The raw, green coffee is quite unlike the final roasted beans. It’s smaller, harder and has a sweet, grassy almost vegetal aroma. The terroir of the origin, varietal, processing method and grading all have a significant impact on the state of the coffee when it lands with us. These factors will define the mass and density of the coffees along with moisture content and water activity. Each of these variables needs to be taken into account by our roasters to make sure they can assemble the optimum environment with which to develop the coffees.
Given all of these differences from coffee to coffee, we roast each origin separately, to order, coddling it with the attention it deserves. In both our Perth and Melbourne roasteries, we use drum roasters – imagine a cast iron tumble dryer with a series of flames under the drum. A batch of the green coffee is dropped into the drum, where internal fins evenly toss the coffee as it rotates. Drum roasting like this uses both convective (from hot air moving through the drum) and conductive (contact with the hot cast iron) heating.
We predominantly use Probat and Geisen roasters, which we’ve extensively modified to give us even further control over the burners, drum rotation speed and airflow. Each of our setups has probes tracking the progress of time and temperature into a cloud-based profiling system. The collection of all of this info is integral to quantifying the conditions for a delicious cup and importantly, how we can deliver on them over and over.
While data collection and understanding of the science behind coffee development is super important, the ultimate success is judged by tasting, tasting and more tasting. Constant sensory analysis is mapped against all of the info collected during roasting, allowing our team to confirm quality and evolve the profiles of this ever-shifting organic product.
Supporting our roasters are a crack team of production and dispatch experts who hustle to make sure the fresh coffee is bagged up, shipped out and into the hands of baristas and coffee drinkers five days a week, across the country. It’s then over to the final custodians in the journey, the baristas at home and in cafes, for one further transformation from beans to brew.