OAKLAND, CA— Desperately trying to increase solubility, one local roaster is trying a novel approach: roasting the coffee slightly darker for a slightly longer period of time.
“We’ve been banging our heads against the wall for so long on this one,” said Greg Lewin, head roaster and director of quality control for the popular local cafe and wholesaler. “How can you get the coffee to extract while also still roasting it correctly? Eventually we just decided we had to break some rules in order to make it happen.”
Once they did that, Lewin says, the solution was right there in front of them.
“So I got on the machine and was like, what if I just leave this in for fifteen extra seconds? It wasn’t easy to figure out how to reroute the entire roast to last an extra fifteen seconds, but I’ve been roasting for a long time and I was eventually able to make it happen.”
Now, cafes and wholesale customers alike report that not only is the coffee extracting slightly better, it also tastes a tiny bit less like peanut shells.
Lewin’s novel approach stands as a shining example of not letting dogma stand in your way. He intends to write a book on his new roasting methodology and possibly even launch a consulting business alongside his work as head roaster. We’ll keep you posted on Lewin’s journey.