15 April 2015
Union Hand-Roasted Coffee
For coffee roasters it’s essential to learn to critically taste coffee so that they can truly understand the best way to roast each different coffee for maximum taste.
Learn how to really experience the true flavours of coffee with Jeremy Torz from Union Hand-Roasted.
“The journey to coffee flavour starts before the plant produces any coffee cherries so the right growing conditions are essential,” explains Jeremy Torz, co-owner of Union Hand-Roasted Coffee.
“The chemistry of coffee is complex as there are many different compounds in the green coffee bean – some are palatable and some are not. It is the roasting process that allows us to develop the positive elements (e.g. the caramelised sugars and spectrum of flavours) for tasty, well-balanced coffees.
“The key is to understand what each stage in the roasting process delivers, and to optimise and balance all of the positive elements. Hand roasting lets you respect the nuances in coffee – you’re constantly monitoring the colour and the aroma of the beans so you know what the bean needs.”
Begin by experiencing a coffee’s aroma – a crucial part of the flavour – and then taste the coffee to give yourself a comprehensive understanding of the key aromatic elements, as well as any noticeable differences.
“Don’t overthink it,” advises Jeremy, “trust your senses. When you take part, go for speed. Slurp one cup and as you spit or swallow, get the next one ready for your mouth. As soon as you can replace one coffee with another, you’ll notice the difference. Notice where the tongue lights up – does it feel different in cup a, b or c?”
So what flavours does Jeremy think make the best cup of coffee?
“The wonderful thing about the farmers we work with is that we can go from full-bodied, fruity deep tones, to crisp, very citrusy bright cups of coffee. I look for the quality of the canvas behind the paint – a clean, sweet, almost transparent character on the palate where the flavours lay. If that coffee is clean, then the picture will appear and it’s the elegant sparkle on the palate that gets me excited.”