DISTRICT | Our Roasting Profile
Often we're asked about the how we roast our coffees and what the roasting profile is. Usually the question comes from one of three perspectives:
- I like coffee that is tasty, full flavored, and unique to it's single origin roots.
- I like coffee that is just like what I get a Starbucks. I want coffee that is dark and strong.
- All are great starting points, but one is more aligned with DISTRICT Roasters than the others. Let's explain.
At DISTRICT, we spend considerable time perfecting our coffee roasting technique and profiles. We do this to constantly improve our coffee flavor, bringing out all its uniqueness, and to bring the best coffee experience.
We try to leave nothing to chance, taking into account bean density, the number of pounds we roast at one time, roasting equipment temperatures (internal and external), relative humidity, etc. What we find is that no two coffees roast exactly the same, every time, let alone with compared to another single origin coffee.
To help us, we've acquired the very best in roasting equipment and related technology, we continually test our coffees, and increase our education and direct, hands-on experience.
So, what is our roasting profile? Simple put, we seek to achieve the very best roasting profile for the particular bean to accomplish the following:
- Bring out the best aroma and flavor (from grind to sip)
- Maximize the sweet richness that coffee is supposed to bring
- To avoid any overly"green" flavors
- To avoid any hint of "smoke/burnt" or "ash" flavor
To retain as much of the very best of things we watch the following:
- Color: often determined by the end temperature of the roast, we look to stay in the "brown" categories of City and/or City+ profile (see the image below). The lighter the color, the more "green" tasting the coffee will be just like the darker the color the more "burnt" or "ash" the coffee will taste.
- Development: separate from color development is a measure of the interior of the bean. We avoid underdevelopment which leads to a generic tasting coffee with a tinge of "green" flavor. Likewise we avoid overdevelopment which leads to loss of organic flavors and brings about a "lifeless and hollow" flavor.
- Finish Speed: this is an indicator of what happens to the temperature after first-crack of the bean when roasting. We shoot for an ever increasing, slow finish temperature. Doing so eliminates the "baking" of the beans or "stalling" of the temperature.
In the end, though, you're our best advocate, critic, and judge. While we have the best equipment, understand the science, and have lots of experience, we've still a long way to go.
So let us know what you think. Make suggestions. We'll consider them all and work even harder at bringing the very best—keeping the "special" in "specialty coffee."
Oh yeah, what about the other coffee roasters and coffee shop coffees?
You be the judge as to where they might fit on the image above. Know that the best coffees are found in the City/City+ roasting profile and at the lighter end of the "French" roasting profile.
Unfortunately, you'll find a lot of coffees that look just like the "Massacre" roasting profile, especially in America. Why is that? When you roast coffee to the "Massacre" roasting profile the coffee is burned into consistency (no matter how good or bad the beans are) in a very dark, smoky, and strong profile that makes a strong coffee. Think "truck stop" coffee, even if it's from some of the most well known, national coffee shop chains.
Will you find that kind of coffee at DISTRICT? Nope (sorry...).