Introducing the Roast Development Kit + Virtual Roasting Class

First, please let me apologize for taking so long to offer the “Roast Development Kit” I had promised in The Coffee Roaster’s Companion.  It’s finally here, and I am certain it is going to have a beneficial influence on roasters’ understanding of coffee defects.


Among the classes I’ll offer in Seattle this April is a roasting masterclass that will be offered to attendees both in person and virtual.  In January I offered a wildly successful “beginners'” roasting class (which was much more advanced than any industry class) in conjunction with Map It Forward.  For those of you who have never attended such a class, I’d like to explain a bit about them.

First, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way:  the class in January was the first virtual class I’ve offered, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, but there are a few things I intend to improve this time around.  The video and sound quality were good enough to communicate the lesson well, but not up to the standards of some virtual attendees who worked in the audio and video industries.  I take feedback seriously, so the production quality of this next class will be better.  Based on requests from previous attendees, I will also email the key slides from the masterclass to viewers ahead of the scheduled class date.  Virtual attendees will have access to the class video for three weeks after it airs.

I’m also launching the Roast Development Kit (RDK) in conjunction with the virtual masterclass.  Those buying virtual tickets will pay $50 less per ticket than live attendees to compensate for not having access to the tasting or being able to ask questions in person.  However, virtual attendees will have the option to purchase the set of roast samples I’ll use in the class, in the form of the RDK ($50) that I had  mentioned in The Coffee Roaster’s Companion.

I’m pleased to announce that The Regalia Company, a new roaster in New York City, will roast the samples for the kit. I co-own Regalia with my friend Paolo Maliksi and his wife Chisato (aka the secret weapon).  From a distance I have been training Paolo to roast for the past several months through email, FaceTime video, Cropster screen sharing, and exchanging roast samples.  I’m proud to say that Paolo, an accomplished cellist, is a diligent and disciplined student, and he is now one of the most consistently good roasters in the country.  Some of the best roasts I’ve tasted in the past year came from Paolo, and he is dedicated to offering light, developed, consistently great roasts.  I don’t even complain when Paolo offers naturals and honeys. :0 Paolo is the only roaster out there whom I would entrust to roast the samples for the (RDK) and my class, now that he has mastered the art of knowing how to judge, avoid, and create both baked and underdeveloped roasts. For those of you in NYC, Regalia is also currently renting time on its 15kg Mill City roasting machine.  Please contact Regalia directly for more information. 



The first RDK will consist of three frozen and vacuum-sealed 100g roast samples: an underdeveloped roast, a baked roast, and an excellent roast, all of the same coffee.  With the kit we will provide the roast curves, complete with settings used as well as some notes about the coffee and roasts.  We’ll also provide two small packets of mineral salts (magnesium sulfate and sodium bicarbonate), with each packet designed to convert four liters of distilled (demineralized) water into perfect brewing water.  Importantly, using that water means that everyone in the world who tastes the coffees in the kit will be using the same water.  Those buying the kit and following my grind and extraction recommendations should have a very similar tasting experience to that of the live-class attendees.


As of April 30 Regalia will be offering the RDK to the general public on a regular basis.  Going forward, each month we will offer a new RDK using a different coffee, and we may expand the kit at some point to include coffees with other intentional roast defects as well as various green defects.  I also have hopes of using the kit to showcase the flavor impact of novel processing methods, such as those used by Lucia Solis.

Please click here to purchase tickets to the virtual roasting masterclass and Roast Development Kit

Thanks for reading.