Every roastmaster has its own story. They roast through great passion and keep on learning. Oskar is one of them! He is the owner of CozoCoffee, located in Sweden. Roasting on the Giesen W15A is a big highlight for him. Let’s get to know him and his company.
Client spotlight: CozoCoffee
Mission: ‘To roast delicious coffee and have a lot of fun while doing it.’
Why did you decide to start your own business? ‘Well, it all started with me getting the idea to start roasting my own bean. The intention wasn’t to start a business really. I wanted to roast for fun; the business side of it just came along with it.’
Highlights you experienced in your work: ‘When I received my new Giesen W15A, I had no idea what I was doing. I went from 2,5 kilo to 15 kilos. This beast was different from the tabletop model I had before. Suddenly, it felt more ‘real’ and I was nervous for the first roast. It felt like controlling a big train haha! However, when firing up the roaster and doing the first real roast on it, that must have been the top highlight ever!’
How do you become a successful roaster: ‘My personal experience is to cup, and cup again… In the beginning I read a lot, trying to get experience from other roasters, people in the business and so on… However, I’ve learned that a lot of stuff that people post on the web isn’t correct or will just mislead you. Of course, you always need to be open-minded but the main thing is to roast, cup, repeat, and draw your own conclusions. In the end, you need to learn a craft that is so much more than what you can read on the internet or in books. It’s about visual, smell, gut feeling, and of course to know the bean and the roaster you roast on.’
How many hours of roasting and studying does it take to become a roasting expert? I have no idea. I don’t consider myself an expert and to be honest, I never will… My previous profession was as a professional musician and by performing that craft for almost 20 years you learn that the only thing that keeps you moving forward and growing, is to have an open mind. Always learn new stuff and be curious. So no, I would rather call myself a semi-experienced coffee roaster enthusiast.
However, someone said that it takes about 10.000 hours to become really good at something and I think that is probably a good guess. I mean, roasting beans that taste good can happen the third roast you do, but to really understand what you’re doing, takes time.’
The best thing about coffee roasting: It’s hands-on and feels like something that is still handicraft. Even though the machines of today are very advanced and can be fully automatic. When you’re setting the curve and roast a bean for the first time, you need to have the knowledge you’ve learned by roasting the previous batch and the batch before that and so on… It almost feels like playing music or paint a painting; it’s creative.’
Roasting tip: ‘Don’t be all over the roaster changing stuff. Make 1 adjustment at a time. Even though I sometimes can’t resist doing several changes if I think the roast needs it. Often it gets better, but sometimes it doesn’t work at all and you need to start over with only one adjustment. So, see what happens and if the coffee benefits from that change.’
Traits you must master as a coffee roaster: ‘I think you need to be calm and don’t rush things. The most challenging for me personally is to order a sample, cup it and then know exactly how good this bean will be and more importantly, how good it will sell for another year until the next harvest. I missed on some good lots (or ordered way too little) cause I hesitated too much. Therefore, I guess you need to be a combination of calm and very impulsive haha. I also think that you need to be fearless or at least almost fearless to be able to go for it instead of hesitating too much.’
How do customers react when they see your coffee roaster? ‘Everyone is beyond impressed by the look of it! When I explain that it looks like an old roaster and has all the benefits of a cast-iron roaster, but that it’s very advanced with new technology, they are even more impressed. But to be honest, it looks pretty damn amazing don’t you think :D.’
Photos 1-4: @fotografah, Photo 5: @Onyhlm