It is pretty much a given
that the specialty coffee movement in the U.S. began with a scattered band of fanatics, that simply wanted to stress the need for high quality consumable coffee. The fruit of this union was the Specialty Coffee Association (SCAA), which has evolved into a respectful organization of over 3,000 members. At one of the annual SCAA tradeshows, roasters voiced the need for the association to pay more attention to the small roaster. The SCAA responded by forming the Roaster’s Guild, offering many roasting workshops and functions; one of the most important being their Annual Retreat, which is now entering its sixth year. We are proud to bring this issue to their upcoming retreat in Minnesota with articles that are definitely going to quench their thirst for roasting knowledge.
With the help of the Coffee Taster’s Wheel creator, Dolf De Rovira of Flavor Dynamics, we will begin a series of technical articles on coffee and its flavors. We’re not talking about how hazelnut tastes on coffee, but the actual flavor notes of green and roasted coffee (“The Flavor of Roasted Coffee,” page 21). Also, writers Joan Nielsen and Joel Starr embark on a virtual cross-country project to uncover the controversy behind the proliferation of computer-based and modular designs for larger coffee roasters that often leaves small roasters in the dust (“Roast Profiling: On the Road to a Perfect Blend,” page 24).
However, for those contemplating the idea of roasting, and whether or not it is a good match for you, Andrew Hetzel of Cafemakers, might just have the answer. He walks us through the pros and the cons of roasting, and reviews the thought process in deciding whether roasting is the right option for your business. Peter Guiliano of Counter Culture, and past president of the Roasters Guild, also lends us his roasting expertise and views. He urges the roasting community to not forget coffee’s exotic origin. As we too easily let coffee’s ubiquity overshadow its exotic pedigree, Peter reminds us that really no other food contains such a rich tapestry of stories.
Once that decision is made, you can move along into the notion of developing a distinctive product. Due to the complexities of what defines a quality cup of coffee, there is no set standard within the industry, which has resulted in some confusion in determining its worth. Phil Beattie discusses the need in developing a universal quality criterion for the industry, and how some minor scientific fact and figures could be applied to determining coffee quality (“Quality On A Curve,” page 28).
And this is only a start to the many other tea and coffee articles that we offer in this issue. If you take a look at our front cover, you’ll notice a slight change in our tagline. After several key industry members continually told us how much they trusted our publication, and looked to us as the serious publication of the industry, we’ve changed out tagline from the ‘80s stating, “The International Voice of the Tea & Coffee Industries” to “The Trusted International Voice of the Tea & Coffee Industries.”
Editor & Co-Publisher
Tea & Coffee - July/August, 2006
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