About a week ago, without much fanfare, we added a new feature to the RoastLog website. If you’ve been following us on Twitter you can probably guess what I’m talking about. It’s not a huge change but we think it could have pretty large implications in the way that roasters share information with each other. We’ve taken to calling it “social roasting.” Basically it is a way to share your roasting philosophy by sharing roast profiles that have been logged on the RoastLog system with roasters throughout the world.
Our default setting will remain private, but RoastLog users now have the option of making some or all roast profiles publicly viewable. The brave and the bold are now able to go to the settings tab and check the “share roast profiles” box. When this option is chosen, every roast that is logged by that user will be accessible to those who are interested in seeing them. The more cautious RoastLog users can edit an individual roast by checking the “publicly visible” box on the edit page. This option will make just that one roast profile shareable.
The amount of information in these profiles is limited, so no one has to worry about sharing too much detail. Here is an example of a coffee I logged on my sample roaster a couple of weeks ago: http://roastlog.com/roasting/10122/. There you’ll see the name of the coffee, the date it was roasted and some other information including of course, the profile of the roast itself. You won’t see things like who the coffee was purchased from, how much it cost and what current inventory levels are. I could have added more detail too, like start/end mass, color reading and other notes.
Since each roast has a unique number and a correspondingly unique URL (10122 in the example above) roasters who choose to make a profile visible to the public can share information about the roast by sharing the URL with other roasters, colleagues or even customers. Roasters can email or tweet the URL of the roast they want to share, and those who would like to learn more can go to that page and view the profile of the roast in question. Now roasters can more easily explain the approach they took with the roast of a particular coffee with others who are interested.
Our hope is that this feature will facilitate conversations and learning about the roasting process that will lead to improved quality of roasted coffee. If two roasters go in on one COE auction lot, they can share and compare profiles to determine how to get the most out of that specific coffee, even if one roaster is in Australia and the other is in the Unites States. What about posting roast profiles to your retail or wholesale website, so your geekier customers can gain more insight into the coffees they are purchasing? These are just a couple of ideas on ways to use this feature and we fully expect roasters will figure out new and exciting ways to start social roasting that we haven’t even thought of.