Weekly update – Feb. 7, 2010
Things continue to progress for myself and the guys here at RoastLog. Since the three of us are holding down full-time jobs and normal lives, day-to-day operations have been pretty busy.
This past week found us talking with our current beta testers and also meeting or talking with a few potentials. Oh, and I also added a new feature to RoastLog which I’ll show below.
Ted and I headed up to San Rafael to talk with David and Brooke from Equator Coffee. You may have heard of them…they like, won some award or something? On a serious note, it was really fun and humbling talking to Brooke and David. From my perspective, what was great was hearing a veteran such as Brooke talking about the clunky systems coffee roasters have been forced to deal with over the years.
David gave us a tour of their warehouse and brief introduction of their Loring Smart Roaster. After that, we gave them a demo of RoastLog and are excited to say that they definitely would like to install it on one of their three roasters and give it spin. After a short inspection of their San Franciscan, we figured out which kind of thermocouple we need so that RoastLog and their current control system will play nicely together.
After work, I headed over to Ritual’s new roasting facility on Howard St. here in San Francisco. Since Ryan is remote, we dialed him in on Skype and had a really good feedback session with Steve, the roasting head honcho. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, we’re really aiming at making our user interface easy and fun to use. Steve had a bunch of things we need to change…which was absolutely fantastic. Sometimes programmers take offense when a user tells them their software needs help, Ryan and I basically said, “tell us more!”
My favorite paraphrase from Steve:
Our coffee better because of this system
I spoke with Jim from Muddy Dog Coffee and heard some of the issues that he’s having with tracking inventory to meet his organic certification. With some minor additions to RoastLog, I think we’ll be able to address a whole new set of problems roasters are facing.
Our latest testers Jason and Sharky over at De La Paz Coffee got online and starting using RoastLog, which was awesome. We’re really looking forward to talking with them soon to hear about how it’s working out. I’m still enjoying some SO espresso of their Fazenda Esperança peaberry. Good stuff!
That new feature I mentioned? Well, we just added the ability to add arbitrary “events” during a roast. Type a little note and click the “Add Event” button, and that event is recorded at that particular time and temperature during the roast. When viewing the roast profile online, you get cute little bullets marking where those events occurred and what you wrote down. We’re also experimenting with events which span a range, such as first crack. You tell us when first crack starts and ends, and we’ll draw a shaded area on the profile for you.