A term often thrown around the roasting end of the specialty coffee industry is “roasting philosophy”. In particular, it is most often heard as, “What is your roasting philosophy?”
But what exactly does that mean?
Is it how you choose to physically approach roasting coffee, or does it refer to something more metaphysical?
If asked about my approach roasting coffee, my response is typically something along the lines of, “Don’t mess it up.” This may sound a bit snarky, and to the people who know me well that would come as no surprise. However, it really is just a short way of saying something that I am pretty passionate about.
The development of my roasting philosophy began during a trip to origin. The manager of a farm held a seed, which was soon to become a coffee tree. He told the group that at that point the seed in his hand possessed every bit of potential it would ever have to make the best coffee it could. From that point on quality would only leave. It is his job to nurture the coffee as a tree, he keeps as much quality in that coffee as he possibly can. Then when it goes to the mill, it is their responsibility to preserve the state of quality that the coffee possesses when it comes to their hands… and so on.
With that in mind, “Don’t mess it up,” took on a whole new meaning. It encouraged me to not only acknowledge, but also respect the hard work of all of the hands that the coffee has touched.
“Don’t mess it up,” is now just my funny way of saying, “Roast with respect.”