The roasting process
To sharpen the notes hidden within the unroasted berry
I don’t speak about dark or light coffee roast
There’s no such thing as dualisation when it comes to roasting coffee. Instead, I speak about the grey zone – every bean variety and every processing method needs a specific treatment to elevate and sharpen the flavours that are hidden within the unroasted berry.
After I competed in the World Championship for the first time (2008; 6th place), I understood I had to deal with making coffee differently. I found out why certain flavours arrive in the coffee. I started roasting my own coffee beans because I needed to understand the importance of how flavours can change from one second to the next and how heat affects the product as it does when you brew the coffee. There are so many hidden aspects involved in every element of coffee making and you start to understand that you cannot do one thing without understanding the other.
I don’t know how many times I have cupped coffees with roasters or producers to discover there is more to the “bean” than what I actually cupped. I usually prefer going to the cupping lab or kitchen with the Farmer boiling up different syrups after tasting several cherries to analyse the flavour of the different processing methods they use. In that way, I can better transmit the characteristics into a matching brewing method.
It all got very real for me when I was selected to roast and brew all the coffees for the World Cup Tasters Championship in 2015. Two years later I was behind the stage again – brewing all of the coffees for the WCTC.
Søren Stiller Markussen