Specialty Coffee has taken the world by storm for a while now. However, the experience is becoming increasingly commodified, as evident with robot baristas, automated espresso machines, coffee capsules, pods and instant specialty coffee.
With this commodification, it is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses or even coffee professionals to differentiate themselves. That means decreased business, decreased value and decreased wages. Fortunately for us, there is a realm of coffee that they can’t commodify.
Just like culinary chefs will never be commoditized, the art of coffee roasting is well protected from becoming a commodified experience. If you are a business or coffee professional, this is the most effective method to defend yourself and protect your value in the market. You don’t want to become just another average joe on the street, do you?
Let’s start with the raw ingredient. Coffee is actually the seed of a fruit known as coffee cherries. Grown on coffee trees in the coffee belt around the world, the coffee cherries are harvested, processed and milled to give us the final green coffee. Also known as the raw ingredient.
Roasting coffee is the process of cooking the “raw ingredient” to create a final edible product. Prior to cooking, the green coffee is barely soluble in water and tastes mostly of grass and hay. Not desirable. Once roasted, the green coffee turns a shade of brown due to one of the chemical reactions happening during the roasting process; the Maillard Reaction. The coffee becomes brittle from the roasting process, allowing it to be ground and soluble in water. Through brewing, we arrive at the final beverage that we know as coffee.
What makes coffee roasting so special is its ability to be represented in a huge variety of styles and methods. Every style highlights a different aspect of the coffee just like how different culinary cuisines showcase ingredients in different ways. In short, it is an art. And just like all art forms, it is one of the few things that can never be commoditized or fully automated.
Adding to the layer of complexity is the science behind this culinary art. Just as molecular gastronomy requires a whole host of scientific elements and research behind the scenes to craft those amazing dishes, so too does coffee roasting. A deep understanding of the physics occurring across different roaster machines and the complex chemical reactions occurring during the roasting process is necessary to create a Michelin star dish, or in this case coffee.
First of all, you’d save a lot of money. Specifically, the cost of your coffee would easily be 2 – 2.5x cheaper than what you are paying for wholesale coffee. If you are purchasing coffee off retail, that number could go up to 5x cheaper and beyond.
If you are a coffee professional and you walk into a coffee shop with the ability to reduce their costs by more than half, guess how valuable do you think you’ll be?
Second of all, you’d be able to create a much higher quality and unique product offering that you can call your own. Roasting yourself means you can afford to purchase much higher quality green coffees due to your cost savings.
Higher quality ingredient equals a more delicious and consistent end product. This leads to higher satisfaction from your customers which results in more repeat purchases and of course, that means better business.
Apart from cost savings and differentiating yourself with a unique product offering, there is also a third side benefit of roasting your own coffee. By purchasing higher quality green coffee and paying well for it, we encourage the growth of the specialty coffee industry and provide sustainable remuneration for the farmers.
This directly results in an improved standard of living for the farmers; giving them access to proper education, basic necessities like clean water and sufficient food, a sustainable farming practice that doesn’t damage the earth and best of all, amazing coffee for everyone.
There are 3 essential things you need to roast your own coffee.
1. Green Coffee.
2. A Coffee Roaster
3. A Data Logging Software
Green coffees are available from multiple sources. For our peers in Singapore, you can seek out local coffee traders such as Mercanta or Second Mile. If you only require small amounts of coffee, you can also purchase green coffee off the retail rack from Compound Coffee Co.
A quality coffee roaster is a lot harder to come by due to their high price tags. Luckily for you, you can access some of the best roasting machines in the world at our co-roasting space. There are 3 different sizes available to suit different needs from coffee enthusiasts, professionals to businesses that want to roast their own coffee. All starting from a very accessible price of $19.90/hr.
Each roaster also comes equipped with a data logging software to help record the roast profile of your coffee. The roast profile is essentially the recipe of your roasted coffee. It records a graph of the temperature of your coffee beans progressing over time amongst other variables.
The roast profile helps you to evaluate how you roasted the coffee so that you can understand how you arrived at your end product and how you can change it in the future if you wanted something different. It also enables you to have a reference for re-creating the same roasted coffee again if you wanted.
Some other non-essential but really helpful equipment our space provides include:
- Cupping Tools to taste and evaluate your coffee
- Grinders to grind your coffee
- Kettles and filtered water
- Coffee Brewing Equipment
- Espresso Brewing Equipment
- Coffee Roast Degree Analyzers
- Moisture Readers
- Density Meters
- Coffee Bags & Sealers
- Warehousing & Storage for you coffees
Don’t worry, we’ll teach you. You can sign up for the Ultimate Coffee Roasting Course where we teach all our roasting secrets and everything else you need to become a master roaster. The course includes a special framework for roasting coffee that we’ve developed in-house through 10,000 roasting experiments over 6 years. There is no other framework in the world that comes close to it! Applying the framework to your roasting will allow you to create the most delicious coffees possible.
We’ll also teach you the 15 variables of coffee roasting so you can tweak them to your liking to achieve the exact results that you are looking for in your coffee. For those that enjoy a physical classroom setting, there are also add-ons to the course where you can arrange for a live roasting session with a master roaster at our co-roasting facility. The master roaster will go through the entire roasting experience, taste and calibrate your palettes with you and provide coaching on how to improve your roasting skills.
As automation seeks to commodify much of the coffee experience, coffee roasting is the logical next step to take in differentiating your coffee shop and protecting your value in the market. Coffee roasting is a culinary art that will never be able to be fully automated nor commoditized. The benefits of roasting your own coffee are three-fold; double your profit margins, create your own unique offering and save the coffee farms while you’re at it. As evidenced by the huge wave of coffee roasters popping up recently, coffee roasting is catching on fast. Don’t get left behind.
You can quickly get into coffee roasting risk-free by roasting at our co-roasting space with all the necessary equipment needed for you to be an elite coffee roaster. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to roast coffee, you can learn everything you need to know with our Ultimate Coffee Roasting Course here. We’ll teach you our unique framework for roasting coffee developed through 10,000 roasting experiments over 6 years. There’s nothing else in the world like it!
Sign up for the Ultimate Coffee Roasting Course today!