Roasting Coffee


Roasting by Hand


While we admire those coffee artisans out there that purchase green coffee and subscribe to methods like oven baking or pan "frying", with all due respect, these methods are inherently poor in maximizing the flavor potential of a green coffee bean. The trial and error process alone consumes a significant amount of coffee and energy. It's a fun thing to try, but consistently inferior to the results that are available through coffee-specific roasting technology.



Roasting by Machine

As a company, and as a family that has been roasting coffee for over one hundred years, we have been able to climb the evolutionary ladder of roasting technology progress. Today, we consider ourselves on the leading edge, as we have invested in a fully-automated and fully-programmable coffee roasting system. The system allows us to make minute by minute temperature variations, and gives us the ability to develop multiple profiles for coffees which are set up against variables like coffee moisture, outside air temperature and humidity. It's not just enough to know all the temperature set points that you need to develop the optimal taste profile for a Colombian Supremo coffee, but you also need to know the roasting environment. Once all of these variables are set, the proper roasting profile is selected and the roasting process begins. We call it precision roasting!


The Art of Roasting/Roast makers

Roasting coffee has always been the perfect balance between art and science. As roasting equipment has evolved, the ability to apply more science to roasting has been realized. However, at PapaNicholas, we still have a strong respect for the art behind roasting coffee. Our artistic endeavors are realized using our Sample Roaster, which is a scaled down version without all of the bells and whistles. It allows us to experiment with very small batches, to adjust temperature set points and to work with the roaster in a much more traditional sense. Some of those great traditions are listening for the first "crack" (that point in the roasting process when the moisture expansion from inside the bean makes the bean crack), and using a stop-watch to check the coffee for roast color manually. As an organization, we will always continue to work on our craft.


Types of Roasts

Light Roast vs. Dark Roast?

The roast style is a key factor in bringing out the true essence of a specialty coffee. At PapaNicholas Coffee we use a traditional five-tiered scale to indicate roast type:

  • American Roast
  • Full City Roast
  • Viennese Roast
  • French Roast
  • Italian/Espresso Roast

Typically, a lighter roasted coffee will have a smoother and sweeter flavor throughout the entire tasting experience. As the coffee roast darkens, an experienced pallet will pick-up a strong/"fruity" note early, with a smooth finish. Please note that these are general references and that the origin of the coffee bean will also dictate specific taste profiles.