“Small-Batch” Coffee Roasting
October 20, 2015 / Other
Let’s begin by saying that “Small-Batch” coffee roasting in itself doesn’t guarantee exceptional roasted coffee, but if is part of a complete process starting with sourcing great green coffee beans then the results can be outstanding. On the other-hand, large-batch commercial roasting (200 to 300 lbs. per batch) challenges the ability to achieve a consistent roast level within the batch. Because coffee beans take on significant amounts of heat during the roasting process large batches become difficult to control over the period of the roast and after roasting require water quenching to cool the beans to room temperature. Small-batch roasting aims to counter the pitfalls of large-batch roasting allowing for more roaster control during the entire roasting and cooling process. At Shearwater we “Precision Small-Batch” (PSB) roast all our organic coffee beans. Our raw green bean batches are weighed out at 20lbs. each without deviation. Our goal with PSB is to achieve (1) maximum inherent origin flavors and (2) consistent batch-to-batch quality. Maximum inherent origin flavor is achieved by carefully developing a custom roast profile for each varietal of bean we bring into our shop. A unique roast profile for each origin of bean is captured in our Roast Log software and gives us a repeatable process visually displayed as a graph of time, temperature and air-flow. We can modulate the drying phase, the Maillard phase and the development phase to achieve the right balance of body, acidity, sweetness and flavors. We don’t want to over-roast or under-roast the coffee beans. We target a roast that tastes good in the cup without vegetal or grassy flavors from under-roasting or burnt, charred flavors from over-roasting. So all in all, PSB combined with sourcing superior organic beans is a great start to enjoying wonderfully tasteful coffee.
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