Today, we’re happy to offer a guest post written up by Greg Watkinson of Josie Coffee, their Head Roaster in NSW, Australia. Enjoy!
Hi, Greg here, I’m the head roaster at Josie. Chris [Edden, owner] asked me to put together this quick post to fill our customers in on some of the goings on behind the scenes in the roastery.
In December of 2022 we took delivery of our Loring S15 roasting machine, it’s changed a fair bit about Josie Coffee so let me explain what is means for us.
Prior to having our Loring, we’d been roasting on two Probat roasters. Probat are the original coffee roasting manufacturer, based in Germany. Whilst we were generally happy with the quality of coffee from these machines, we decided to move away from them from a number of reasons.
Firstly and importantly for me, as a more modern machine, the Loring requires much less man power per week of roasting than our old roasters did. Machine maintenance is significantly easier and tasks like emptying the chaff are considerably faster. The Loring will automate gas changes, loading green coffee, ending roasts etc. which means that; once I’m happy with the roast profile for a given coffee, I can spend a lot less time tending to the roaster which frees me up for quality assurance and other tasks around the roastery. It also means that Steve, our other roastery staff member, can easily take over roasting should I be away or busy, without a loss of quality.
Secondly, the Loring provides an “afterburner” effect to the roaster’s exhaust.This means that the smoke and smell of roasting are incinerated before the flue gas exits the building, which is great for our neighbours, who’ve had a few years of putting up with our emissions prior to this. Whilst afterburners are available for any roasting machine, what separates the Loring is that the heat from the exhaust combustion circulates into the roaster to roast the coffee. This means a significant reduction in the quantity of fuel required to run.
Lastly, the cup character (that’s what coffee roasters call the taste of coffee) of coffee roasted on the Loring is, stylistically, my preference. The Loring burner sits offset to the roasting drum, whereas the Probat design has the drum directly heated by the burner. This mean the metal surfaces touching the coffee are cooler and that yields a lighter texture and enables us to roast the inside of the coffee more evenly to the outside.
This is where the impacts of our choice of machine most directly affect our customers. We’ve found, since roasting on the Loring, that we can roast our coffee with a better balance of acidity and whilst less textural, the coffee is more complex with the structure of the coffee, especially whilst cooling, being more integrated. We hope our customers like the change in the cup as much as we do.
One important impact of the way the Loring roasts coffee is that it damages the coffee beans’ structure less. This means that we find the coffee takes longer to start tasting it’s best after roasting. The coffee is certainly still good directly from the cooling tray, however we’re now recommending a three week plus rest period to get the best out of our beans. So don’t fret the bag you’ve got sitting at the back of the cupboard, it’ll taste good for a long while after you purchased it.
Hope this clears up everything, from when to drink our coffee, to why I can be seen around the building more frequently during roast days.
Now to grab some coffee from the bottom drawer that’s been sitting for a couple of months. 😉