Simone Guidi tells us what it takes to be a good roaster

May 14, 2021

Simone Guidi of La Sosta Specialty Coffee tells us what roasting means and what it takes to be a good roaster.

“Roasting is the transformation process of a raw material - our coffee bean - into a semi-finished product that must be finalized by the barista with different extraction methods.

During the roasting process, coffee doubles in volume, loses moisture and organic material (in fact there’s a weight loss), changes color and multiplies aromas tenfold. Because inside a seed there is everything, it’s rich in carbohydrates, fats, acids...and the heat awakens these components.

Just like with any other fruit - because let’s remind ourselves that the bean is a seed that is part of a fruit - coffee can be sweeter or more acidic, therefore having high-quality raw materials is fundamental. Quality allows us to have better coffee even with the exact same roasting. For example, with La Sosta we only deal with specialty grade coffees, which means having a very particular quality of seeds right from the start.

Starting from low-quality beans, with defects or other problems due to travelling etc., even with the best roast in the world we’ll never get a good quality product. But with high quality coffee we can enhance its characteristics and bring out something unique. But be careful, roasting need to be done well and this is where the roaster comes into play.”

What skills should a roaster have?

“Being a roaster is a job that requires a thorough knowledge of the raw material – that is, if you want to do it right. The roaster to me is a person who knows how to taste coffee, knows how to recognize its defects and therefore knows what to look for in both the selection, and during roasting.

The roaster's role also consists in knowing your equipment well and knowing the guidelines of the roasting process. At the same time, I always say that the first rule for roasting coffee is: there are no rules! There are guidelines that if followed allow you to avoid problems, but if the data, numbers and graphics say that this is the recipe for the perfect roast, it can still be bad or different from expectations.

So, it is important to know how to taste, know your equipment, the general guidelines of the roasting process and, finally, you must have consistency, be repeatable. Because a good roaster is not just someone who takes the best coffee and makes the best roast in the world, a good roaster is someone who can bring that same quality over and over again. "

Thank you Simone Guidi for this insight into the world of roasting! We will talk more about coffee, what will be the next step? #beantocup #makeitbetter

Simone Guidi tells us what it takes to be a good roaster