Roasting 101: Dialing in a Coffee Roast Profile

There are several ways one can create and dial in a coffee roast profile for production. After years of working on teams of production roasters, in house roasting expert Mike Romagnino is sharing what has historically worked best for him.

The 5 Steps to Dialing in a Coffee Roast Profile

The next time you’re working on developing a production coffee roast profile, we recommend you follow these five simple steps. This will help you achieve consistency from batch to batch and ensure your team is calibrated in roasting approaches and philosophy.

Step 1. Sample roasts

Step 2. Cup & evaluate your sample roasts

Step 3. Trial production roasts

Step 4. Cup & evaluate your trial production roasts

Step 5. Create & develop a coffee roast profile to use for production

Step 1: Sample Roasts

You have just purchased new green coffees and are excited to release them onto your menu. Some coffees you may have had on your menu in previous years. However, others you may have not and need to develop a roasting profile for them. A terrific way to start is by doing sample roasts of a new coffee. Doing multiple roasts and taking them to different roast levels will give you the opportunity to see what the coffee has to offer. Through this, you will see what different flavors can be brought out and how the coffee reacts while being roasted.

Step 2: Cup & Evaluate your Sample Roasts

We recommend that you cup and evaluate each sample roast side by side. Take notes of what you are tasting, what you liked, didn’t like and why. It always makes for a better experience to cup and taste with multiple people to get their insight and feedback. Once you have finished tasting and discussing the sample roasts, you can then formulate a plan for trial production roasts.

While formulating a plan for your trial production roasts, set goals and parameters for how you would like to approach. When roasting new coffees, we recommend you set a clear process and objectives. For example, in the sample roasts, there may have been certain flavors or pleasant acidity that you want to highlight in the production roasts.

Step 3: Trial Production Roasts

We recommend that you complete at least two trial production roasts at different roast levels. This is so you have some comparison on the cupping table. An effective way to get variance with your batches is to roast to different development times, end temperatures and duration. This will give you different perspectives and flavors to taste through, evaluate and discuss.

Step4 : Cup & Evaluate your Trial Production Roasts

Similar to the sample roasts, you should cup and evaluate your production roasts side by side while recording your and others feedback. If you are pleased with the outcome of your trial roasts, and you can set a profile that can be used to release this coffee onto your menu. If you are not pleased with the outcome of your trial roasts, adjustments and additional trial roasts will need to take place. Did you under develop your roast and need to push it further to bring out more body? Or maybe you overdeveloped your roast and need to pull back to have more crisp acidity up front? Make the adjustments needed at this point so that you can steer the roast into the production coffee roast profile that will work best for you and your customers.

Step 5: Create & Develop a Coffee Roast Profile

Once you have tasted your trial roasts and considered feedback, you can make adjustments that will ultimately become your roast profile. Once the profile is set, it is easier to keep consistency from batch to batch when multiple people are roasting the same coffees.

There are times, however, when you may need to adjust a production coffee roast profile. If a coffee has been on your menu for an extended period and is starting to show age, perhaps it is time to adjust. Or if you received feedback on the roast from new cupping sessions, employees or even customers, perhaps it is time to adjust.

If you need to adjust an existing production coffee roast profile, have no fear! This is something you will likely need to do at some point while a coffee is on your menu. We recommend that you taste your roasts every week so that you can stay on top of the flavor profile. This will also help to ensure that you are producing the cup that you ultimately want.

Your Coffee Roast Profile

Following these steps of roasting and tasting will ensure you and your team are calibrated in your roasting approaches and philosophy. We know that this approach will help you to achieve consistency from batch to batch. As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact us here!