So here it goes, why is Harbour different than anyone/everyone else with regard to our roasted coffee.
I can't give away the farm here folks, but lets just say that we do things a bit differently.
The coffee we choose is similar to that which is available to specialty roasters worldwide. Our Sulawesi is similar to others (though we would LIKE TO THINK otherwise), and our roaster is something others use. Our propane or nat gas and electricity is the same, as is our lighting.
What defines us is a profile in our roast that serves as a great catalyst for change, (nope I am not running for office....C H A N G E !! ), and change is what happens in the process of roasting.
Pyrolysis is what happens when coffee is roasted. When a roaster, any roaster, applies HEAT either directly or indirectly it creates a process where the coffee 'bean' starts to 'bake'. Through this time many things happen but its the HEAT and the AIR applied to it that create a profile.
More heat here, through this amount of time, airflow in this way or that, at this time or that, which change the timing on when things happen. This juggling of time, temperature and airflow continues all the way up through the end when the coffee 'bean' CRACKS audibly. After this time the coffee is drinkable B U T this is when it gets very important....when do you 'drop' the coffee. Dropping is the process of simply saying that the coffee is done. This is the time when flame has been turned off and the coffee has reached 'its end' and is dropped into the cooling area.
But what is 'done' ?
Any coffee can roast to any temperature or color, of course. Trouble happens when its dropped too soon or too late. It's up to each company or each roaster to determine when that coffee is to be dropped at what temperature/color. When a coffee that should be roasted lightly is dropped late, it tastes burned. A coffee that should be roasted darker but is dropped earlier is often very, 'acidic', or SHARP to the tongue and has very little body or mouthfeel.
A coffee that is roasted well is a coffee that:
- Has spent the proper amount of time roasting.
- Has been roasted at the right temperatures.
- Has been roasted with with the proper amounts of air applied at the right times- Has been through a consistent roast, not a rollercoaster.
- Is dropped at the right time/temp/color.
How to know when to drop? Well you can just go by what others say but I will say this, there's nothing like cupping, and experience. A great roaster needs to roast a varietal to what they believe is its best 'finish' color and temp. There is alot of trial and error involved but after this is done the process can be replicated consistently.
There are a few things in the roast the we do that are very different than most and I'd be a fool to document them. The details above are basics to roasting where everyone starts their journey. What you do with it is alot like life; better to finish well. Right up to the end of the roast, its all important but great coffee needs to finish well. john