The Essential Coffee Roasting Course

Ally Coffee’s Essential Coffee Roasting Course featuring Rob Hoos is everything you’ve ever wanted to know about coffee roasting, presented by one of the industry’s leading experts.

The course is offered through the Hotmart platform as a series of 14 instructional videos with a comprehensive companion workbook written by Ildi Revi, Ally Coffee’s Director of Learning and herself an experienced roaster. The materials walk you through the steps of roasting coffee, from understanding the equipment to developing roast profiles.

The videos were shot on-location at Ally’s offices in Greenville, SC and demonstrate roasting on a Diedrich IR 2.5 gas fired drum roaster. Throughout the course, you will observe roasting in action and learn how all the principles of roasting are applied in practice and what they mean for running a roasting business.

This course is designed for professional coffee roasters who are fairly new to coffee roasting, who run small operations, and who roast on gas-fired drum roasters. The information presented will also be helpful to newcomers to coffee roasting, who roast on other types of systems, and who may or may not be selling coffee to others.

Rob Hoos explains the course’s approach. “Fundamentally, a professional roaster produces coffees that are sold to the public. The key phrase here is ‘sold to the public,’ because that involves a number of layers of responsibility beyond roasting coffees for a hobby. Not all professional roasters are required to do all the tasks of running a coffee roasting business, but many roasters own small operations and perform several job functions.”

Home roasting is one kind of adventure, but professional coffee roasting includes the added responsibility of ensuring the safe operations of a facility to also ensure the safety of employees and the ultimate food safety of the coffee being roasted and sold.

Hoos continues by asking, “What are the main tasks of a professional coffee roaster? The core task seems clear: following a roast curve to transform green coffee into roasted coffee that consumers will enjoy. There are some professional roasters who only stand at the machine and roast coffee all day long, but these roasters work for large companies that have dozens of staff members doing things like getting the green coffee into the roaster, testing and determining a specific profile, making sure the machine is run safely, and tasting the coffee to ensure quality. For those who run smaller operations, those tasks are included in the roaster’s portfolio of competencies.”

There’s a lot that goes into running a small professional roasting operation, and Ally’s Essential Coffee Roasting Course breaks it all down. The different sections cover machine operation, good manufacturing practices, roast profiling, machine maintenance, roast evaluation, defect identification, roast logging, tasting concepts, and more to help you run your business with confidence and expertise. The companion workbook is an invaluable and comprehensive resource for roasters who are conducting their very first roast as much as for professionals who want to refresh and hone their skills. The workbook includes clearly stated goals for developing roasting competencies and several self-assessment checks to evaluate your progress towards those aims. There are downloadable charts, forms, and activities to help you learn and build the competencies of roasting.

“To be a professional roaster, all the tasks listed so far connect to the system of production, and the production system connects to the company goals for the market,” says Hoos. “Of course, the company operates under the local and national laws of the country in which the roaster is doing business. Some of these laws directly affect how tasks are carried out, particularly in the safety areas: personnel, equipment, product safety. Those roasters who run small companies sometimes do many of the sub-tasks that are part of running a business—and staying in business—like finances, compliance, green coffee forecasting, and buying.”

Rob Hoos has been a professional roaster for many years and he infuses the course with his insight and experience. As both a green coffee supplier and a leader in innovative professional development and learning opportunities for the coffee community, Ally Coffee understands that coffee roasters’ needs vary depending on many factors specific to your business, which is why we designed the course to be applicable to a range of professional settings while also detailing the specifics of the equipment and variables present in our demos.

Hoos concludes, “We hope the information, worksheets and exercises Ally Coffee’s Essential Roasting Course are sufficient to help you run a small roasting operation safely and successfully. However, the best way to learn is to roast as much as possible, concentrating on mastering the many variables at the machine and then cupping everything, including coffees you think might be a mistake. You will make mistakes, and that’s part of the learning process, but we hope this program will help you avoid mistakes that cost money for a professional roaster.”

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