The Road to Roasting: One Roaster’s Journey


by Candice Madison, Notes Coffee Roasters

It’s early morning—well, early-ish—and I’m sitting drinking a v60 of Kamwangi AA Lot #032 from Kirinyaga, Kenya. This new-crop coffee is one of many I have had a hand in buying for our roastery. I roasted the pre-shipment sample on a Quest M3, devised an appropriate profile for filter, highlighting the characteristics I favored most, test-roasted it on a Loring 15-kilo Merlin fluid-bed roaster, production-roasted about 100 kilos a week (and am still doing so), and brewed it myself.

There is nothing remarkable about the previous paragraph, unless you consider that about four-and-a-half years ago, I was a yoga teacher and considered chain-store beverages to be the height of coffee sophistication. I knew nothing about coffee as an organic product, and favored my morning cup flavored with caramel syrup, overly-burnt milk, whipped cream, and crunchy toffee on top. I didn’t know where my coffee came from, and I didn’t care. It didn’t even occur to me that it was an organic product that might stale, or that there could be endless variables from seed to cup which could and would influence every aspect of the drink that ended up in my hand.

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