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  • Writer's pictureMuggo

Recording the Artistry

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

Roasting is a dynamic process with many factors that can be measured. I learned to roast coffee without recorded data; relying on the time-honored tradition of using the senses to measure the parameters of a great roast.

Sound: the two distinct cracking sounds that happen in the stages of the bean’s transition from green to brown.

Aromas: the various notes of heated beans releasing gases and rich smoke that grow more complex as the beans darken. It is a critical phase that requires a skilled roaster to know exactly when to push the beans a little longer or stop the roast sooner. Different varietals of beans require different times for their roast in order to bring out the unique taste and aroma profiles the roaster feels represents the best that bean has to offer. This is both a science and an art refined by experience and training.

Vision: the color of the beans changes rapidly; seeing the changes in color and knowing what that means is critical to knowing when to stop the roast.

I have recently added an additional tool to bring you the best coffee possible. I can now digitally measure the progress of the roast and have a visual graph to record and track that process. Those of us who rely on our own highly trained senses to produce a superior product often experience mixed feelings about automating what is an intuitive process. You can not automate the particular style an artist brings to the final product; however, you can provide consistency from batch to batch. When a device can measure accurately, it can provide the artisan a steady and reliable second set of “eyes” to ensure the final coffee beans meet the high standards of the roaster. As the demands of my rapidly growing business require some automation in order to

keep the supply matched to the orders, I will include tools like the automated graph to assist

me in providing you the best coffee beans reliably time after time.

Finally, though I embrace technology, the joy of roasting is using all of my senses and turning that into Art. It is an art that is enjoyed in the same way it was created; by and for humans to sense and enjoy and is measured in smiles and the immeasurable.

-Karl von Mecklenburg

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