will be presented at the annual SCAA Roasters’ Retreat in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, which is not only a valuable chance to practice and learn about the art and science of coffee roasting, but an opportunity to take part in a buddy-building camaraderie of similar-minded individuals whom are as zealous about coffee (See page 24 for an article written by Timothy Castle and Joel Starr).
Once again, Karl Siedel shares his experience as a micro roaster who deals with the myriad problems roasters must deal and contend with. Siedel makes us squirm and feel empathy for those roaster repair episodes as he recounts how his roaster acts up. Not that roasting machines do that, of course.
Phil Beattie of Dillanos Coffee Roasters reports on tasting being the foundation of roasting. Personally, I have heard too many stories that growers and manufacturers do not learn to taste and improve their coffee qualities. Beattie tells us that the art of tasting coffee goes beyond being a connoisseur of coffee. To refine your coffee tasting ability, you must become a connoisseur of tasting in general. As an example, you will commonly hear people refer to some coffees as having a chocolate taste. In most cases, coffee does not taste exactly like chocolate. In reality, that particular coffee has a small amount of flavor compounds common with chocolate.
Since most people are very aware of what chocolate tastes like, those flavor compounds are recognizable to them. A taster would not be able to pick out a hint of apricot in the aroma of a coffee if they had never focused on the flavor and aroma of an apricot before. This is why it is important as a coffee professional to always focus on the taste of everything that we consume. His sage advice continues on page 28.
Andrew Hetzel of Cafemasters reveals that fine coffee is no longer the province of the Pacific Northwest; Alaska now has the greatest per-capita consumption of fine coffee and espresso is a popular menu item in Michigan and Nebraska. The Internet, cable television and increased travel by Americans has brought specialty coffee mainstream and who’s responsible but the strongly branded independent coffee shop, the in-store concession where gourmet is a reality. Slightly overshadowing the ‘indie’ efforts are the mega fast food chains serving high-quality coffee to an audience who now expects to get a good cup of java everywhere. More on page 46.
Latest news flash is that Maxwell House is changing their blends to all-Arabica (what a value for consumers!).
Editor & Co-Publisher