your curve only, take advice from people that are tasting, and take that advice as input and not necessarily gospel.
score to the low score in a cupping, if we have a division in our cupping lab, that’s scratched
and we re-cup that coffee with a new panel and then we will continue to re-cup that until our team is calibrated on that coffee. Even if it take 6 times around, we will continue.
kind of capital investment, we have home can certainly find two or three others that can help
us with our $100 and $200 purchases.
well. If you get focused on only the blemishes you’re never going to find joy in roasting coffee, because there’s always going to be something that you can improve, but if you can start
finding joy in the things that you’re doing well and in the way that that coffee is expressing itself, at whatever roast you did, be it a good roast or a bad roast or whatever, then you’re
going to begin to enjoy roasting in a whole new way and you’ll be roasting 10 years from now.
And I’ll lend my 2 cents if Joe permits me. So with that we’re going to send it off. Matt,
thank you for running the boards, we’ll keep playing with lights. Joe, good to have you as always.