In simple terms, a roast profile is a recipe. It is a temperature vs. time curve that determines the transformation of a coffee bean from its raw to roasted from. The process removes most of the moisture from the beans and changes their molecular structure. Several reactions take place in the process that give rise to a number of aromatic and flavor compounds that are responsible for the goodness in your cup. The solubility of beans (an important factor in the brewing stage) is also defined by how the beans are roasted. Each lot of coffee reacts differently to heat and it is the Roastmaster’s task to optimize the process to yield the best flavor that a lot of beans has to offer. And of course, there is a whole load of room for experimentation which makes roasting as much an art as it is a science.
While a specific roast profile is tailored for each lot of coffee sourced by us, we broadly categorize our coffees as Espresso, Filter or Omni roasts. We prefer this categorization compared to color (light to dark) since we source a very wide variety of beans from a number of regions around the globe. There is a wide variance in the appearance of beans from one lot of coffee to another. For example, light-roasted Ethiopian and Kenyan beans can appear much darker than light-roasted beans from India or Latin America.
Below are answers to a few important questions on roast profiling and other related information from our Co-Founder & Head of Roasting and Quality – Jessie Ovian.
In Espresso roasts, we generally try to bring out more body in the coffee. This ensures that the coffee can withstand high-pressure extraction and maintain its strength with the addition of milk (flat whites, cappuccinos, lattes, etc.). We also want to ensure higher solubility levels so that baristas and home brewers don’t have to struggle with finding the perfect grind size. We generally look for beans that exhibit balanced acidity as highly acidic coffees can be unpleasant in espressos. While espresso roasts are traditionally above medium and more toward darker roasts, this isn’t necessarily the case anymore. With the right selection of beans and proper profiling, we can also create espresso-suited batches that are roasted medium and sometimes even light to medium. We always recommend that brewers grind beans for espresso just before brewing for perfect results. However, in case you don’t have a grinder, we offer a universal espresso grind size for our coffees.
In filter roasts, the goal is to bring out the sparkling acidity and fruit/spice flavors in the coffee. These roasts are generally on the lighter side and very suitable for brewing methods like the V60, Chemex and Drip Filter. High altitude beans grown on volcanic soil usually make for the best filter roasts.
In the case of omni roasts, we look for a profile that sits somewhere between espresso and filter roasts. The goal is to create a batch of coffee that can be used across the full range of brewing methods including Espresso, V60, Aeropress, Moka Pot, Chemex and Cold Brew. The goal is to achieve good acidity levels that are bright in manual brewing while balanced in Espresso. At the same time, the coffee should have good solubility so it works as well in an espresso as it does in filter brewing. This is generally done by slowing down the roasting process and extending the roasting curve. We try an omni roast for every lot we source since we celebrate the idea that every coffee should be enjoyed across every brewing method. However, it is impossible to omni-roast every batch of coffee as achieving the right levels of acidity and solubility are not possible given the nature of some coffees. In these cases, we settle for the ideal espresso or filter profile.
Absolutely! Always focus on the taste and flavors you are looking for in the coffee. If you like a full bodied rich flavor with sweet, chocolatey notes, you can use espresso-roasted beans in an Aeropress, Moka Pot or French Press. You can even try them in pourover methods by altering your recipes. If you are an adventurer and you like sparkling acidity in your espresso, you can try a filter roast in an espresso machine. Of course, this will require some extra work from you when it comes to dialing in the perfect grind size and identifying the right extraction time. But never feel limited by the roast profile! Our partner-producers are doing such an amazing job with their processing these days that you can get explosive flavors of fruit and spice from espresso-roasted beans as well.
Yes, it does. Post-harvest processing plays a big role in influencing the moisture and sugar content in coffee beans. The roasting process transforms these sugars into several compounds that determine the flavor in your cup. So as a Roastmaster, you will develop different approaches to roasting depending on how the coffee was processed. Due to this reason, in cases of special processed coffees, we always include the name of the process in the name of the product itself so that the end consumer is able to differentiate easily between differently processed coffees.
For espresso brewing, I would recommend at least 5 days of resting before brewing. For filter methods, at least 2 to 3 days of resting is a must after roasting. All our coffees are roasted on order. We roast twice a week and dispatch immediately a day after. It takes a few days after that for the coffee to reach you. So, you can brew our coffees as soon as they reach you!
Once the bag is opened, I recommend consuming the coffee within 20 days. In most cases, it wouldn’t hurt too much if you push it to 30 days. But once you’ve crossed that mark, you will clearly notice a deterioration in the flavor of the coffee. I recommend buying coffee as whole beans since they have a much better shelf life. However, if you buy coffee as grounds, make sure you store them in a tightly sealed container since coffee grounds lose aroma and flavor much faster than beans.
The shelf life on our labels shows 6 months. All our bags come in zip-lock packets with a one-way valve. If the coffees are stored unopened in low-stress environments (cool and dry place with normal humidity), you can still get all the good flavors if you open the bags a few months after they were packed. However, more time gives an opportunity to a number of uncontrollable factors (especially weather) that can still impact the coffee. To ensure you get the best out of our freshly roasted coffees, consume them within at least 30 days after buying. It is for this reason that we pack only in 100g and 250g bags and avoid larger sizes. This makes it easier for you to buy only the amount of coffee that you need and always consume it fresh.