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Posted by Alex | Jun 17

TIM WENDELBOE | HOW I USE MY IKAWA SAMPLE ROASTER

Tim Wendelboe is one of the more recognised names in speciality coffee, so we thought you might be interested to understand more about why he became an IKAWA customer, how he uses his roaster and his approach to selecting a suitable roast profile.

We caught up in his busy schedule commuting between Colombia and Oslo to bring you this guest blog post.

OVER TO TIM

“I am Tim Wendelboe and I run a coffee shop and a roastery in Oslo Norway named Tim Wendelboe.

Although my main job is running the company my other main job is to ensure the quality of the coffee we buy, roast and serve. I do the quality control every week together with my team and I am also the only one in the company that is buying green coffee which means I travel a lot to origin to work closely with the producers we buy from.

My latest project is that I bought my own farm in Colombia where I am trying to grow better and more coffee with only using Mother Nature’s biology as opposed to the conventional farming methods where using mineral and chemical applications are the methods of growing coffee. The farm is called Finca el Suelo which means ‘the soil farm’. So far it has been a challenge and there is still a lot of work to be done before the farm is successful. I am also curating the annual Nordic Roaster Forum which means I try to find the people who can give interesting lectures and I also work on the program for the event.

I first noticed the IKAWA roaster at World of Coffee 2012 in Vienna and found it interesting. I was able to test a prototype in my roastery, but to be honest I was not very impressed as it was impossible to roast consistently, so I returned it along with some feedback and kind of forgot about it.

Then in 2015 I heard through the grapevine that the IKAWA had been improved and was now on the market and I asked to get a roaster to test it one more time. It was like receiving a totally different product. I could now roast the same coffee with the same profile over and over again and the results were very consistent.

I decided to invest in the IKAWA Sample Roaster, and now it is the only sample roaster I use in my lab. So far, it is the only roaster I have tried that can consistently repeat the same profile over and over again.

I do a lot of experiments with farmers where for example, we test the differences on drying methods or varieties, or processing methods. In order to really be able to taste the difference in the cup, and isolate the variables in the experiment, we need tools that make sure the coffees are roasted and brewed the exact same way. Otherwise the roasting or brewing could affect the end results.

Controlling the roast has been the most difficult part in this equation until I got my hands on an IKAWA. Now I can roast my experiments while cooking dinner in my flat and still be sure that the roasts are consistent. It does not need my attention when I want to roast and repeat.”

 

Spot the IKAWA Sample Roaster...
Tim Wendelboe - Master of Hands Free Roasting

“I think anyone who is interested in roasting could benefit from having and IKAWA Sample Roaster. It is also great for roasters and green buyers, as you can do small samples and use it to see the potential that is in the coffee, and use the sample roasts as a benchmark when you do quality control on coffees roasted on a bigger roaster.

All the coffees I buy are roasted on the IKAWA before I do my final evaluation whether I should buy the coffee or not. I also use it for experimenting with roast profiles to see the potential in a coffee, and for roasting experiments I have done on farms. I have used it to explain the roast process to my baristas as well. It is very visual and easy to use for that.

I have a standard profile that I use whenever I am unsure about the coffee that I am roasting. To be honest I don’t fiddle around too much with crazy profiles. For me a good sample roast is when the coffee is well developed without having too much roasty / burned flavours. I like to keep it simple and this particular profile has worked on many different coffees from many different origins. It is made for 50g samples.”

“We landed on this profile after trying many different ones by making small adjustments and roasting the same coffee. Then I tasted the results, selected the best profile and tried that on other coffees. It seems to work pretty well on most of the coffees I am buying.”

Thanks to Tim for sharing these insights.

We’re always interested to hear how customers use their IKAWA roasters – in the lab – at the roastery – or on the road – so let us know if you share the approach of having a ‘standard’ go-to profile for new coffees, or have a different profile for each coffee origin / altitude / varietal / process.