At Moonroast we hand roast all our coffees in small batches using our Probat which will roast between six and 12 kilos of green beans at a time.
Roasting in small batches enables us to pay close attention to detail and find the coffee's finest attributes. We adjust the roast profile to find the optimum balance of flavour, sweetness and acidity in each batch of green beans. We blend after roasting, so each component of a blend is roasted to the optimum. It is fascinating to learn how the roast profile and the fully developed bean help bring the best out of the coffee.
The Roasting Process
This is carried out by hand, not literally of course as the roaster heats up to 200 degrees centigrade, but it requires adjustments at various stages of the roast which is where the hands on bit comes in. We make use of the Probat roasting profile software to develop consistency with each roast and ensure we get the best out of each batch of green beans.
Once the temperature in the roaster has heated up to over 200 degrees, the green beans enter the rotating drum via a hopper at the top of the roaster. The beans gradually start to turn brown and after about 10 minutes, will go through a process called ‘first crack’ where they begin to pop like popcorn.
Each stage of the roast can be varied to achieve differing results. Once first crack is complete and the optimum level of roast has been reached, beans are emptied into the cooling tray through the cooling hatch where they are rapidly air cooled for a few minutes. Once cooled, beans are immediately blended or straight away packaged as single origin beans depending on requirements of our customers. Each roast will take up to 17 minutes.
We grade our roast levels on a scale of 1 to 5. Light, medium–light, medium, medium-dark and dark. The system of grading is based on the Agtron scale (very Dr Who!) commonly used by professional cuppers and roasters.