26 May 2022

Six Great Profiles For Sample Roasting Ethiopian Coffee

It is one of the most anticipated times of the year for roasters and coffee enthusiasts: the arrival of the fresh Ethiopian harvest. The wide range of cup profiles available across the main producing regions of Ethiopia brings coffees renowned for their bright acidity, floral notes, delicate yet sometimes fruity characteristics, and a clean and balanced cup.
We have asked IKAWA Pro users; Calendar Coffee, Redemption Coffee Roasters, Caravan Coffee Roasters and Square Mile Coffee Roasters to share their roast profiles and tips for evaluating Ethiopian samples.

Ethiopia 

Arguably the land of some of the best arabica beans in the world, Ethiopia presents a combination of factors that make its coffees so special.

There are thousands of native varieties, sometimes referred to as heirlooms and many still not genetically identified, that often produce smaller green beans than what we find in other origins. In addition, coffee trees grow at high altitudes, producing hard and dense beans. Both washed and natural processes are common in Ethiopia impacting the cup profiles, as well as the characteristics of the green beans. 

These main variables; density, processing methods and screen size can be challenging when creating the right profile to roast freshly landed Ethiopian samples. This is even more critical during the sample evaluation process, where we want to make sure we are giving the coffee the best chance to show its potential. 

Here are 6 IKAWA Pro profiles that we have selected, showcasing a few different perspectives – all designed for sample evaluation, rather than profiling. You can read more about this topic here.

Please note that the profiles below are a good place to start in roasting Ethiopian samples, and work well for the IKAWA Pro users that are featured here. Some are designed for you to stop the roast manually after a certain development is achieved. You may want to dial in each profile to suit your own taste and preferences.

You’ll see that Caravan have shared two Inlet Profiles – with the yellow line. Inlet Profiles for 50g roasters do not translate exactly to a 100g roaster. The Inlet Profiles featured here are for 50g roasters. They will work well on IKAWA ProV3 and Pro50 roasters, but will need to be adjusted for Pro100.

Exhaust profiles are compatible across all IKAWA Pro roasters.

To view these profiles, tap on the image from a mobile with IKAWA Pro App installed. 

Calendar Coffee

This is a quick 5 mins roast, with a 150°C drop temperature and an end temperature of 201°C. Dan Boobier, co-founder of Calendar Coffee, a roastery based in Galway, Ireland, explains that ‘this approach is based on the fact that Ethiopian coffees tend to suit shorter, more aggressive roasts because of the high density of the beans’.

 

Redemption Coffee Roaster

This 6 min profile starts with a low drop temperature of 134°C and an end temperature of 207°C. The fan speed begins at 78% and then gradually drops throughout the roast. Stephen Gray, Head Roaster at London-based company Redemption Coffee Roasters, finds that ‘a fast-drying phase accentuates the bright citric acidity typical of good quality Ethiopias. A lower end temperature and a shorter development/total time will better protect the volatile florals’.

 

Caravan Coffee Roasters

Africa washed: This profile is based on the inlet temperature curve. Alex Wallace, Head of Quality for London-based roastery Caravan Coffee, has designed this profile for ‘super dense, high acid coffees that can take the heat and shine on a faster roast’. He recommends 1:10 to 1:20 minute development time after First Crack for Ethiopian coffees.

Dense Natural: This is another inlet curve profile developed for dense natural (and honey) processes coffees, initially created for Costa Rica but expanded to other origins. Alex Wallace suggests ‘a lower charge and initial heat, followed by a steady ramp towards FC (First Crack), with the coffee given a final burst of momentum just as crack begins. Develop for 0:55-1:05 before manually finishing the roast.’

Square Mile Coffee Roasters

This profile runs for 6:05 mins, with only 3 temperature changes during the roast, and an end temperature of 212°C. Jamie Issets, Square Mile Coffee’s Green Buyer, tells us that ‘[we] always start with the same profile and adjust the end time to be 50 seconds after First Crack. That usually gets us where we need to be for a sample roast; if we cup it and we feel the roast masks the coffee, we’ll add or subtract time from that amount.’

 

IKAWA

This is a fast profile designed for high-density beans, perfect for any washed East African coffees, including Ethiopia. It can be used on both the IKAWA PRO 50 and IKAWA PRO 100. However, you may want to fine tune it by extending or shortening the roast length.

 

How did you find these profiles?

What is your approach when evaluating Ethiopian samples? Have you developed a specific profile for this origin or do you use a standard profile that you adjust depending on the sample? Do you like to run each roast fully, or stop them after a certain development time?

We’d love to know – get in touch and share your IKAWA Pro profiles with us!

HAVE YOU TRIED IKAWA CUP YET?

Guest post by Aïssatou Diallo By

Aïssatou Diallo is a coffee professional with over 8 years of experience in the speciality coffee industry. She has worked across the whole coffee supply chain, from roasting for industry leaders, to quality control, green coffee sales, sourcing, and overall management of the European operations for a Latin American green coffee exporter. She is the founder and director of Coffee and Fripes, a new concept store in East London, combining speciality coffee and vintage clothing.

By Aïssatou Diallo