The best storyteller ever was my great grandfather, affectionately called Papa. To be honest I don’t remember the exact stories, I remember being drawn in by his delivery. As a child I didn’t really understand why I wanted to listen, but I knew I wanted to be able to do the same thing when I spoke.
As I grew up I paid attention to how people talked and how some people had the ability to grab and keep attention, but most fell short. This ability today is closely tied to marketing and the ability to tell the story of your brand.
When I started Coffeeclectic the overall theme I heard from family and friends is that this brand seems to want to connect on a more personal basis. That the language and presentation of the product showed a care and desire to connect with customers and that small details matter.
With each additional blog entry I hope to create more of a story with these beans as well as share my journey of sourcing, roasting and tasting these coffees. I have now had the opportunity to have more than 40 roasts per bean of the 5 beans I showcase, that's a total of over 200 roasts of West Java, Sumatra, Timor, Papua New Guinea and Sulawesi.
My first blogs dug deep into all three, (the bean, the roast and the cup) mostly the roasting aspects and the beans origins. I am going to try and tell more of a story with this blog and talk about the Roaster’s Journey Box 2. Both these coffees were sourced at a small batch, sustainably grown focused importer out of Berkeley Ca.
In RJB2, I roasted both the Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Sulawesi coffees. It’s important to understand how these coffees were processed because it influences the final taste. Processing methods will become a common point of discussion in these blogs and I have given links to understand in greater detail these methods, in the blog titled The Bean from October 2022.
When I first started roasting I focused on wet hulled coffees and they proved to be a little easier to roast. They tend to absorb heat a little more forgiving than the washed process coffees, such as the PNG. I believe it is because of the process method and that they stay saturated above 11% water content for up to several weeks. The 11% is an approximate water content for green coffee beans after they have been dried and are ready to roast.
This time on the Second Roaster’s Journey Box, I roasted both a wet hulled coffee (Sulawesi) and a washed process coffee (PNG). I had two goals for both coffees, I wanted to find a more consistent roast between batches with the PNG and I wanted to blend three different roast profiles (light, medium and dark) of the Sulawesi and create a broader tasting profile.
In the first two boxes of this RJB I played with heat theory and increased the charge temperature, (the temperature at which I drop the beans into the roaster). I was aiming for a quicker drying phase in hopes to bring out brighter notes in both coffees. This worked well for the PNG, but not the Sulawesi.
It also created a lot of extra steps to create a good profile for both coffees and I inevitably used a lower charge temperature for both coffees on the third box. This allowed me to control the roast and ensure great taste profiles. Charging coffee at a higher temp will be an area of focus for me in the future. I want to highlight the brighter notes within the coffee and introducing the bean to an initial higher temperature should make this happen.
What I found with the first two coffees shipped with RJB2, is a numerous micro adjustments when roasting, just to keep the bean under control. When roasting coffee you have two things that influence how fast or slow your beans roast. The heat applied and the airflow within the roaster. There are many other areas of focus as well, but these two tend to keep my attention.
For the PNG bean, I have the roasting profile down to one adjustment and simply increase airflow after the beans turn color, for all three batches. For the Sulawesi I also roasted three batches, but my adjustments focused on a light, medium and dark roast. So I focused on different airflow theories for each of the roasts. This gave me a blended Sulawesi coffee that incorporated different levels of roast.
Both of these coffees offer a great cup and finish with a buttery feel on the tongue and notes of earthy sweetness and overtones of palm sugar. I get dark chocolate and caramel finishes with slight fruit flavor from both. The PNG is a brighter coffee in my opinion and not as heavy a mouthfeel as the Sulawesi.
Of all the coffees I have roasted the past year, I found the PNG to still be one of my favorites. I love the way it smells of earthy sweetness and caramel after ground and then in bloom the smells of chocolate and fudge. I love this coffee after it has cooled down for about 10-15 minutes and it tends to open up much like a porter or stout would with more complex flavors.
The Sulawesi coffee is a no-brainer with consistency. There is just something about wet hulled coffees that make them continuously drinkable. They tend to always be in a balance that doesn’t create aggressive flavors and tend to give a more buttery feel in the mouth.
I have started to create blends with the 5 coffees and am getting excited to share some of these and eventually create a signature blend for Coffeeclectic.
Thank you again for being part of the Journey!