Say Good Morning to Adam from Deeper Roots Coffee in Cincinnati, Ohio! (And thank him for that delicious coffee aroma in the air! NOTE: If you’re not craving a cup already, you will be after reading this tools of the trade.)
If you didn’t think much science and calculation was involved in coffee roasting, then you obviously haven’t met Adam. With a background in engineering and a passion for reaching out to others, Adam brings the perfect mix to daily brews. Plus, like any coffee addict–he’s got a boatload of energy and is always a blast to be around!
But not just that, Adam’s part of a really awesome mission over at Deeper Roots Coffee. Driven by their partnership with Deeper Roots Development to improve the communities of small coffee farms in Guatemala, they set up shop in Cincy to provide high quality coffee crafting and cafe consulting.
Now, let’s get to roastin’ and see Adam’s tools of the trade!
1) 18 Kilo US Roaster Corp Coffee Roaster. This beast is the driving force behind Deeper Roots Coffee’s coffee production. We roast only manually at DRC and have no automation to our roasting. Each batch is roasted by hand and the roast profile is adjusted manually for each coffee to give the most love possible to our different coffees.
2) Quest M3 Sample Roaster. When we evaluate different coffees to add to our offering list we like to roast and try the coffee before buying thousands of dollars worth. This little drum roaster allows us to roast around 140g samples that our importers send us so we can cup the coffee and evaluate qualities and/or defects.
3) Single-cup pour over brewing device. We love using the Hario V60 to brew the coffees we sample roast and production roast to see what our end consumers will taste in the cup. We test different ratios of coffee and water on this device so we can suggest the best ratio for each coffee to our customers.
4) Goose-necked water kettle. The water kettle is essential at DRC. We use it to accurately pour water for our pour over coffee as well as our cuppings. Kettles like this allow you to accurately adjust flow rate and location of the pour which is an often overlooked nuance in coffee extraction.
5) iPhone. Who doesn’t use their phone!? I time almost everything I do so being able to time things accurately as well as check an email without losing focus on roasting coffee is a must. Also, Temple Run 2 in the spare time.
6) Digital Refractometer. This tool, as well as an algorithm built in an app in tool #5, measures the total dissolved solids in a liquid. Brewed coffee needs to have a certain % total dissolved solids (usually 18%-22%) in the liquid to taste correct. If the %TDS is too low or too high the coffee just won’t taste right. It will still taste like coffee but we work on nuances and this tool allows us to geek out on empirical data to get the right quality out of our coffee. We will often brew a coffee 10 different ways to get the correct tasting notes out of it and this tool helps narrow that testing down. Once we dial in a coffee we relay that information to the shops that work with us to help them get the best out of the cup as well.
7) Large Scale. I have to measure coffee in the green (unroasted) state before it goes in the roaster and also after it comes out of the roaster to keep track of % loss during roasting. Coffee often loses up to 18% of its mass during roasting and keeping track of what that exactly is helps me not over or under measure the green coffee.
There are a ton more tools of the trade like grinders, espresso machines, etc. but these are ones that I, as a roaster, need to deal with on a daily bases in terms of production roasting the best coffee in our beloved city!