Latest Posts

  1. A Look at  Flores Manu Lalu as Espresso

    A Look at Flores Manu Lalu as Espresso

    Wet process Flores makes fantastic single origin espresso. Have a look at our cupping notes.

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  2. Behmor Espresso Roast Profile: Peru FTO Don Rigoberto

    Behmor Espresso Roast Profile: Peru FTO Don Rigoberto

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  3. Sumatra: Arabica Varieties in Aceh

    Sumatra: Arabica Varieties in Aceh

    This is a list of coffee varieties / cultivars found in Aceh and more broadly in Sumatra, Indonesia

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  4. Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    Sumatra: Stories About Aceh, With Pictures

    A Sumatra travelogue in photographs, focused on Aceh area around Lake Tawar and Takengon town

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  5. Sumatra: Some Things I Have Learned About Aceh, Perhaps.

    Sumatra: Some Things I Have Learned About Aceh, Perhaps.

    Thoughts on Acehnese coffee and the trading system here, written from Banda Aceh, October 2019.

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  6. Organic Certification and Green Coffee

    Organic Certification and Green Coffee

    An inside look at Fair Trade and Organic Certifications

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  7. Not Another Fruit Cake! (and what to do about holiday blending?)

    Not Another Fruit Cake! (and what to do about holiday blending?)

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  8. Sumatran Coffee: Grading and Appearance

    Sumatran Coffee: Grading and Appearance

    The appearance of green coffee from Indonesia can be jarring, especially if you’re used to washed beans from Africa or Central America. Why, many ask, does a Grade 1 Sumatra lack uniformity of color and/or bean size?

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  9. The Return of Ethiopiques

    The Return of Ethiopiques

    Along with the slew of incoming fresh Ethiopian coffee comes the return of our always popular Ethiopiques blend.

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  10. Behmor Roast Profile: Burundi Kayanza Gahahe

    Behmor Roast Profile: Burundi Kayanza Gahahe

    Taking the "light and bright" approach to roasting Burundi Gahahe on the Behmor 1600+

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  11. Quick Guide to our Rwanda and Burundi Coffee Sale!

    Quick Guide to our Rwanda and Burundi Coffee Sale!

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  12. Roasting Different Batch Sizes of Burundi on the Behmor 1600+

    Roasting Different Batch Sizes of Burundi on the Behmor 1600+

    What happens when you roast a coffee to the same roast level but at different rates of development?

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Day after Day Job Part 2

Day after Day Job Part 2

Our Weekly Series on Homeroasters Turning Pro

Part 2: Go For The Green

Coffee is wonderfully appealing for a number of reasons; that is, there is no one thing that makes a coffee great. There are several characteristics by which specialty coffee is judged: fragrance, flavor, sweetness, body, acidity, etc. Even commercial-grade coffee, which is a step below specialty-grade, is evaluated for sweetness and cleanliness, as well as taints and defects which are noted as either present or not.

While I don’t agree that evaluating those characteristics should simply be pass or fail, it does speak to an important point; good coffee has sweetness, is a relatively clean cup, and is free of defects. In fact, learning to identify defects could be the number one best thing you do in starting a roasting operation. There are obvious defects such as mold, and off- or over-fermentation, but then there are also the more subtle defects such as age.

Age, or past-crop, is one of the most important defects to identify. This is actually the loss of organic material; it is tired and sad coffee. Its predominant characteristic is a woody or papery taste. This happens when many of the compounds that impart a coffee’s flavor and other characteristics have broken down, either with age or improper storage, and all that’s left to dissolve in the brew is the cellulose of the seed itself.

Don’t cut corners and costs on your green coffee. That doesn’t mean to go out and buy the most expensive coffee out there, but put the effort into finding coffees that are fresh, clean, sweet, and free of defects. You’ve been buying coffee for some time and you know what you like, but now you need to start buying on a production scale and taking things like price and usage into deeper consideration. Usage and inventory management is crucial.

Don’t buy too many coffees. Have some variety but keep it manageable, a couple coffees that you feel confident in and that you can also use together in blends if you choose. Blending seems like a lost art lately; there is so much potential in it and it can be a great way to create coffees that are unique. Great coffee is readily available to everyone, so it’s important for you to do something special with it. Your whole business shouldn’t just be centered around the idea that you buy really nice coffees. You also add value to the coffee. Stay tuned for next Friday's installment about roasting- "The Heat is On."

 

-Christopher Schooley

Christopher Schooley is a coffee roaster who works for Sweet Maria’s and our CoffeeShrub project, and has served as the chair of the Roasters Guild Executive Council and has worked for the SCAA.

 

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