Scott Rao Companion Book Introduction? “Roasting coffee has traditionally been regarded as a black craft (the translation of Li Lan’s phrase in Harry Potter is a little absurd).” Despite the fact that roasting has been practiced for hundreds of years, no texts on the laws or science of roasting exist.
“Roasting coffee has traditionally been regarded as a black craft (the translation of Li Lan’s phrase in Harry Potter is a little absurd).” Despite the fact that roasting has been practiced for hundreds of years, no texts on the laws or science of roasting exist. Roasters study their skill under the supervision of an experienced and capable roaster to the best of their ability. Young roasters, on the other hand, are more likely to learn through trial and error, roasting and tasting innumerable roasts and establishing a system based on folklore and erroneous logic.
I lost myself in the trial and error process for the first ten years of my coffee roasting career, and while I had some success, it was often the “two steps ahead, one step back” kind of thing. I was anxious for a rational foundation for my cf roasting views, one of which is supported by “blind taste tests” and is applicable to all GB and roasters.
I’ve had the good opportunity to work as a consultant for several roasters after owning two roasting firms. I’ve had the chance to utilize a variety of roasters and see a variety of roasting and tasting techniques as a result of it. I spend a lot of time studying roast data as part of my consulting work, trying to assist companies to quantify their best practices. I began to notice a pattern in the data from uncommon and great roasts around 6 years ago, and these patterns are the foundation of the system I offer in this book.
I’m not claiming to know all of the answers or even the majority of them. Despite my ignorance, I provide suggestions in this book to kick off a long-overdue discussion about “how the system works.” Simply asserting that cf should be subjected to an evidence-based, objective, and methodical approach would infuriate some cf professionals. Many roasters claim that their unique sense of roasting produces excellent cf. However, new technological advancements have improved our capacity to assess “roast development” and consistency, which are often the outputs of (naive) intuitive roasters.
Roasters now have sophisticated new tools for recording and measuring results, thanks to the introduction of data logging software and the coffee refractometer, making the process more predictable and reliable. I admit that I miss the romance of making a series of manual adjustments while roasting, frantically scribbling notes in the notebook, and switching back and forth 50 times between the machine and the notebook. The visceral thrill of seeing changes in roast characteristics on a computer display is lacking compared to the traditional way. I don’t roast for fun; instead, I strive to provide the best flavor to my clientele. I am grateful for the benefits on the rare occasions that I allow myself to sit quietly and sip my coffee.
This book is a must-read for any roaster, whether a novice or a seasoned pro. For the sake of achieving my aim, I’ll concentrate on roasting cf specility in a roasting cage every 8-16 minutes. I’ll talk about continuous roasters, high-yield roasters, fluid-bed roasters, and other roasting technologies in most of them. I, on the other hand, rarely refer to such roasters.
I’d like the reader to read the complete book rather than just the “how” chapter. My past book experience has taught me that readers pick a few interesting passages and then become underwhelmed. Some ideas are misunderstood as a result of large math. In the glossary at the conclusion of the book, I’ve italicized several uncommon but potentially useful terms and definitions.