Toby's Estate Coffee

















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.

Who's Toby?
Learn more about their coffee.
Toby's Estate Coffee
125 N6th Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn New York


  1. I claim the dirtier your hands are the lovelier your work is! Somehow, still believe in the heart of hard labor in food. Great pictures! (:

  2. Lovely photos, as always. I was a barista for 10 years and am always enamored by coffee beans - they are so beautiful! And I agree, getting your hands dirty is the best way to live life.

  3. I agree with you in how we have forgotten or just intentionally ignored the fact of where our food (and beverages) comes from. I never put so much attention to how coffee is grown (even though my country is a coffee producer) until R. and I did a trip to Chiapas rainforest where we saw how the natives recollect and dry their beans, since that moment I became in love with these berries and all the magic that surround them.

    Funnily I just wrote about this on a recent post, I also had the chance to interview a Chinese Barista for a local publication. :)

  4. I love the mood of these photos- they scream coffee shop! Very laid back. Even though I'm not a diehard coffee drinker I have always been drawn to coffee culture, it seems so artisinal and draws in such creative types. I always link coffee and jazz... don't know why!

  5. My mother used to roast coffee by herself.All the house would smell and seeing your photos I could almost feel it again.

  6. love this post -- and it's funny, I happen to be going on a coffee roasting tour later this week, too. I can't wait.

  7. Beautiful photos. I loved the one with the slow shutter speed on the coffee beans being churned around. Seeing the images reminds me of when we lived in Kansas City. Downtown, there is a coffee roaster. As soon as you cross the bridge into the city the smell of coffee infuses the air!

  8. The lead photo is a-maz-ing. Moody moody moody, girl. And dark, just how I like my coffee roasted :)

  9. lovely photos and informative post. I wish they or I was closer....the classes sound interesting.

  10. you've captured it beautifully! even though i'm not a coffee drinker, i can appreciate the art of making it.

  11. Thanks for the intens smell of freshly brewed coffe, thanks to your photographs. Wish I could jump into a plain and have a minute later a coffee-break in that lovely spot ...

  12. that steam is awesome! and I love the long-ish exposure on the beans. :)

  13. Wow this is pretty neat! And that little pup out front is adorable, lol... great photos.

  14. Lovely shots behind the scenes. Like you, I also like to know all the goings on with food and beverage company. Really great shoots, love the mood.

  15. These are pretty good photos, I like the angle and how it was captured. Im a coffee drinker and its texture,taste and smell are those that i appreciate most about them.


  16. Hermosa fotografias y buenissimo el post, un servicio maravilloso.

  17. Wonderful place,thanks to share!

  18. Hi Nicole, just wandered over here from some of your sumptuous Kinfolk photos floating around the web, and it seems I was sitting just down the table from you at that dinner! Hope to meet you next time:) Loved reading about TE and happy to hear about a new small-batch coffee company prospering in Wmsburg. I'm a Brooklynite coffee drinker and will head up there posthaste. (Also, just visited Four Barrel in the Mission in SF; blew my MIND. Def. add to your list of must-visits next time you're in the Bay Area!).



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