This is the second in an ongoing series on what tools we keep in the Mill City roastery for efficiency, quality control, and more. Click here for part 1.
What Do You Need In Your Roastery?
In our last roastery supply post, we covered a few essential things we keep in our roastery for efficiency and safety. These are things we find ourselves reaching for almost daily. Depending on your goals, you may find these tools necessary to keep in your space; if you’re not sure, this will serve as a good jumping-off point.
Cupping supplies are especially important if you’re goal is to uphold a certain level of quality, regularly taste coffees for purchase, or ensure consistency from roast to roast. Most tools used during a cupping include ceramic, glass, or plastic bowls, spoons, a grinder, and a source of hot water. Each of these items has its purpose and needs to meet the cupping standards. For example, cupping bowls must all be the same size to ensure consistency in extraction from cup to cup.
Consistency with equipment is a must. It allows for controlled variables across the board. Cupping bowls are sized to fit a certain amount of water, generally only enough to meet cupping protocols when filled to the top. Cupping bowls come in many different materials. We’ve found ourselves primarily using ceramic cupping bowls in our roastery, but we also like the build and durability of the Barista Hustle cupping bowl set. Their bowls are made of recyclable food-safe material that makes them lightweight, easier to take on trips, and steal less heat from the coffee.
Cupping spoons are a valued item in one’s coffee toolbox. You’ll find them to be wider than a regular spoon and have a flat bowl-like structure to allow for easy slurping. While these aren’t a necessity they have become increasingly popular in the coffee community, and many tasters enjoy carrying their special spoon with them to the cupping table. We carry cupping spoons with a wide bowl and a long, slim handle. The beautiful finishes make them a prized keepsake for the frequent cupper.
A quality burr grinder is one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll outfit your roastery with. If you’re in a smaller space we recommend the Fellow Ode Grinder for its streamlined design and grind accuracy. In our roastery, we’re using the Malkhonig EK-43. Its large motor allows for quick grinding of bigger amounts of coffee, and its grind quality increases clarity in the cup.
To brew all of our deliciously roasted coffee we should be heating our water to a certain temperature. Having a water tower in your space if you’re running larger cuppings will save you some time, but a countertop kettle works just as well. The Fellow Kettle is a great option – it has variable temperature control and a truly eye-catching design.
If your intention is to truly understand what’s going on with your coffee, you need to make cupping a priority. While there are many brands of each of these items, these are the tools we recommend for their durability and design.
Stay tuned as we continue to share what’s in our roastery and recommend more tools for your space.Click here to read Part 3, where we get into higher-ticket items to put on your roastery wish list.