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Designing Roasting Profiles According to Coffee Processing

By
Sungbin Cho
January 25, 2024
8
min read
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Coffee roasting, even coffee of the same variety from the same country, requires different airflow settings during roasting if the processing methods differ. This post will explore roasting using three representative methods of green beans and discuss how to design roasting profiles accordingly.

We will use 'Honduran Parainema coffee' as an example. Even within the same lot (plot) of Honduran Parainema, the processing method can significantly alter the required airflow for optimal flavor development. Therefore, it is essential to set a unique airflow for each processing method of coffee. Our examples include coffee processed using natural, washed, and honey methods. We have developed three profiles, each with appropriate airflow. While the ideal airflow might vary for different origins and roasting points, the trends should be similar to the roasting charts provided in this post. Hence, for other origins and varieties, you can refer to these example profiles and apply the same principles in your roasting profile design.

We recommend the following approaches for roasting profile changes based on coffee processing:

  • Natural processed coffee requires the slowest airflow among the three methods. We recommend setting it with relatively low heat, slow exhaust, and high charge temperature.
  • Washed processed coffee needs the fastest airflow. We recommend setting it with relatively high heat, fast exhaust, and low charge temperature.
  • Honey processed coffee requires an airflow between the natural and washed profiles.

Next are examples of roasting profiles for these three processing methods.

Profile - Natural

Here is the green bean and roasting information used for <Profile- Natural>:

  • Green Bean Info – Honduras Las Acacias Parainema Natural
  • Region: Marcala, La Paz
  • Farm: Las Acacias
  • Variety: Parainema
  • Altitude: 1,350 m
  • Processing: Natural
  • Roasting Machine Info – Easyster 1.8 (2021)
  • Charge: 1,000 g
  • Yield: 870 g
  • Weight Loss: 13.0%
  • Roasting Drop Point: Discharge after about 8 degrees temperature rise following the first crack
Honduras Las Acacias Parainema Natural Roasting Record
Honduras Las Acacias Parainema Natural

<Profile - Natural> forms a relatively slow airflow compared to <Profile - Washed> and <Profile - Honey>, with the lowest heat, slow exhaust, and high charge temperature settings.

Profile - Washed

Here is the green bean and roasting information used for <Profile- Washed>:

  • Green Bean Info – Honduras La Cumbre Parainema Fully Washed
  • Region: Teupasenti, El Paraiso
  • Farm: La Cumbre
  • Variety: Parainema
  • Altitude: 1,314 m
  • Processing: Fully Washed
  • Roasting Machine Info – Easyster 1.8 (2021)
  • Charge: 1,000 g
  • Yield: 880 g
  • Weight Loss: 12.0%
  • Roasting Drop Point: Discharge after about 8 degrees temperature rise following the first crack
Honduras La Cumbre Parainema Fully Washed

<Profile - Washed> forms a relatively fast airflow compared to <Profile - Natural> and <Profile - Honey>, with the highest heat, fast exhaust, and low charge temperature settings.

Profile - Honey

Here is the green bean and roasting information used for <Profile- Honey>:

  • Green Bean Info – Honduras Pacayalito Parainema Honey
  • Region: Los Jardinez, Trojes, El Paraiso
  • Farm: Pacayalito
  • Variety: Parainema
  • Altitude: 1,329 m
  • Processing: Honey
  • Roasting Machine Info – Easyster 1.8 (2021)
  • Charge: 1,000 g
  • Yield: 880 g
  • Weight Loss: 12.0%
  • Roasting Drop Point: Discharge after about 6 degrees temperature rise following the first crack
Honduras Pacayalito Parainema Honey

<Profile - Honey> forms an airflow between the natural and washed profiles. It is set with higher heat, faster exhaust, and lower charge temperature compared to <Profile - Natural> and with lower heat, slower exhaust, and higher charge temperature compared to <Profile - Washed>. The honey processed green beans used in the example showed flavor and profile progression characteristics that were closer to washed processed beans, so once the roasting was done, the results were closer to the washed profile.

Thus, the appropriate airflow for honey processing lies between natural and washed processes. To find the more suitable airflow for honey processing during roasting, consider the following:

  • Honey processed coffee requires an airflow that lies between natural and washed coffee.
  • Determine if the honey processed coffee is closer to natural or washed processing, or somewhere in between.
  • Observe the coffee's origin details or the appearance (color, aroma, etc.) If information is scarce or judgment is difficult, conduct (sample) roasting to understand whether the flavor and roasting profile are closer to natural or washed processing.
  • If the beans are like Black Honey processed and resemble natural processing in appearance, roast them following the natural profile.
  • If the beans are like White Honey processed and resemble washed processing in appearance, roast them following the washed profile.
  • After checking the roasting profile and flavor, if roasting defects occur, adjust the airflow to a mid-value between natural and washed processing and modify the profile accordingly.
  • Honey processing can be somewhat challenging as processing details are often omitted and simply labeled as "honey", requiring multiple trials in roasting.

The following <Profile Comparison> allows observation of the profile changes and characteristics for these three processing methods.

3 Honduras Coffee Roasting Profile Comparison

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Sungbin Cho
CMG Coffee Bar Head Roaster, Wecoffee Education Manager
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