I was invited in for a visit to Toby's Estate by the lovely Kate, I was really interested in learning more about the roasting process in addition to a great cup of jo. While I had visited Toby's once before with the lovely Carrie Purcell, I jumped at the opportunity to learn more. I'm one of those geeks that likes to know everything about everything in the food/beverage world. It's really important to me to know where things come from and how they are made. I enjoy the craft factor of everything. Growing up with a single mother who was particularly crafty around the house, she could fix anything, build, grow, cook, organize, the woman is a wizard. I led a fairly similar lifestyle where no task is too small, we don't procrastinate, we do. I take every opportunity that comes my way to learn something using my hands. I am not afraid to get my hands dirty, in fact I embrace it. I relate most to the hard working class, those who have soul and take pride in what they do.
There is a major disconnect with people and where the food is coming from, that includes beverages as well. I don't think most people necessarily think "Where did the beans come from to make this cup of coffee?" "Who spent all day picking them?" Well I do, and I want to know every detail along with it. I love learning how a simple coffee berry turns into this fabulous cup of jo and how you treat that bean from start to finish can have such a huge impact on the flavor and style.
I met up with Toby's Estate's coffee roaster and operations manager Deaton Pigot, here are a few questions I asked him.
What's your favorite coffee brewing tool?
At home I usually don't go past a Chemex brewer with bleached filters.
What are some common mistakes you see people make with coffee? What do you look for in a good cup?
The most important thing you can buy is a good burr grinder and buy coffee fresh from roast. Always look for a roasted on date rather then a used by date. A common mistake is buying coffee pre ground or using a blade grinder, also not weighing the amount of coffee you use and either brewing coffee with water that is too hot or too cold, buy a thermometer and brew at around 200F.
A Little About the Roasting Process
-Heat roaster up to around 400F
-Load green beans into hopper and charge
-Let the beans absorb heat for 1.30 to 2min's before the bean temperature starts to rise.
-The beans start to change color from green to yellow to Orange
-When the beans start to brown they go through "1st Crack"
-1st Crack is when any residual moisture that is present in the bean turns to a gas due to heat. Paralysis of the cell structure happens as the gas is expelled outwards and a popping noise (Crack) occurs. If it helps, think about pop corn popping! This happens in coffee around 395F.
-The bean is creating a lot of it's own heat, so I turn down the temperature, whilst checking for a nice browning color and let the bean out within 12 to 13 minutes. The end temperature is somewhere between 405 to 420F depending on what desired roast profile I am looking for.
Toby's Estate is an Australian based coffee company. The location in Brooklyn also offers classes.
Learn more about their coffee.
Toby's Estate Coffee
125 N6th Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn New York