The process of purchasing green coffee is sometimes underrated. It is a complex, time-consuming process, that takes as much skill and experience as it does patience, creativity, knowledge, understanding and a great spittoon!
Receiving countless samples of fresh coffee-lots from all over the world, sample roasting to a standard "roast-degree". This process provides us with a standardized test of time and temperature, allows objective tasting and determining positive and negative qualities of each sample, which in turn identifies the ideal roast profile for that sample, and a touchstone to compare any given sample against.
If the sample coffee makes it past the initial “gatekeeper” test, further samples are roasted to determine the ideal roast profile (keeping meticulous notes of course), which in turn affects our buying decisions.
A portion of the original sample is kept to compare against the actual shipment received to ensure the sample roasting for purchasing decisions is not a wasted process and that the coffee received is of the same quality as roasted earlier. Unfortunately, the “bait and switch” is not uncommon in the coffee world and without a strict sample roasting regimen, a Roaster can easily be taken advantage of.