Coffee Roaster visit


    The Brooklyn Roasting Company sources and serves superb and sustainable coffees from the world’s most renowned growing regions, such as Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Brazil, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Indonesia and many more. The 123 Navy Yard Building, Brooklyn’s Roasting Company, was founded more than 2 centuries ago has one of the most well-programmed and well-equipped systems that can control all the parameters of an individual roast on micro level. It operates two Loring roasters, the 1/2-bag Kestrel and the full-bag Peregrine. Both are fully programmable; we use Cropster software to enable us to track and control the progress of every roast and ensure consistency. The Loring roasters are also environmentally friendly: it’s 80% more efficient than any other roaster of comparable scale.

According to Sarah, who was assisting me throughout the tour, the art of roasting is in determining how much time and resulting color best suit the bean. There is a point; however, when the bean’s original flavor is overtaken by the flavor the roasting gives it. Hence, darker roasts, a quality preferred by some drinkers actually taste less like their original bean. Light and medium roasts find a balance to capture the bean’s qualities and flavor notes as determined by a bean’s geographical origin or variety. Roasting brings out the aroma and flavor that is locked inside the green coffee beans. Beans are stored green, a state in which they can be kept without loss of quality or taste.  A green bean has none of the characteristics of a roasted bean; it’s soft and spongy to the bite and smells grassy.

Raw coffee beans are dropped into loaders and then into a rotating drum. The drum is pre-heated to a temperature of around 400 F degrees. Roasting causes chemical changes to take place as the beans are rapidly brought to very high temperatures. After 12-15 minutes depending on the type of roast, the roasted beans will exit the drum at around 360 F degrees and are then taken out into a cooling tray at the front of the roaster. When they reach the peak of perfection, they are quickly cooled to stop the process They are then passed through a machine that removes any stones or debris before being checked by hand for any defects, and once cooled completely, finally packaged in reusable cans of tin-steel. Roasted beans smell like coffee, and weigh less because the moisture has been roasted out. They are crunchy to the bite, ready to be ground and brewed.

Quality control begins with the selection of only the finest coffees from trusted suppliers with whom Brooklyn Roasting Company has cultivated lasting relationships. The company visits growers when possible and seeks detailed knowledge of every grower’s farming practices, working conditions, and commitment to quality and sustainability. When green beans arrive at the facility, they are checked for moisture content using a Sinar MCal Moisture Analyser. It is looked for a moisture content of 11-13%; beans that fall below that threshold may be too old and are rejected. Moreover, overall quality is highly certified by Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, USDA and OU Kosher trademarks.