2 comments on “The Buck Stops Here…

  1. I would tend to agree with you. But of course, this all depends on the type of coffee shop. If we’re talking specialty, third wave, or whatever you want to call it…there are certain fundamental principles that can’t be compromised. Roast is probably one of them. I’m not talking about small differences in roast profiles, but certainly “dark” roasted (to the point of oil breaking out or just before it) usually isn’t a compromise specialty roasters would ever want to make just to appease a certain customer base. Those customers aren’t for specialty if that’s what they prefer. There are a million other places they could go to for that. We have to be honest for now and admit that in most towns around America, specialty is not for everyone. And, thank goodness it isn’t…because I sure as hell couldn’t afford my coffee if demand was that high.

    • Small differences in roast profile are acceptable – that’s the artisan part of the roasting profession. I know roasters are trying their best to achieve consistency from roast to roast. However, I keep seeing oily, greasy beans from well-meaning roasters. These roasters are sourcing decent beans, from importers like Sweet Marias, Brasc, or Cafe Imports. But it makes me cry inside when I can’t distinguish the distinctive flavor notes of an Ethiopia Sidama, or a Tanzanian Peaberry, simply because all you can taste anymore is smoke and carbonized coffee bean. I’ve even had an UNDER-ROASTED coffee that was equally disturbing, a coffee that had received 94 points from Coffee Review. Personally, I think that bag of coffee was a fluke. The other coffees I had from that roaster were great.

      My point is this: If you’re going to sink money into a commercial roaster, you should at least get some training on how to build a proper roast profile for a given coffee. Do some trial roasts, some cuppings. Try coffees from other roasters and learn from their successes and mistakes. But stop perpetuating the “Charbucks” coffee roasting model.

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