At the roastery

Spent a great day at our roasters, JGC, in Ross on Wye yesterday! For me, part of being a professional barista working with such great speciality coffees, is wanting to understand as much as possible about all aspects of how these coffees are produced, from the farms and the processing, to the crucial stage of craft-roasting them, as well as developing all the techniques I use in my craft when preparing them at the end stage of the cafe.

Hence, whilst I have visited the roastery briefly a few times before when building my UKBC blends, etc, I really wanted to find out more about the actual roasting process, and so Peter and the team kindly gave me a whole day of their time, and took me through various aspects of what they do in a bit more detail, which was really interesting and fun. Before, I had some vague knowledge of how roasting works, but nothing practical, and Friday demystified the basics, which was great.

I spent the day roasting just one coffee many different ways, and several other new coffees all one way, on the sample roaster, as well as having a run through of both the larger roasters (a Diedrich and a Loring) with Andy, and then cupping the various samples I’d roasted (pretty poorly!) later in the day. As a result I got a good basic practical understanding of some of the physical changes that coffee goes through as it roasts, like 1st crack (and potentially 2nd..!), weight loss, and colour, aroma, etc, along with things like more precise profiles and profiling for specific coffees and brew methods, temperatures, timings, and other variables, etc, on the main roasters. Great!

Thanks to everyone for having me, and good luck to Andy for his regional heat of the UKBC – his coffee and latte art were stunning – and still two weeks to go..!

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