roasting at origin

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Postby native » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:29 am

when the roaster/buyer visits farms in other countries, how are the samples roasted? scaa standards or to what the producer chooses? do they offer different degrees of roast to get an idea of how the coffee can perform at different roast levels?

just spouting off some questions to those interested in answering...

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Postby N3Roaster » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:20 pm

You'll get some variation depending on the level of experience in sample roasting and cupping available and in some cases subject to equipment limitations but in my experience people are generally trying to stick with the standards when it comes to cupping. This is based on cupping experience in Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Ethiopia, but my experience might be a little bit out of the norm as probably at least two thirds of the cuppings I've done at origin have had at least one resident Q grader at the table as well. If it's a more informal tasting (pot of coffee with breakfast) there's likely to be more variation. Personally, I'd rather just have green samples and do the roasting and cupping in my own facilities.
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Postby chris7wade » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:05 am

I have had the same experience, most places I have cupped coffee when traveling have been on par with SCAA protocols and there are often Q graders in the labs. I have also cupped where the sample roasting has been more spotty but that is usually more due to oddball equipment or coffees that are not sorted the same way that we seen in consuming countries.

We are lucky that the coffees we get are graded and sorted by size an density before we roast them. Not always the case when trying lots at a mill that are pre grading. It is also good to note that hand milled samples at origin are not always the same as what you will receive. The coffee is not yet sorted or screened. I also agree that any decisions should be made in your home lab as this should be a final and representative sample. It will also take out any of the unknown factors such as different tasting water or off flavors from a different style of roaster.
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