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Designing a Light Roast Profile - Colombian Washed (2)

Sungbin Cho
July 27, 2023
min read
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In the previous article 'Colombian Washed Coffee Roasting Profile Design 1,' we continue with the method of designing a light roasting profile for Colombian washed coffee.

In the previous part, when roasting the main varieties of Colombian washed coffee beans, two sample roasts were conducted by significantly differentiating the airflow inside the machine's drum. Among the two results, the batch roasted with faster airflow received more positive sensory evaluations.

Once the positive flavors in the coffee have been identified through sample batches by understanding the airflow, it is crucial to determine the roasting point (known as the discharge temperature) for the product roasting. When designing the production roasting profile, you should choose the discharge temperature based on the intended purpose of the coffee or the desired flavors you aim to achieve.

In this post, we will assume the criteria for light roasting falls within the range of "from the moment the first crack begins until the moment the first crack ends."
After roasting, tasting should be done through cupping within 24 hours to sensually assess the coffee's characteristics, flavors, and roasting defects. Subsequently, it is essential to conduct tastings as frequently as possible to accumulate data on how the coffee's aroma and intensity change over time.\Due to the relatively low discharge temperatures in light roasting, roasting defects are more likely to occur. Therefore, defects such as underdeveloped or baked flavors should be addressed and resolved by making adjustments to the roasting profile as you continue with the batches.

Due to the relatively low discharge temperatures in light roasting, roasting defects are more likely to occur. Therefore, defects such as underdeveloped or baked flavors should be addressed and resolved by making adjustments to the roasting profile as you continue with the batches.

When both underdeveloped and baked flavors are perceived together during sensory evaluation, it indicates that the airflow formation during roasting has deviated from what the coffee requires. For Colombian main varieties of washed coffee beans, roasting can address underdevelopment quite easily by providing the necessary 'faster airflow' to the beans. Coffee with baked defects that are not underdeveloped can be resolved through slight adjustments in heat, exhaust, and input temperature.

In this post, I will use this coffee for roasting to make profile.

- Coffee Bean Information - Colombia Antioquia La Azucena Washed

- Region: AntioquiaVariety: Caturra, Colombia

- Farm: La Azucena

- Altitude: 2,208 meters

- Processing: Washed - 48-hour fermentation after cherry picking, followed by washing and sun-drying.

<Profile 1>

  • Roasting Machine - Giesen W1A (2020)
  • Charge Amount : 1,000 g
  • Drop Amount : 852 g
  • Weight Loss : 14.8 %
Colombia Light Roasting Profile - Baked, Giesen W1A

The roasting result of <Profile 1> is baked. During the tasting, the overall balance is not good at all temperatures. The acidity is high, reminiscent of underripe oranges. The sharpness and complexity of flavors are lacking, resulting in a cup character that is intense but simple. As the cup cools, roasty notes increase, and the mouth feels dry after tasting.

Apart from these defects, the perceived flavors include citrus and malic acidity, along with characteristics of orange, red apple, and cane sugar.

Since the fast airflow is sufficiently formed, it is not underdeveloped but rather baked. Forming the airflow a bit faster can effectively resolve the baked defect in this coffee.

<Profile 2>

  • Roasting Machine - Easyster 1.8 (2021)
  • Charge Amount : 1,000 g
  • Drop Amount : 870 g
  • Weight Loss : 13.0 %
Colombia Light Roasting Profile - Underdeveloped, Easyster

The sensory evaluation results of <Profile 2> suggest the presence of underdeveloped defects. When tasting at a higher cup temperature, floral aromas are noticeable, along with pronounced malic acidity and a significant fruity taste, but the body strength is low.

As the cup temperature decreases, the body is still low and you can still perceive flavors reminiscent of underdeveloped defects, such as straw and grassy notes.

This is a very light roasting profile, where, after the onset of the first crack, the temperature rises approximately 4 degrees before being rapidly discharged. Since the discharge temperature is relatively low, more heat supply is required compared to a roasting profile with a higher discharge temperature to create a faster airflow. By doing this, it becomes possible to address the underdeveloped defects.

<Profile 3>

  • Roasting Machine - Giesen W1A (2020)
  • Charge Amount : 1,000 g
  • Drop Amount : 850 g
  • Weight Loss : 15.0 %
Colombia Light Roasting Profile - No defect, Giesen W1A

When tasting the roasting result of <Profile 3>, I could hardly perceive any defects. To achieve this, the roasting process started with a 10% higher heat supply than <Profile 1>, and the initial temperature was lowered by 20 degrees. As a result, the baked defects experienced in <Profile 1> were resolved. Moreover, by providing sufficient heat supply, the underdeveloped defects that arise from low heat supply in <Profile 2> were also resolved.

At higher cup temperatures, floral aromas and predominant malic acidity are noticeable, with abundant red apple flavors. As the temperature decreases, you can taste the acidity of citric and malic, and a significant orange aroma. The acidity is well-balanced, and the body has become heavier.

To summarize this post, light roasting requires a faster airflow compared to medium or dark roasting points. If the roasted result shows minimal baked defects, it indicates that the roasting was conducted with the appropriate airflow that the green coffee beans needed.

However, one crucial point to consider is determining the appropriate heat supply. Setting the heat supply low, as seen in <Profile 1>, can result in a baked flavor. In the next post, an example profile with high heat supply leading to overbaked results will be covered.

When roasting Colombian washed coffee, even with sufficient airflow, there can be instances of underdeveloped results. This occurs when the exhaust speed is too fast relative to the heat supply or when both the heat supply and exhaust are set too high, leading to excessive airflow. Setting the heat supply high can potentially shorten the roasting time. However, since light roasting involves significantly lower discharge temperatures compared to medium or dark roasting, it is more appropriate to supply heat for a longer duration adequately.

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Sungbin Cho
CMG Coffee Bar Head Roaster, Wecoffee Education Manager
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