Let’s talk about the 7 Reasons Why You need to get coffee at Roaster Cafes
Roaster cafes can have many interpretations and definitions. The general definition of “Roaster Cafes” are cafes where the coffee is roasted by the owner or members of the cafe. The roaster machine is usually inside the cafe, or within the proximity of the cafe. In Japan roaster cafes usually label themselves as 自家焙煎 or jikabaisen.
自家 jika – home made 焙煎 baisen – roasting
There’re many reasons why roaster cafes are recommended if you want to get some really good coffee. Today I’ll give you 7 reasons why.
1. Having a Roaster Machine
This may sound obvious; but this is seriously one reason you can expect something more from the coffee. Just the fact that the establishment prioritises in having a roaster machine shows the dedication and pursuit of providing excellent and delicious coffee.
They believe that it’s not enough to purchase ready-made/roasted coffee to please their customers. They need to roast their coffee beans to know what they’re serving to their customers; that’s how they intend to please them.
It’s not that cheap to buy a roaster machine, more so if one intends to serve hundreds of customers a day since that means hundreds of cups a day. In addition, some customers may also need to purchase coffee for home use, which leaves one with little option but to purchase a large roaster machine.
Adding to cost is the knowledge required to run a roaster, and the knowledge to properly roast the coffee. This can take a lot of time to nurture and master, and so a lot of dedication is required to purchase and own a roaster machine.
This is definitely a good reason why you can expect some really good coffee at cafes where you can visibly see a roaster machine since they’ll most likely be using it to roast their own coffee.
2. Purchasing Only Good Coffee
Roaster Cafes usually sample roast the beans they plan to purchase. They won’t purchase coffee if they think the quality doesn’t meet their standards. Roaster cafes seem less caught up in the hype of the new kid in town. In other words, they are concerned with finding great coffee regardless of what coffee is popular at the moment.
Although price does come into play when purchasing raw coffee beans, roaster cafes are usually much more open to spending money on quality coffee beans. And that’s because of their passion for coffee. It’s sometimes less about one having a large profit margin, but more about one pleasing their customers and providing them with the best coffee experience. This, in turn, means a slightly higher purchase price but totally worth it if you think about the whole coffee experience.
Times have changed and now there’s a lot of options to choose from. This means that the chances of finding good coffee, one that’s ideal for roaster cafes to roast and serve to customers, is much higher.
Sometimes a different lot(bag) or micro lot from the same coffee farm can be the difference between good coffee and a poor one. So, it’s sometimes a game of treasure hunting to find the better one in the tens and hundreds of lots.
Although the roast and extraction is a very important aspect when having delicious coffee, the quality of the beans can really affect the overall taste. And that’s pretty much why roaster cafes make it a priority to ensure the coffee they buy is of good quality.
3. The Freedom To Roast
Having your own roaster means freedom when it comes to roasting your own coffee beans. Roaster cafes usually get to understand the coffee at hand by roasting at various roast degrees and then cupping them to find the best or better points. The freedom to find the best roast point for the coffee at hand is quite valuable.
This means being able to serve great coffee to customers as well as creating blends which complement the overall balance of the coffee. It also means experimenting and improving the ability to extract all the potential unique flavours of the coffee at hand.
Roasting, much like baking and pottery and other artisanal crafts, doesn’t follow a specific set of rules. There’s potentially an infinite number of ways to roast your coffee. So, every roaster cafe will have their unique and distinct way of roasting, which results in the unique coffee that no-one can copy. Sort of like the secret recipe, but in this case the secret roast.
Cafes that use pre-roasted coffee won’t really have the freedom to adjust the roasts of their coffee. The only thing they can change is their extraction technique which is rather limiting.
So, roaster cafes tend to enjoy a lot of freedom with their coffee through their roasts.
4. Knowing how to please customers (giving great recommendations)
Since roaster cafes purchase their own beans and roast them, they know about the flavour profiles of the coffee at hand. Which means that they can provide great recommendations when it comes to suggesting coffee that suits their customers’ needs and tastes.
If you prefer a dark roast with a nutty fragrance, you can expect to have something that fits the bill or something similar.
Roasting one’s own coffee means a lot of opportunities to get to know the coffee at hand. This is often done by the many cupping sessions, which involve tasting and then rating coffee at various roasts, and discussions among the staff members. The discussions are quite important and valuable because it allows communication of thoughts and expressions of the coffee that’s going to be served to customers.
How can I describe the taste of this coffee? Does this flavor profile fit my customer’s taste? Is this something my customers would find very delicious? How about the fragrance? How about the body?
As you can see, there’s quite a lot to think and discuss about when you get to really understand your coffee and then try to see how they compare to what your customers want, or are interested in discovering through your coffee.
The terms and words used to express the various types of coffee at varying roast degrees is also challenging. And understanding the flavor profile of the coffee at hand, and roasting to bring out the flavors one looks for means a better and more efficient way to communicate with customers about the coffee one is serving.
That’s why a roaster cafe serves great coffee, because they know how to explain why they are so.
5. Learning About Coffee & Sharing Knowledge
I guess this works both ways but when you have staff members who are passionate and love everything coffee, you can expect to learn quite a bit about coffee. From the roasting process to the extraction process to the cupping process. Enthusiasm is in the air.
Roaster cafes may also have various monthly seminars that may include latte art making, cupping as well as pour-overs. It’s quite common to find seminars done in roaster cafes because of, quite simply, passion towards coffee and the sharing of knowledge. It’s important to educate not just the staff members, but the customers who come for a cup of coffee. I guess roaster cafes take it upon themselves to make sure everyone better understands the beauty of coffee.
Through seminars, coffee lovers of all backgrounds can come together, and that may also provide with you a chance to meet new people and engage in interesting conversations.
6. Providing Accurate Information ( Being Honest )
This one is huge. A few years or decades back, in Japan at least, it would have been difficult to really ask about the details of the coffee you were having. That’s because the coffee purchased didn’t have too much information or traceability. Things like the variety, processing methods, specific origins of the coffee wasn’t mentioned and so details and info of the coffee was lost. Depending on the country, the coffee would be collected and deposited to one pulping/distribution center, which meant that all of the information of the coffee would be lost since they were all mixed.
But now, pretty much after the third wave of coffee, we have so much more information about the coffee we have. And that’s because coffee buyers including roaster cafes are prioritizing coffee that’s traceable and that they know is handled well. Coffee farmers of coffee producing countries are also more open to the idea of direct trading, which results in transparency of the coffee roaster cafes purchase.
This transparency is what allows roaster cafes to confidently and proudly talk about the coffee they have lined up, as well as where they are getting it from.
And as customers, we would want to drink coffee that we know more about, one which we have more information on rather than something we don’t. That’s why roaster cafes are ideal for coffee lovers because you can always expect to be provided an accurate description about the coffee served.
7. Originality & Personality
You’ll never find the same coffee at two different roaster cafes.
Everyone has their own way of doing things. Although there maybe some things that every roaster cafe may agree on, everything else may be quite different. And that’s because there are just so many ways to roasting coffee. Roaster cafes have their own way of roasting which are original, and of course showcase their personality.
The way one approaches a particular subject is always different. And that’s because the life experiences and environment we grow up under is so different no matter how similar our lives may be. And that applies for roasting. Even if we share the same ideas about roasting, the methods and approaches will always be slightly different.
And that’s what makes roaster cafes so refreshing, since you get a taste of their personality, their ideas that go into the roasting process and end up in our hands as a cup of coffee. It’s also filled with passion and flare as well as character. It’s so different from the coffee you buy at the shelf of a huge supermarket. It’s this difference that can make you smile in the morning when drinking a cup of coffee from your local roaster. You won’t find it anywhere else. That’s the beauty of it as well.
I haven’t got to talking about blends, but this is also something very unique and original. In addition to the different approaches taken to roasting the coffee, blends can also take different approaches depending on who makes them.
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