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Green Coffee Evolution

Posted by brett struwe

January 23, 2010 10:28 AM

Interesting cupping today. Noted the difference in Papua New Guinea coffee residing in our warehouse here in Mpls for just the past few weeks. The coffee that is 'fresher' and due to deliver from NJ/NYC cups with a slightly more tart and sharp note, while the current has turned more milky, herby, and almost hint of rhubarb. Reminder of this is why we taste every day, and the roasters can adjust accordingly. ~B

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brett struwe


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Minus Below

Posted by brett struwe

January 08, 2010 16:46 PM

It's so cold in this part of the country this time of year that when a colleague of mine living in California asked what the temperature was, I could only respond, "It's like minus below." It's awfully good coffee drinking climate, as most would surmise, but the average coffee drinker wouldn't stop to think about what affect different kinds of weather has on roasting. The answer is, quite a lot! Aspects such as barometric pressure, humidity, and even outdoor temperature drastically change the desired settings for roasting coffee optimally. And one of the most important settings that our roasters adjust daily is what we call loosely, air flow. Air flow is velocity and pressure and volume all rolled up into one notion. But what a coffee connoisseur unknowingly cares about is that being able to adjust air flow in a roaster is the difference between coffee that is just roasted, versus coffee that is roasted to perfection - with nuance and delicacy combined with punch and vigor. Imagine something as simple as toast. You can adjust the toaster time, and sometimes the heat, but that's about it. Most roasters are serving you coffee that is kind of like toast that is made under these restrictive circumstances. Although they can adjust certain settings in their roaster, many cannot adjust air flow, and few try. Caribou's roaster technicians change air flow on a daily basis in order to have a machine that is set up just right and can change the operations of their convection fan with the turn of a switch or touch of a screen pad. And when you're roasting coffee at -20F while 6 months later it's 90F and July humidity, these things matter. And when you're a roaster in Minnesota, there is the added benefit working in one of the toastier places around. ~B

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Brett Struwe

Caribou Roastmaster since 1995
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