I recently participated in a 3-hour workshop on roasting specialty beans conducted by The Tiny Roaster. The workshop was conducted in the roasting studio within The Tiny Roaster, which is located among the eateries in Sunset way, Clementi.
Prior to the workshop, I had zero knowledge on coffee roasting. Having a home roaster is not even in the pipeline. I was there simply to understand what make whats green bean smell and taste good.
At the start of the workshop, we were presented with worksheets, 100g of beans from Colombia, 100g of beans from Costa Rica and 100g of beans from Peru. Most of the roasting were done using the Quest M3 Home Electric Roaster shown here.
Tiffany from The Tiny Roaster explaining the components of the roaster. Roland, on the right, is also a participant in the workshop.
During the roasting process, we needed to record variables such as the beans temperatures at every minute interval. We were taught how to identify the first and second crack, the audible note produced by the beans near the last stage of roasting. We were also taught how to identify defects in the roasted beans. As a rookie, I spent a long time picking out those beans! Now imagine the roaster having to pick out those defective beans from large volume of roasted beans before they’re ready for brewing.
Cupping, the practice of slurping brewed coffee from different cups place side-by-side to identify the aroma & taste was also performed on the freshly roasted beans. At the beginning of the workshop, Roland and I decided to roast the beans from Peru slightly beyond first crack (light roast), as it is totally new to us and we were curious of its properties so we didn’t want to over bake them. This left us with the Columbia and Costa Rica’s beans which we have previously tasted, so they were roasted to 2nd crack as part of the exercises. The cup made from light roasted Peru’s bean turned out to be my favorite in the workshop due to its fruity note. I’ll have to cup again in a few days after degassing to give a fair comparison.
We were also introduced to the big Geisen roasting machine where its heating element is powered by gas! Over 1kg worth of beans from Yirgacheffe Koke were roasted.
I went home with plenty of self roasted beans, new knowledge and way better appreciation of what went into the cup. Can’t wait for the beans to degas and start brewing them 🙂