Latest Posts

  1. Behmor Espresso Roast Profile: Peru FTO Don Rigoberto

    Behmor Espresso Roast Profile: Peru FTO Don Rigoberto

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. Organic Certification and Green Coffee

    Organic Certification and Green Coffee

    An inside look at Fair Trade and Organic Certifications

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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. Quick Guide to our Rwanda and Burundi Coffee Sale!

    Quick Guide to our Rwanda and Burundi Coffee Sale!

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  11. 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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  12. Behmor Roast Profile: Burundi Kayanza Dusangirijambo Coop

    Behmor Roast Profile: Burundi Kayanza Dusangirijambo Coop

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Talkin' bout Roasting with Vajra Rich, Boxcar Coffee Roasters 

Talkin' bout Roasting with Vajra Rich, Boxcar Coffee Roasters 
(07/02/13)

Vajra Rich at Boxcar Coffee Roasters in Boulder, CO. is one of my favorite roasters to talk to about roasting. With extensive roasting experience and having fiddled around and fixing up various roasting equipment as well as work in the lab with Paul Songer and a background in woodworking and meditative archery, there's an incredibly unique perspective he brings to how he looks at coffees and how he tries to actualize their potential. Vajra has picked up a number of different Indonesian offerings from us over the years and I've always been really excited with what he's done with them.

The last time I visited the Boxcar shop in Boulder that he and his wife opened a few years ago I noticed they were using their unique space cowboy coffee brewing method with the Sumatra Lintong - Opung BR - and was anxious to try some and talk with him about his approach to it.

This is a coffee that I feel represents what people are familiar with from the Lintong region with the herbaceous qualities, but the mouthfeel is much silkier and the sweetness of the coffee is really the star. I feel like this is a roaster's coffee, like a comedian's comedian, where there's a lot of possibilities with how you can approach it. I feel like because these tend to be "bigger" coffees that roasters don't try to finesse them to unlock some of the subtler qualities of the bean.

CS: What made you select this coffee and what do you like most about it?

Vajra Rich: I decided that this would be a good coffee to buy because I assumed that being a clean prep, it would be more representative of the region than the usual funky stuff. I also thought good clean Indonesian coffee has a broader appeal than let's say African coffee.

CS: What was your approach to roasting this coffee, does it differ from the way you approach other coffees?

VR: My approach to roasting this coffee at first was to use a high charge and a high flame. Without using a moisture meter I could tell it was full of moisture so I assumed it needed much heat. And it did!

CS: We chatted a bit about developing these coffees in some different ways, to push the sweetness a little more and to help take the edge out of the herbaceousness.

VR: After chatting about it with you I could see the benefit of a little longer drying stage. So the profile I'm working with now seems good for at least up until FC. Once FC starts it seems like one could make many choices and the coffee could be shaped as the roaster sees fit. I really wanted to bring out that super brown sugar molasses quality to enhance the body and at the same time preserve the herbaceousness.

Sumatra Lintong - Opung BRSumatra Lintong - Opung BR