One of my favorite things about coffee is that the cup doesn't lie. Every decision shows up.
You can roast the same bean multiple times and each change in gas, air, drum speed, charge, and curve will favor different flavors and textures.
A bean's density and moisture content will dictate how much time you have to swing your beans around each note before it blows up in your face. I imagine it's like dating someone who takes 2hrs to get ready.
Often the roast profile for flavor & aromatics is at complete odds with texture & body. Rarely is there enough time to manipulate both components to their optimum before entering ashtray flavor land. One person might say balance, I say roasters have to choose where and what to compromise.
Roasting can b
given price points and their customer base.
I took the two latter things out of the equation and let curiousity dictate decisions making.
But what if So why not roast the same bean two or three ways that really enhance the body, sweetness, or floral notes, and then blend them together after the fact? Or blend two exceptional lots together rather than trying to cover up a less than ideal green coffee lot with a calculated amount of something exceptional that scored much higher?
Cafe’s stay away from this kind of nonsense because it’s a small percentage of their patrons who are interested in this weirdness.
But can you also make the same roast do the lemon peel, high aromatic tea factor that a washed Ethiopian usually has? Can you do both in pour over and espresso form without having your extraction fall apart and singe all your taste buds?
You can. But you can't roast for the lowest common denominator of coffee drinker. Nerds will figure it out. My parents however should stick to what they like and be happy. Soccer parents latte it up with your 80 point blends. (Sorry, but not sorry)
So, in the same way we process similar groups of instruments in different busses or use harmonic distortion to bring elements forward in a mix with respect to time, this is how I'm thinking through different roast profiles for the same bean.
Think parallel compression with a coffee bean. It’s dynamics, but the processing is more about tonality.
So why don't roasters do this? Some do, but not across every bean they serve.
It's a pain, it's time consuming, and most production realities are about blending beans that are cost effective and appealing to a wide range of customer palates. There is little incentive to spend time building profiles for small micro lots of coffee that won't be available for purchase the following month. Coffee shops need to serve the same drinks time and time again.
Say what you want about the Green Lady’s coffee, but they are consistent and kind. When you order 3 pumps of syrup with extra whip, zero judgement. I however, am not as kind, and will judge quietly. One small tangent, I think it's genius how far they take their roasts so that you are inclined to put extra toppings in it to balance it out. Financially brilliant. Also, every third wave coffee snob should appreciate what they did for coffee culture as pioneers. Don't hate, they did more for coffee than any of us ever will. (Think Yamaha PM5D)
So, this is what occupies my imagination.
That’s what's in your bag.
That was also way too many words on the subject.
Thanks for making it this far.