Talk about talk about it talk about it talk about Roasting - Christopher Oppenhuis

I've mentioned it a lot of times already I know, but I really can't say enough how awesome the roaster scene is in Chicago right now. Not just because there's a lot of folks doing quality work, but also because there's a lot of folks doing really unique work and most importantly that there seems to be a real sense of community and support throughout the scene. Seriously folks, you should definitely be watching what's going on in Chi.


I was just up at the Barista Camp in Santa Barbara this week and was stoked to have so many great conversations about tasting coffee. I took part in the Intro to Cupping class as well as helped out in the Organic Acids class and with Katie Carguilo's lecture on coffee processing. The thing that's been at the front of my mind for some time, and which really stood out to me again in taking part in all of these cuppings and conversations is the idea of sweetness in coffee. I've talked about it here and there on this blog and even wrote a bit about a specific kind of sweetness.


Narrows pt 2

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.

The Narrows

There's a phrase that I've been guilty of saying once or twice in the past, but which now really bugs me. The gist of it is:

"I'm just trying to roast the coffee so that all of its best qualities are realized without showing my influence over it."

Spring Break 2012! Wild West Oakland Dance Party

I'm hitting the road a little later today to head out west to Oakland for a week of roasting, cupping, coffee sing-alongs, and possible break dancing. This is a really exciting time for Coffee Shrub with the addition of Aleco Chigounis and the potential to do some really exciting things with the coffees that we're bringing in and offering. It's very affirming to experience how Shrub has grown and how many roasters have found what we do to be helpful.

A Week Removed

Back from the SCAA Expo and the Anaheim Wizard World ComicCon, a few final thoughts:

I really enjoy taking part in the roasting labs each year. Most of the material covered in the lectures is pretty basic, but it's really meant just to create some context for the exercises. These exercises are really fun challenges even for the most seasoned roasters and are great opportunities for knowledge sharing. Having access to multiple different roaster models and some top notch coffees to play with is a pretty unique experience the most roasters don't have the time or resources to take part in.

Girl Talk: a video wherein I discuss different styles of roasters and how they use airflow

Preview text: 
In this video I talk about different styles of drum roasters and how they use airflow differently depending on the placement of the blower in relation to the energy source

In this video I talk about different styles of drum roasters and how they use airflow differently depending on the placement of the blower in relation to the energy source. There are a number of styles that I don't touch on, namely pure convection roasters or even the Loring Smart Roast which is billed as a hybrid roaster but seems to me to definitely be more convection based. Anyway, here's the video.

the Lab of Make-Believe

I did some roasting in the lab last night and video-ed a roast of the Guatemala Finca San Diego Buena Vista Bourbon which I took to a City roast level. If anybody has any roasting questions, feel free to shoot them my way and maybe I can address them in future episodes.