Hugh Morretta is our Workshop Roasting Manager who has been part of the La Colombe team for for 4 years. He’s leading the way in developing our signature blends, taste profiles, and roasting coffees to their utmost potential.
Coffee roasting, like everything else in our world, has become an Orwellian nightmare. Today you can’t put heat to a bean without Big Brother watching. Well, not really. If you’re the type of person who thirsts for mastering consistency, maintaining control, and collecting mountains of data coffee roasting is actually now your perfect utopia.
In a way, every bean IS being watched and that’s what gives coffee roasters unprecedented powers of control that our roasting forefathers could never have imagined. The key is data logging software and an integrated computer interface. Coffee roasters have always written crude time and temperature tables in order to understand the speed and duration of their roasts but now we are able to store, organize, and compare a wealth of information about the process of roasting unlike ever before.
Over the past 10 years, the ability to document every detail of life and send it to the cloud has become ubiquitous and coffee roasting is no exception. The effect of this data revolution has not only been to allow the roaster to utilize a customizable visual representation of the roast in real time when operating the machine but also to retain in-depth information on what occurred during that roast in order to evaluate the roast when tasting. Check the example below:
The ability to compare roast data and create visualizations for every coffee roast allows the roaster to understand every factor affecting the roast and the tastes that result. The roaster can then manipulate each detail of the process in order to create the perfect roast. Some may argue that having access to this highly detailed information has moved roasting from an act of personal expression and craft to a cold numbers game, but it has broadened and deepened our understanding of the process and offered hope for a future in which we can express the flavors of each bean to their fullest potential.
Written by our head Workshop Roaster, Hugh Morretta.