Justin Carabello from Carabello Coffee in the Cincinnati area answered the call to talk about roasting, sending me a number of different shrub coffees roasted on his Primo 5K, including the Corazon Del Robot blend and a blend of his own using some shrub coffees which I was stoked to see. I love single origin coffees, but as you may have read in my Make Friends with Blends post - http://coffeeshrub.com/shrub/blog/make-friends-blends - I feel like the art of blending is something that has really been overlooked lately.
What are you looking for in a particular coffee? Do you want a sweeter coffee? A brighter one? Are you roasting for espresso and would like more body and lower acidity? All of these characteristics can be altered through roast development, specifically by altering the length of time of certain parts of the roast. In the first part of this article, we'll look at stretching out the time after the end of 1st Crack and see if it has a tastable impact on the perceived acidity due to the breakdown of acids and compounds.
This week I wanted to take a look at some of our coffees that would fall into the "rustic" sweetness category. How could I best describe rustic sweetness? Generally it's a quality in coffee that can be quite polarizing because many of these coffees wouldn't be considered to have fully clean cups and have some muddled qualities in general. Rustic sweetness has some nutty qualities to it like almond and walnut, but can also be herbaceous or rooty with a somewhat cola or root beer-like sweetness.
I wanted to share the Stretchin' Out the Roast series with the Shrub crowd here and see if we could get some discussion going on these topics. One question that I have left after all these experiments and tastings is whether there is a difference to be found in the cup between stretching out the drying stage and stretching out the time before 1st Crack after the Malliard Reaction has started. I'm looking at doing a part 4, but if the findings are inconclusive I'll probably just note that in the comments of Part 3.
Here's a little story I like to tell about the second ever Roasters Guild Retreat in 2002. During one of the first sessions at the retreat there was a cupping. When the group that was participating was asked who had ever cupped before, more than 80% of the crowd indicated that they had not. Nowadays, just 10 extremely short seeming years later there is cupping from top to bottom across the whole specialty coffee industry, or at least people regularly look at coffees though the lens of a cupping-like activity.