Working to lock down flavor descriptors of roasts we are doing. Alex is getting much time in on the roaster, and we have been steadily cupping all of the production batches sent out.
Currently we have been focusing our attention hard on two coffees-Guatemala Esquipulas(town) de Chiquimula(area) finca (farm) las Nubes & El Salvador Palo de Campana (town) finca (farm) Alaska. This gives us time to really explore the coffees and how we are developing the flavors during the roast. When we cup, or taste these coffees, for us, it is super helpful to be tasting many batches/roasts of the same thing and then compare. Perhaps we have been too hyper-focused, and we do have some exciting new coffees on the way, but it has been a ton of fun working so intensely with these two lots.
When roasting there are many things to consider. Colors start at green, the green of the coffee seed/bean, and move to yellow, peach, orange, khaki, brown. The texture of the seeds change as they expand, releases moisture and vapor, and swell. Smells from the roasted coffee also change dramatically during the roast, often a sign of what will be in the cup, and also a sign of what is being lost. Sound helps define stages of the roast, marking structural development, chemical, and also momentum/speed of the change. These sensory things, along with a log of time and temperature we try and record.
Changes in a roast happen in seconds, and sometimes the most critical moment is to gauge when to pull a roast.
Both of our coffees at the moment have a ton of sugar, and there is definitely a part of the roast where raw sugars are being developed and later caramelized. I think when more of the raw sugars are present, such as a lighter roast there is also a fruity/citrus quality to them. We have been leaning on the raw sugar side for a while, and we have been trying to drift to more of a medium roast without sacrificing the citrus florals. While there is a ton more going on with super light roasts there is also perhaps more acidity in the coffee and more caffeine. These super light roasts are amazing, but perhaps not crowd pleasers or easy on the stomach. Anyway these are my thoughts for the day, perhaps some tasting notes later.