ON SALE NOW! Ian’s Championship Selection

Get yourself a piece of the gold and buy a Limited Edition tube of the coffee that won Ian Picco the 2018 U.S. Roaster Championship title!


This will be roasted and shipped on June 1st, and is available for pre-order HERE.


Read Ian’s competition dialog and his approach to roasting this award winning coffee:

“I have heard it said that a chef is only as good as his ingredients. The same can be said for the coffee roaster as well. Of course, as roasters, we really only have one ingredient that we prepare, which poses a challenge when trying to express personal creativity into the roasted product. For this a roaster needs the ability to influence the ingredient somehow, which takes being a good green buyer and good cupper on top of knowing how to roast well.

The coffee I present to you today is the result of nearly a decade of working as a professional coffee roaster, continually seeking knowledge about roasting science and craft, teaching new roasters, honing my sensory skills, and fostering a creative partnership with our main producer Emilio Lopez Diaz

For your enjoyment today I bring you a unique lot of SL-34 variety grown on Topeca’s family farm Finca el Manzano in the Santa Ana region of El Salvador. This lot was selectively harvested in January from an acreage at 1550 masl. It was depulped and dried with it’s mucilage attached on raised beds for 16 days. It was beautifully milled and contains virtually zero defects, only counting 2 Category IIs, which only comprised of a handful of broken/chipped beans. The lot is of very consistent size with 98% above screen 15. The total moisture measures 11% and the bean density measures 895 g/L, which is moderately high.

I roasted this coffee on a North 500 g electric drum roaster from Mill City Roasters. I charged at a full 500 g batch weight at 420 F, which in this roaster is the midway temperature between first and second crack at a full charge. Because this bean was of greater density I hit the beginning of the roast with only 90% power to the heating element and lower fan speed to promote a slower rate of change through the drying phase. This was to allow the conductive energy to permeate the seed more thoroughly without forcing out the moisture out of the outer layers of the bean too quickly. This sets me up for greater Maillard reactions later in the roast. Towards the end of drying when the bean turns pale green I increase my fan speed to mid range to increase convective transfer and assist in drying the seed more evenly. The color changed from green to yellow at 5:35 at which point I decrease my energy input to 80% to slow the rate of change during the Maillard phase. The aim here is to increase complexity, sweetness and body by allowing a longer time spent in the temperature range where Maillard reactions are occurring. I aim to approach first crack at a heating rate of 12 degrees per minute and increased fan speed to establish enough thermal momentum to avoid stalling during crack but keeping the heat passing through the drum quickly so I can eventually slow to 2 degrees per minute through crack, which happened at 10:05. My theory about pulp natural and natural coffees is that by drying the seed in it’s mucilage and/or pulp you allow the seed to begin the process of germination, which starts the degradation of carbohydrates into sugars. Knowing this, I tend to roast these coffees to a lower end temperature and spend a shorter time post crack, to avoid further degrading these sugars. This roast ends at 4 F and 1:20 past the beginning of first crack, for a total roasting time of 11:25. Roast color measures 39 WB and 83 G on the Agtron scale.

In the cup you should perceive the following sensory attributes:

For aromas: Cherry Pie, Blood Orange, nutmeg

Flavors: tart cherry, bruleed grapefruit, stewed peaches  

Acidy is medium high with a grapefruit like quality

The body is medium+ with a spritely and crisp mouthfeel

The aftertaste is like cherry cola, rose candy, almond

It’s been my pleasure presenting this coffee to you today. Enjoy”

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