When different roasters across the globe all receive the same green coffee, how uniquely does the roasted coffee taste from each one of them? Do some of the roasters look at the coffee as a potential blend component, while others see it as a brilliant single origin showcase offering? Do some push for more balance, while others focus on sweetness or another characteristic? How does the consumer base in each part of the world influence the final product? We've teamed up with Cropster to find some answers to those questions for an event on September 30th that we’re calling Roasting Origins: Brazil Edition.
The event starts with sending the same lot of Brazilian coffee to six different roasting experts in six different countries—Australia, Brazil, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the USA—and asking them to take a crack at roasting the green however they see fit. The roasters will first note the density, humidity, and water content of the green coffee when it arrives, allowing us to see any differences that arise from shipping to so many different places. Then, they’ll roast the coffee and cup the results using the same water profile to mitigate any differences between water supplies thanks to our sponsors Third Wave Water. Each roaster will take notes about flavor and cup characteristics along with tracking their roast curves in Cropster’s roasting software.
Finally, in a live webinar on September 30th these expert roasters will come together with Cropster to talk about the coffee, their roast curves, cupping notes, and how they’d intend to present this coffee to their customers. The event should be an interesting insight into each roaster’s individual approach, but also a look at how Brazilian coffees are perceived and used in various places around the world.
The Roasters, The Producer, The Coffee
Pat Connolly - Genovese Coffee, Australia
Nearly two decades into his coffee career, Pat has worked in nearly every role imaginable. With 10 of those years now dedicated to roasting, quality control, and green buying, it's no surprise that his list of recent accomplishments include coaching the 2nd and 4th place finishing World Roasting Championships competitors in 2017 and 2018, and finishing 2nd himself in the 2019 Australian Roasting Championships. Pat says that he enjoys exploring and tasting the differences in lots, farms, regions, and countries year after year, making coffee an exciting, unpredictable, and evolving industry to be in. Outside of coffee, he's currently working toward a flat-top hair-do, as well as learning to juggle.
Hugo Rocco - Moka Clube, Brazil
Moka Clube co-founder Hugo Rocco is something of a hometown participant in this event, hailing from Brazil. His business began when he decided to move away from his work in computers and engineering, quickly transitioning to a data and tech-driven approach to the craft of roasting. Hugo has now visited more than 200 farms, always on the search for the best lots of coffee available. He says that while hunting coffees is his passion, roasting them keeps him excited to continue learning and working toward highlighting balance in every coffee he roasts.
Garreth Druce - THE BARN, Germany
Head Roaster at THE BARN in Berlin, Germany, Garreth Druce is an Australian transplant with 10 years now in coffee. With experience as a barista, trainer, and now roaster, his varied experience has brought him to enjoying clarity in coffee whether the flavors are familiar or unexpected and unusual. When he's not roasting you can find him with his wife, kids, and cats, or out keeping active either surfing, skating, or biking.
Roman Khomchenko - Roasting Brew, Russia
Roman's six year career in coffee grew quickly from having a few shops to selling them all in the pursuit of roasting the best coffee he could imagine. Since then he's traveled across the globe learning about coffee, from origin, to educational opportunities, to visiting World Championship events. Now a Q Grader, sensory judge for Barista and Brewers competitions, and Roaster competitor himself, Roman was named Roaster of the Year at the Russian National Championship, and plans to continue pursuing greatness year after year.
Mohammad Almarhoon - Artist Hub, Saudi Arabia
Mohammad's interest in coffee was first piqued in the year 2000, but it wasn't until living in Melbourne for three years beginning in 2008 that he became truly hooked. In April 2014, he and his partners opened Green Seeds Coffee, spearheading the introduction of specialty coffee to Saudi Arabia. They would eventually go on to open a roasting business, Artist Hub, in 2016, and between 2012 and 2017 Mohammad would attend coffee roasting classes across the globe to build his skills. In 2017 Mohammad left his career in medicine to work in coffee full time, and now their businesses act as a resource for roasting, importing, equipment sales, maintenance, and more.
Shelby Williamson - Huckleberry Roasters, USA
While many roasters start their coffee career somewhere outside of the roastery, Huckleberry Roasters' Head Roaster Shelby Williamson has spent all six years of her career in front of the drum. Outside of the roastery, Shelby creates art ranging from sculpture to writing, and coaches volleyball during the winter season in Colorado, USA. Competition is something that she's pretty familiar with even away from the bump set and spike though, earning herself the title of US Roaster Champion in 2019
Getulio Minamihara - Fazenda Minamihara, Cristais Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil
Fazenda Minamihara in Cristais Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil shares its name with the Minamihara family who arrived in Brazil from Japan in the 1930's to work with coffee. They moved to this area of São Paulo in 1973, and have passed their skills, knowledge, and passion for coffee cultivation through their family ever since.
A special lot of Red Obata Natural coffee was sponsored by Fazenda Minamihara for the event. Red Obata is a Sarchimor coffee variety developed by the Instituto Agronomico of São Paulo State. The variety is known for its high yield potential and coffee leaf rust resistance and grows throughout Brazil, making it a great representation of modern Brazilian specialty coffee production for this event. You can read more about the coffee and the farm at allycoffee.com.
Ally Coffee and Cropster are both so excited to be able to dive into this topic and start to take a thoughtful look at part of what makes coffee so unique all over the world. This event is designed to get folks talking about their craft, their expertise, and hopefully will give everyone some insight into how different people in different places can each appreciate one single lot of coffee in a variety of ways. Join us on September 30th for the webinar by checking out the event page on Cropster’s website and clicking the link to register.
See you all then!