Our Roasting Commitment
From farm to packaging, every batch of coffee that comes through the ecoGrounds production facility has many stops along the way to becoming consciously great coffee. Every coffee we select has specific attributes associated with it that are commonly referred to as the flavor profile. The development of the flavor profile starts at the farm and can be affected by factors like elevation, soil type, and how the coffee is processed after it is picked. When coffee arrives at our facility in Sacramento, the next stage of profile development starts: roasting.
Our roasters hold 120 kilos (about 264 pounds) of coffee at a time and how each batch is roasted is as unique as the coffee’s flavor profile. Coffees have a specific roast time to develop the best taste and flavor balance. This is determined by what roast level the coffee can handle without becoming overdeveloped. You can find the roast profile for all of our coffees listed on the front of the packaging. If a coffee is not roasted long enough, it is described as underdeveloped and can have aggressive flavors like grass, bread crust, or harsh acidity. A coffee that has been left in the roaster for too long is overdeveloped and tends to end having a one dimensional flavor with smoky tones.
After the coffee has reached its optimal roast time, it needs to be cooled down quickly. There are a couple methods for this process: water quenching and air cooling. The water quench process cools beans by adding water to the coffee at the end of the roasting process. Introducing water to freshly roasted beans exposes them to free oxygen and moisture which, according to our Master Roaster, are “two of the biggest enemies to freshness.” Exposing coffee to these elements drastically reduces its shelf life. Some larger coffee companies use water quenching because it speeds up the roasting process and, because the beans are absorbing water, adds weight back to the finished product.
Here at ecoGrounds we are committed to quality and thus prefer the process of air cooling. Once coffee is roasted it is released into the cooling tray where air is moved through the beans to gently cool them down. From day one we have air cooled every batch of coffee because quality has always been our priority. Air cooling does not introduce free radicals so it increases shelf life, freshness, and flavor. As our customers, we thought you might like that too.
Once the coffee is packaged and ready for purchase it does not sit around in the warehouse long. Coffee orders typically ship from the ecoGrounds production facility within 3-7 days of roasting, which ensures the freshest product is always available for our cafes and wholesale partners.
Throughout the entire roasting process, our commitment to sustainability is just as important as the quality of the coffee. We donate all of our burlap bags to the Sacramento Zoo for animal bedding and our coffee chaff (a light papery skin that comes off the coffee during roasting) is given to local farms for dairy feed and mulch. We take every step to ensure the end result of our roasting is a high quality coffee with a positive impact.