Epoch 9 - Ethiopia Gogogu: New vs Old Roast Profile

3 Main Differences Between Old and New Roast Profiles

Since receiving this coffee, Rachelle has completed a SCA roasting course and acquired new equipment which allowed her to review the old roast profile and enhance the delicate flavours of this bright Ethiopian coffee. 

This month we’re sharing our new take on the Epoch 9, along with a sample bag of the old profile. We encourage you to drink these coffees side by side as we will be going through the 3 main reasons why these roast profiles made such an impact on the end result. 

Together we will be analyzing FLAVOUR, ROAST PROFILE, and COLOUR.

  • Let’s start with FLAVOUR 

Cupping these coffees side by side allowed us to analyse the drastic flavour differences. 

In the old cup, we found sharp bitterness, along with a charred peach aftertaste. Although the common stone fruit notes are present, we also detected a hollow light body and dry finish which left us feeling underwhelmed. 

In the new cup, we found balance. The delicate floral flavours reminiscent of rose water, along with ripe papaya and mango were able to shine. We felt that this profile ended on a juicier mouthfeel, and an overall sweeter cup. 

  • Moving on to ROAST PROFILE

Here is a very basic rundown of the roast profiles. 

OLD                                                                 NEW

Duration of Roast: 12:07                                Duration of Roast: 9:36

Bean Surface Temp: 204.3C                          Bean Surface Temp: 207.5C

1st Crack: 10:15                                             1st Crack: 8:17

Dev. Time: Almost 2 minutes                          Dev. Time: Just over a minute

Although these profiles may look very similar, they were achieved using completely different heat settings. The Stronghold Coffee Roaster gives the user a great deal of control with its modern interface and 3 different heat sources; hot air, halogen, and drum heater. This is incredibly beneficial when it comes to building profiles, however it’s also very easy to overthink each temperature adjustment. 

To put it simply, the old profile increased in temperature 1 minute into the roast, and then decreased gradually until the end. All 3 heat sources were being used and were adjusted at different points throughout the roasting process. This led to frequent temperature fluctuations which made it difficult to keep the coffee tasting consistent. 

The new profile is much simpler. It starts with a high temperature, and only uses hot air as its main source of heat. By starting off strong, the beans reached 1st crack quicker, and had a shorter development time (the time between 1st crack and the end of the roast). Short development time allows sweetness and acidity to shine, whereas a longer development time will highlight bitterness and decadent flavours. The goal was to get rid of bitterness, and bring forward more balance and sweetness.

To summarize, simple is best when it comes to this roast profile!

  • On to our last category, COLOUR

We recently upgraded our equipment! We are now using a Colour Reader. This allows us to track the colour of every coffee and helps us keep it consistent. The colour reading of the beans determine 80% of the coffee’s flavour. That being said, colour is one of the most important things to track when it comes to consistency. Even though the end temperatures of these two roast profiles are very similar, the colour reading of the beans are drastically different. Put simply, the new profile is 20 colour settings lighter than the previous profile.