Ask the Roaster
In February 2018, as we were preparing our first selection of coffees, we had to define an approach to the roaster trade that corresponds both to our convictions but also to the taste of the French.
We have chosen to work only with seasonal coffees, traceable and presenting an aromatic profile representative of a terroir and/or know-how. These coffees, often with a fruity and tangy profile, are a novelty for French coffee drinkers who, culturally, are accustomed to low-altitude coffees, harvested and processed randomly and very caramelized roasts that do not allow the full expression of the differences between each origin or treatment of coffee cherries.
So how do we introduce the French to specialty coffee and pass on our passion for this sometimes confusing taste adventure? Our approach revolves around two central pillars: humans and science.
Coffee alone is a human epic. Harvested by hand at high altitudes on steep slopes, depulped, dried, sorted, selected, packaged, transported, roasted, prepared and then eaten, this little grain in the heart of a cherry knows many pairs of hands before arriving in your cup.
We have chosen to work with producers and importers who, in an ongoing quest for quality, are aware of the importance of building a sustainable model by measuring the impacts we can all have on the ecology and economic and social conditions in producing countries.
This human chain ends with you, us, me: the coffee consumer. Fully aware of the important role that the consumer plays, we listen to each of you in order to understand your needs every day, answer your questions and bring you closer to the women and men behind our coffees.
To accompany you on this new taste journey, we have put in place several tools and methods: Education, Information and Choice.
We are craftsmen who work a living product. The challenge is to offer a regular product at all times. Although we are well aware of the indecisive nature inherent in our profession, we do not believe in the romanticism of the roaster who works his product with only the help of his instinct and his sense of smell.
We believe that roasting is a clever blend of science, expertise and experience mixed with a keen sense of taste. We also believe that experimentation has its place in a defined quality framework as long as it serves the product and the consumer.
We produce each week, taking into account the particularities of each grain (density, humidity, post-harvest processing, grain size, grain age) but also the conditions of the moment (humidity, temperature, wind, production volume of the day) in order to put in place production plans allowing us to offer you the best possible version of what the farmers gave us originally.
Based on this data, we build cooking profiles tailored to each grain and track each process through sensors placed at different locations in our machine, the information of which is transcribed to us by the Roast IQ software (developed in Melbourne, the world capital of specialty coffee).
Our choice was towards a roasting style that emphasizes the intrinsic qualities of each grain as well as the natural sweetness of the coffee. Thus, some coffees will give you tangy cups, others naturally more greedy and sweet.
Quality control in the form of cupping and solubility verification allow us to ensure the quality of the final product at all times. Through this process, we are looking for improvements that we could make to the product in order to get as close as possible to the maximum taste potential of each grain.
A good coffee is not an intuition or a chance but the result of serious work and close human collaboration between all the players in the coffee chain; coffee chain of which you, the end consumer, are an essential link
Dog and Hat
In the UK, there are a number of origins that are just a little bit more difficult to get hold of and one that we've been really struggling to get hold of has been Ecuador. So when researching roasters for the International subscription we were delighted to find that Oven Heaven down in Bordeaux region of France had just what we were looking for. A quick chat later and we had the coffee locked in for the subsccription, yipeee.