Small-batch roasted coffee is what we offer here at Roastlabs Co. and recently we’ve been asked why we chose to focus on small-batch roasted coffee. So we thought we’d answer that with a short post explaining our process and choices.
There are two main reasons why coffee roasted in small-batches is superior to those coffees that you find in supermarkets that have been roasted in mass quanities:
- The roast is fresher
- The roast is more consistent
We understand that it all starts with the beans. Roastlabs Co. buys coffee from many parts of the world including Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Colombia, and Rwanda just to name a few. We buy is directly from our producers. When you’re buying small in amounts you’re able to get farm-specific coffees. Some of the producers we work with might only grow on a few hectares of land and are only producing 10 to 12 bags per harvest.
When we receive coffee beans they are green and as long as we keep them in a cool, dry place they will be ready to be roasted almost indefinitely (within reason obviously).
Once the beans are roasted the quality of the flavours begin to decrease and the aim of small-batch roasting is to sell or use the roasted beans within a few days of roasting them. Roasting the beans changes their chemical composition and thus their taste, bringing out oils and other elements that are necessary for creating the flavours found in coffee that we know and love. If coffee is left for too long after roasting (more than about a week) these fresh oils, sugars and other chemical elements of the beans start to degrade and oxidise with the passage of time so the closer to the roasting that you drink the coffee the fresher it is going to taste.
This is also true when grinding coffee. Once ground the coffee is broken down and has a much larger surface area from which these flavourful elements can evaporate or oxidise. So for the freshest coffee get yourself a small coffee grinder and grind your small-batch roasted, Roastlabs beans fresh every time you make a cup of coffee.
Many mass market coffees that you find in supermarkets are roasted in massive batches. This leaves the roaster with less control over the roast (the roasting level and colour- of the final product), resulting in a product which is unable to attain gourmet levels of quality. Roasting beans in small batches like we do allows us to monitor them very closely and get a more consistent and precise roast across all of the beans in one batch. This means we get a more accurately roasted bean and it allows us to really focus on getting the flavours out of the coffee that we want to get out of it, allowing each specific bean to really shine through. Small batch roasting really works for showing off the unique elements of single origin coffee and this is why we offer both small-batch roasting and single origin coffee.