The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Today I began my roasting internship at Brown Coffee! I had a great time working at “Roasting Fantasy Camp” as Aaron called it, which is probably the perfect name for what I’ve been up to. Roasting was already in progress when I got there, so I was able to jump right in and NOT DO ANYTHING. I was there to learn, so I was very happy to watch a bit while the experts transformed green coffee:

green beans

into some glorious roasted goodness:

finished product

While roasting, time and temperature are measured. The recorded data is reviewed periodically to determine the best results. Normally the graph makes a checkmark as the temperature rises, cools as green beans are added, then rises again until it cracks.


After that, you’ve only got a few minutes to get it right. If you wait too long, the beans will burn and you’re hosed. The beans have to be cooled very rapidly to avoid that charred fate. Roasting machines have a tray where the coffee beans are stirred and tossed to cool down:

cooling down

Once the roasting was complete, we did a cupping of what we had just roasted. We sniffed, we slurped, and we talked about tasting notes. Finally, I bagged up some beans for sale. All in all, a great first day!