We’d forgive you for thinking that roasting coffee is pretty universal and simple. You stick your green beans in the roaster and get them out when they’re brown, right?
Well, in a sense, yes, but of course there’s more to it than that. There are multiple factors to take into account when roasting those little green beans.
At Voyager, we have two Genio roasters, the first of their kind in the UK. We heat a rotating drum with the beans inside, a little like a washing machine drum. The Genio roasters are equipped with a Thermal Management System, which is a fancy name for the twiddly knobs that apply the heat to the drum, as well as the airflow flowing over the beans from an external fan.
Then there are the beans, no two types of coffee bean are the same! A naturally processed, Heirloom variety from Ethiopia will need a completely different set of circumstances, or what we call a ‘roast profile’, to a washed processed, Caturra from Colombia.
A green coffee bean – believe it or not – doesn’t smell or taste anything like coffee until it’s roasted. It’s down to the skills of our roasters to coax the hidden flavours from their waxy green shells.
A tweak of the heat here and a turn of the airflow there, trialled and tasted (the best bit 😉) over a few roasts and bingo! We’ve hit the jackpot, and we save the perfect set of controls as our ‘roast profile’.
We then use this as a guide for our future roasts, enabling us to recreate the best tasting coffee for our customers again and again.