The entire 4-day event revolved around specialty coffee roasting, a science and an art that combine the palate of a master chef with the precision of a jet pilot. Subtle changes in roast time, airflow, heat application, and temperature will have dramatic effect on the experience of a coffee in the cup. Thirty seconds difference in time or 5 degrees of roast temperature could render a potentially stunning coffee flat and lifeless. Achieving the perfect roast for a particular coffee (every coffee’s optimal roast is different) is of no value, however, unless that roast can be precisely repeated again and again for the customer. The process of mapping the progress of each roast in real time is known as profiling, pioneered by Carl Diedrich 30 years ago and embraced by the industry in the last decade.
In-depth presentations covered Organic Acids and the chemistry of roasting, Thermodynamics of roasting, green coffee storage and shipment, green coffee preparation experiments, and espresso blending. The Competition divided the group into 15 teams each given 25 pounds of an excellent El Salvador green coffee. Each team had to submit their best 2lb example from each of their three assigned machines (Diedrich, Ambex, U.S. Roasters, and Probat were provided) for judging. Ted’s team, the Hall of Flamers, won best over all in points. The team also won best individual roast on both the Diedrich and Probat machines, both roasts piloted by Ted.
The Roasters Guild and the retreat are an example of the ongoing commitment that Kean Coffee and other members of the specialty coffee industry have made to find and deliver the highest quality coffee from around the world to your home. Way to go Ted!