Putting things into context
The roasting championship is getting closer. One of the greatest opportunities for preparing for competitions is to learn something new. This past month has mainly been focusing on the first of three disciplines – the green grading. The challenge of this is to identify green coffee defects in a sample of 350 grams and do standard physical measurements, such as moisture content, odor, color, and screen size.
This has to be done according to the SCA definitions as seen in The Washed Arabica Green Defect Guide. One thing is to identify defects but anyone can do that, even without knowledge in coffee. It’s just a matter of experience and physical recognition. But if you want to take something with you from this discipline you need to put things into context – why are these particular defects in here and what does that mean? This is what I’m asking myself and for sure it will get me even more confidence in mastering this challenge. So for training, I’m doing the following;
1. Identifying defects and sorting them.
2. Finding the cause of defect for the sorted categories
3. Putting defects into agricultural/production context This also makes preparations more dynamic and keeping things interesting.
Other than this, Joe from April and I starting doing some test batches for the championship at minimum batch size together (3kg), which is mandatory on the specific roaster for the competition. I found that this requires a better understanding of the mechanics of the roaster since heat applications differ significantly from our standard 12kg batches. So know we're trying to figure out in-between protocols and tasting roasts with some different burner setting approaches.