Roasting

Musings on John Vaughan and the “Going Out of Style” of Fresh, Local, and Lovingly Roasted Coffee

I never had the opportunity to meet John C. Vaughan from St. Louis. And that saddens me, because he looks like the sort of man a person would WANT to meet… especially if they were a person like me that is (and as John obviously was) absolutely crazy about roasting coffee. Read more »

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Roaster Restoration – Part 3

Faversham & Felixstowe, Oh My!

When I was hired by Coffee Bean International in 1982, my first job was as a brand manager for ‘Jericho America’, our line of imported coffee and tea equipment – both commercial (we directly imported and distributed commercial coffee grinders) and household (similarly, we directly imported and distributed container-loads of French presses, airpots, filter-papers, brew cones, and so forth). As a small Pacific Northwest specialty roaster in those very early years, we were chronically rich in great ideas but short of money, so I wound up learning to do most of the complicated work of running an import business on the fly, and on a shoestring – I think I could have written ‘Managing Letters of Credit, CIF Price Quotes, Freight Consolidators, and Customs Brokers for Dummies’!

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Roaster Restoration – Part 2

Bishops’ Hats and Scally Caps

For over twenty years, I’ve longed to get my hands on a Whitmee coffee roaster. Due to their extreme scarcity and cost - whenever one did come onto the market in the UK, it carried a price beyond my means - the dream eluded me. I contented myself instead by diligently researching and collecting heavy-duty ‘Monitor’ roasters built here in the U.S. and amazing open-drum and open-flame ‘Uno’ roasters manufactured in England.

Why Whitmee? Read more »

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Roaster Restoration – Part 1

Salvation of a Steampunk Roaster

I’m the first to admit that I’m passionate about coffee – and in particular, coffee roasters. That probably explains why I decided years ago to collect coffee roasters, and now find myself owning seven of them (not counting my three sample roasters, of course…they’re so petite!) in sizes ranging from a husky half-bagger all the way down to a diminutive three-pound countertop beauty.

Some guys collect cars. I round-up roasters. Same disease, different symptoms. Read more »

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From the Roaster: Paul on Public Domain

A few years ago (ok, 20 years), Coffee Bean International chose to move from being a retail/wholesale roaster to purely wholesale. I believe the primary reason may have been that we didn’t want to compete with our retail customers. As the lead roaster and coffee buyer at the time, this move made life a bit easier. We no longer needed to deal with the retail side… Read more »

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News: Roastmaster Paul Thornton Re-elected to SCAA Board

We are thrilled to announce that our Roastmaster, Paul Thornton, has been elected to serve a second term on the Board of Directors for the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). The SCAA is the world’s largest coffee trade organization and serves the coffee industry, from growers and distributors, to roasters and baristas, to coffeehouses, with education, training, resources and businesses services. Read more »

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Fast vs Slow Roasting

I want to start a dialogue surrounding fast vrs slow roasting and the effect on body and acidity in the cup, caused by the speed of the roast. Your opinions please would be great on the two below points. I have always felt slower roasts mute perception of acidity, therefore helping embellish body. Contrary to this, I have always felt faster roasts embellish acidity perception, muting the perception of body. Any thoughts on these two points below? Are these two statements correct? Read more »

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Single-Origin Coffees versus Blends

So much attention these days seems to be given to single-origin coffees – served as shots of espresso, dripped in brewers, or brewed in siphons. Read more »

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