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Coffee Technology and the Cognoscenti

April 3, 2010

One of the great things about the coffee industry in general, and about coffee roasters specifically, is the type of people who are attracted to the trade. You are just as likely to see a musician or a sculptor standing next to a roaster as you are a former electrical engineer or carpenter. The diversity in our industry makes it incredibly dynamic, since varied interests bring so many unique perspectives to the product we all work with.

Over the last year, we at RoastLog have talked to a wide cross section of people working in the coffee industry. One thing that has struck me about this experience is that some people almost instantly understand the value of what RoastLog has to offer, while others struggle to grasp how RoastLog can benefit them and make their coffee taste better. Everyone uses technology differently and has a unique understanding of how it can be incorporated into their lives and work. Our dilemma at RoastLog is to figure out ways to articulate how our system can help coffee professionals.

So, here goes… the beauty of RoastLog is that it makes the job of roasters and cuppers easier. Everyone has systems in place to track and log roast profiles and cupping data. We might jot down time and temperature information in a notebook, plot profile curves on graph paper and use photo copied cupping forms. We might even harness the power of modern technology and download data into carefully crafted spreadsheets. While all of these systems work to a degree, let’s face it, they usually take way too much time, and analysis of the data you’ve collected is difficult. Up to now technology simply has not kept up with the needs of coffee roasters.

With RoastLog the tedious task of tracking roasting data has been made as easy as communicating via email or checking your account balance online. To automatically upload and save your roast profiles all you need is a roaster with a Type K thermocouple, a computer connected to the internet and a RoastLog data bridge. When it’s time to cup the coffees you roasted, simply call up the roasts you want to sample and add cupping notes to the specific coffees you are tasting. When you have determined the perfect roast profile for a particular coffee, you can view that profile on your computer as you roast subsequent batches.

Have you ever sifted through a pile of cupping forms several months old looking for information about a coffee back when it was new crop? RoastLog compiles data in one easy-to-search location, giving you the ability to locate the exact roasts and notes you need, making quality assurance and data analysis much easier. With all of your data at your fingertips, analysis becomes a breeze as you scroll through and compare the flavor profile of a coffee over time.

After many months of beta testing RoastLog in the field, we are finally launching the system to a wider audience. We know that we have just grazed the surface of satisfying the technology needs of coffee roasters. Our plan in the coming months and years will be to continue our quest to discover, design and implement new tools into the existing RoastLog system, making it even more valuable than it already is.

Whether you are a roaster who considers yourself a techie, a gear head, cabinet maker or even a cellist, we are looking for you; roasters who understand what we are providing… you know who you are. If you’re going to be attending the SCAA Expo in Anaheim this month, stop by our booth (#2287) say howdy and find out how RoastLog can make your job easier. Find out how RoastLog can help you improve the quality of your coffee. Find out how you can provide the feedback that will chart the path of RoastLog into the future. Join us.

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