June 14, 2024

Today's coffee that we are going to approach is the 2023 crop Ethiopian Guji Shakisso Gigesa Grade 1 washed.  The goal of sharing this roasting approach is not to give any kind of prescription on how to roast this coffee, but rather to provide you with some ideas of how to approach similar coffees.


Arrival QC:

  • Arrived 8/12/2023
  • Moisture 11.2%
  • Density 1.17g/ml


The Roaster:

For this roast, we'll be using a Proaster 1.5 kilo drum roaster hooked up to natural gas.  Batch size is 600g, approximately 40% of roaster capacity.  I've used a small batch size on this roaster to get closer to mimicking the gas power that you might find on a larger production roaster.  It must always be mentioned that each roaster is different.  The type of probe, placement of probe, and batch size will all influence the way in which bean temperatures are registered in a roaster.  With that said, don't read too much in to the exact temperatures, but look more closely at the theory behind the approach, time spent in different development periods, and rate of rise to get a better idea of how to translate this profile over to your own machine.

The Goal:

The goal for this coffee is to get as close to the sample roast cupping notes as possible.  We'll be trying to get the complex fruits and citrus acidity balanced with sweetness, while still invoking the soft florals and tea-like elegance that is classic of a washed Ethiopian coffee.  

The Approach:

Because this is a dense washed coffee, we'll be going with a moderate charge temperature and allowing a soak through turnaround with no gas to allow the coffee to evenly come up to temperature and avoid scorching or tipping.  This gentle first approach will stretch out our initial drying time. To develop the complex acidity, this approach will be more aggressive with heat application in early Maillard.  As the coffee approaches first crack, we'll gradually pull the gas down, being careful not to flat-line our rate of rise.  The goal is to finish the roast with about 1:15 minutes of development time, end temp around 400 Fahrenheit, and an ending rate of rise around 9 degrees per minute.  First crack is anticipated to happen on this roaster at around 383 degrees F.  Target weight loss for this roast is around 11-12%, which is in line with sample roast weight loss.

The Roast:

Charge Temp 390, Gas at 0 for first minute, Airflow at 40% 

After first minute, gas increased to 75% (fairly aggressive on this little roaster).  This provided ample momentum in the beginning stages of yellowing and into early Maillard.  As Maillard kicks in around 300F, gas is increased to 100% (aggressive).  It is kept at this level through 350 degrees, at which point it is dropped to 75% and airflow is opened up to 75%, to allow gasses being released during pre-crack development to circulate away from the coffee.  At 365F, gas is dropped again to 50%.  At 375F, gas is dropped to 25% and airflow is opened to 100%.  Gas will remain at 25% through the end of the roast.  First crack occurs at 384 degrees.  Post crack development extends for 1:15 seconds and the end temp for the roast is 399F at drop.  Final weight was 525g with a 12.5% roast loss.


The Cup:

Fragrance - Brown sugar, pastry, soft red berries

Aroma - Red berries, jasmine

Cup Notes - Stone fruit, sugarcane, vanilla wafer cookies, red berries, lemon zest, pomegranate, black tea, peach rings, thin-medium body, soft jasmine florals in finish.  As the coffee cooled it became juicy and the red fruit sweetness more prominent.  


Bringing It Home:

With this coffee, I roasted and cupped through 6 different profiles.  Here are some of my key takeaways from roasting this coffee.  I found it a bit prone to developing carbon notes when not given a gentle approach through the drying phase, even with a moderate charge temperature.  Once warmed through turn around, it was able to handle a lot of heat and carried that heat efficiently through the end of the roast.  Decreasing the rate of rise below 9% through the end of post first crack development left the coffee with a muted acidity and sweetness. With a small bit more development (about 20 more seconds), the coffee lost the soft florals and tea like delicacy but took on a sweet, chocolatey profile that accentuated the red berry notes of the coffee.  This additional development also enhanced the body of the coffee. The profile provided above would do excellent on drip, but some may find the acidity too sharp on espresso.  However, with the slightly extended development (mentioned above) the coffee develops a body and fruit-forward sweetness that would preform very well on espresso, especially for use with milk based beverages.


Interested in trying this coffee on your own roaster?  You can pick it up from our website here, or contact your wholesale rep for full bag purchases.


Happy roasting!


Have you roasted this coffee yourself?  Be sure to leave a comment below with your own experiences on this coffee.