Daniel lives in Quebec and wants to go further in the roasting industry. Everyone starts somewhere and home roasting seems to be that place for many. People are so successful with the Behmor that they often transition to larger machines. The Behmor home roaster is the closest machine one can get that gives the true feel of a larger commercial roaster. This is his story.
How long have you been home roasting?
I started roasting in the spring of 2017 after many, many hours of research through the internet, books and some discussions with a few local roasters here, in the Montreal region.
What made you want to start roasting at home?
It was the next step in my coffee passion.
8 years ago I was buying my first espresso machine. Since then, I went through every step of the learning barista and this year I felt that I was ready to explore roasting myself. I know exactly what I like and what I want in a good cup of coffee, so why not try to reach it on my own!?
Another reason for me to roast is that I think eventually it can become a great business opportunity. I see a good future in the evolution of specialty coffees, especially where I live, in the Laurentians.
How do you roast your beans...on the stove, hot air popper, small home roasting appliance? Have you tried different methods of roasting and if so, which one was the most successful for you?
I started out with a Behmor and that is still what I’m using right now.
I never use the presets on the Behmor...I use the manual mode all the way. Depending on the beans, I work my way through the roast between fast and slow drum speed, sometimes I open the door instead of reducing the power, to let more air in. The trickiest part in my roast is the cooling process. I don't use the cooling cycle on the Behmor. Instead, I take the drum out just when the roast is perfect to my eyes and I dump the beans in a tray floating in cold water. Then I start a fan to cool the beans and in the meantime I start the normal cooling process in the Behmor to let the heat down the normal way. Doing this, I found myself with roasts that were much more complex and precise.
I might upgrade to a small commercial roaster (1-5kg gas roaster) in a near future if I need to produce more coffee (fingers crossed).
Have you been successful at it?
The first few batches weren’t very convincing, but I guess that every roaster goes through that step. I burned some batches, some were just too light and others were just dull…
I worked hard at getting the best I could out of the beans I had and since I ordered pretty good beans, I ended up with pretty good batches. Everyone knows that we are the toughest judges of our own work so when I was able to tell that my coffee was comparable to some good coffee beans I bought in the past, It made me very proud.
Since then, a lot of people tasted my beans, especially my blend, and they were all very pleased with what they tasted. Sure, it is not perfect, but the fact that I got something good out of it just motivates me for the future of my micro-roastery.
Actually, I have signed my first wholesale client as a roaster. It is a small cafe that just opened its doors in the city next to where I live. I sell them around 3kg of coffee beans a week for now. My online store will soon be available at www.kohi.ca.
How did you come up with the name for your coffee brand?
The name of my (micro) roastery (KŌHĪ) means "coffee" in Japanese. My passion for coffee (third wave) really started when I traveled to Japan. That's why when I started this project I went with the Japan theme...
My seasonal blend name is "Sansei", which means "season". It's nothing philosophical, but it means a lot to me.
What are your favourite beans and do you like a light, medium or dark roast?
I prefer a medium-light roast that shows the origin of a coffee. I love coffees that are sirupy and fruity with a lot of punch. I’m a big fan of Ethiopian, Kenyan and Guatemalan beans. Sometimes, I love a good Colombian with a great personality. As long as it is not too traditional to taste, I can love any origin when it is roasted properly.