This class is scheduled beside two other classes that make up our ‘Specialty Coffee Roasting for Entrepreneurs’ series. Save $150 when you sign up for all three classes.
A focused, two-day session that includes classroom education and hands-on experience. As our most popular class attended by hundreds from all over the world, this class is perfect for people who consider themselves beginner or intermediate level roasters, especially those who intend to start their own coffee roasting business.
Back in January, we scheduled classes through to July 2020. As we move through these months, we have been canceling classes when it has become clear that we would not yet be able to safely gather. For those dates still available on this page, please be advised they are tentative up until about three weeks before the class date. Do not make travel arrangements until class dates are confirmed. If you have questions or want to tentatively register for a class without paying, please email Lauren. In the meantime, we are working on developing remote classes and to create a modified curriculum that would allow for us all to stay safe. Details will be announced soon. Thanks for your patience while we make adjustments.
Two Full Days of Focused Education
Travel to Minneapolis and spend a Thursday and Friday at Mill City Roasters. Classes are limited to 24 attendees and lunch is provided each day. Both days begin in the classroom and the afternoons are spent roasting and tasting in our roastery.
Beginning with Basics
We’ll begin in the roastery with an up close view of the process of roasting coffee. We’ll talk through the fundamentals what happens inside a coffee roaster – and inside a coffee seed – during roasting and we’ll start to connect the influence of heat and airflow with transitions you see and smell in coffee as it’s being roasted. As we move into concepts of roast profiles and roast curves, you’ll begin to see how intentionally controlled application of heat will roast a coffee toward a particular flavor outcome.
Once we cover the concepts, we’ll spend the afternoon in the roastery. Working in small teams we’ll put what we’ve learned into practice by roasting a few batches. Between each batch, we’ll discuss as a group our experiences and share our successes and our misses before returning to the roaster to try again. Our in-house roastery is equipped with roasters sized from 500g to 20kg and each student will get a chance to work on a variety of machines throughout the two days.
Roast Profile Development
Once you’ve got a handle on the machinery, we’ll start roasting with a goal in mind. In your own roasting practice, when you have an excellent coffee in your hands you will need to roast it in a way that best interprets it for your market. We will not teach you how to roast coffee to our liking, but enable you to control the roast for results that are to your desired outcome.
Buying green coffee can be daunting but selecting the right green coffee is one of the most important quality decisions you will make. We will discuss strategies of green buying including working with importers, pricing, contracts, green coffee grading, cupping analysis, and more. After all, a roaster can only be as good as the coffee they roast.
Safety & Operations
Safely and effectively operating your equipment requires knowledge of the system and a plan for when things go wrong. We will equip you with this knowledge and provide pointers on how to develop your own action plan.
Cupping is not only a skill but a language that is used to communicate quality through the supply chain. You will be exposed to how this language and specific vocabulary can help your business both internally support a quality control program and externally communicate with your suppliers. We will cup coffee on both days incorporating both SCA Cupping Protocols and utilizing our own abbreviated cupping methods.
Students interested in an entire day focused on developing and enhancing their sensory evaluation and cupping skills should check out our Sensory Analysis for Roasters on the Wednesday before this class.
Blends are a great tool for distinguishing your brand within the market and provide reliable coffee experiences for your customer. Beyond marketing, we will discuss strategies to create blends to improve your bottom line including moving coffee inventory that is fading, costs less, or can no longer stand on its own. These under-performing coffees may find their perfect fit in a well-designed blend when supported with the right marketing, roast profile, and intentional plan.
Thursday and Friday: Mill City Roasters, 9:00am-5:00pm (lunch provided)
This class is scheduled beside two other classes that make up our ‘Specialty Coffee Roasting for Entrepreneurs’ series. We highly encourage students who are able to extend their stay to attend all three classes (four days total). Save $150 when you sign up for all three classes.
We will email students 1-2 weeks before class with parking & lunch details. More information to help plan your trip is available on our Visit the Mill City Campus page.