Which has more caffeine? Light Roast or Dark Roast?

This question comes up so often, that I feel it needs a more lengthy response than my typical “If you judge by volume, light roast, if you judge by weight, dark roast”. Even this response requires an explanation, so let’s dive in! Caffeine is one of many compounds found in green coffee, as well as […]

coffee roastery tour road trip

Spring 2019 Road Trips

It’s been a heck of a year so far! I’ve taken a few breaks from the roasting drum to attend some of the amazing coffee events that happen around the country! My first stop was Kansas City, for the US Coffee Championships. My keenest interest was in the roasting championships, as I was very curious […]

What is Acidity in Coffee?

I often have people ask me for coffee recommendations and they tend to say one of two things, either “I like dark roasts” or “I like coffee that doesn’t have acidity”. As a roaster, I find this really interesting because the current trend of “Third Wave” coffee is all about emphasizing the uniqueness of coffee […]

Applying the Right Heat for the Bean

In coffee roasting, there isn’t a single formula or method that you can call “tried and true”. The variables are numerous, and knowing how to address each variety of coffee is what makes a roastmaster. In How Roasting Style Changes the Flavor of Coffee, I discussed how a faster application of heat can lead to sweeter […]

How Roasting Style Changes the Flavor of Coffee

You might be surprised to learn that the way a coffee is roasted can have a huge impact on the flavor. And we’re not talking about air roasting versus drum roasting, or home roasting versus commercial–different roasting styles that influence coffee flavor can be performed on any roasting equipment. Roasting coffee is as much an art […]

coffee experiments

One Bean, Two Roasts, 15° Difference

I roasted a couple sample batches today from a small estate in the Carmo de Minas region of Brazil. The beans were a gift for a friend, but I rarely pass up the opportunity to probe for changes based on single variables. If you don’t want to “geek out” on coffee science, you might as […]

I Just Bought a Commercial Roaster!

When I started sharing my coffee with friends, the first thing they would ask is “Can I buy it”? The problem with my HotTop roaster is while it’s great for evaluating beans with different roast profiles, it’s not a money-maker. At 1/2 lb. per roast, and a minimum of 20 minutes invested in each roast, […]

Nice dark roasted coffee

Reflections of an Amateur Coffee Roaster

When I set out to roast coffee for myself, I had no idea how much joy would come from it. For one thing, the quality of coffee I have been drinking has vastly improved. I had settled into a routine. I bought espresso roasts from a few of my favorite sources, including Staufs Coffee Roasters and […]

Computer Driven Roasting

Since upgrading my HotTop drum roaster to the “latest and greatest” B2k+ controls, I now have a USB port that plugs into my laptop computer for both recording roasts, and designing roast profiles that I can then send to the roaster. I still manually charge the beans and monitor the roast, and can make adjustments […]

Why Micro-Roasting Produces Better Coffee

You might think all this fuss about micro-roasting and specialty coffee is awesome idea or you might think it’s just making the best case for a business that is too small to compete with the big guys. While it’s certainly possible for larger companies to produce some outstanding coffees and for the little guys to […]

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