We've read and heard coffee roasting described as an "Art", "Craft" and "Science". From our training and experience, it's ALL these things.
Fortunately we are trained in and apply a now widely adopted industry framework for identifying, point scoring and otherwise communicating a coffee's physical and sensory characteristics and quality. This is the backbone of our training and its application is at every key stage in our business; coffee sourcing, roasting, preparing/ service and when sharing and communicating whether it's across the counter, around the cupping table or right back to where the coffee is from.
In the least this has provided a shared basis of understanding plus a little extra room for individual experience and preference.
Our roasting approach could be best described as "gentle". You see we buy standout coffees, literally from the top 4-5% in quality terms from all production. These are special coffees and are unlike mainstay options in that they have heightened qualities, intensity and characteristics that set them apart. If we applied "legacy" or "traditional" roasting approaches with little care or detail the qualities that are inherent in the special coffees - what elevates them and sets the apart would, more likely than not, be obliterated or otherwise skewed in a direction away from a particular coffees potential. That's a no-no!
At Ristretto our focus is to deliver you a coffee with it's inherent qualities and characteristics that make it special in tact. Defined flavours, distinct mouthfeel, acidity and sweetness all with a good balance or synergy is what we look for when sourcing and selecting for you.
Our roastery is basically a coffee lab capable of mid-sized consistent commercial production. We roast on a rare German 1965 Probat UG15 which is a real privilege. The cast iron metal in these antique roasters conduct heat better than new roasters which results in a superior, full flavoured roast.
We’ve also added in a few state of the art mods to make sure our coffee is the best it can be. This includes cropster roast analysis software, environment temp and bean temp probes, along with a few “secret” tricks we’ve learned from some of the best coffee roasters in the world.
Every Ristretto roast is analyzed for quality using an agtron spectrometer (colour reader), which ensures consistency in every batch. This is how we keep it consistently special.
Beyond this we are relentless coffee cup tasters and use this skill to develop roast profiles (recipes) that best suit individual coffees, blends and batches for particular brew methods (e.g. filter/ aeropress Vs espresso use) as well as coffee roasting quality control.